Samantha Peters will swap her hat as the chief executive and registrar of the General Optical Council (GOC) for an academic’s cap next year.
The GOC announced today (19 December) the resignation of Ms Peters, who has worked for the regulator for six years. She will remain with the organisation until June 2017.
Ms Peters is studying towards a PhD at Bath University focusing on kindness, compassion and altruism. She highlighted that: “It is with great sadness that I will say goodbye to the GOC next summer.”
She added: “Although my plans for my career break are exciting, I will look back on my time at the GOC extremely fondly. In particular, it has been a pleasure to work with such a committed team and I wish everyone all the best for the future.”
Ms Peters also spoke of her confidence in the regulator’s ability to meet “the significant challenges caused by the rapid pace of technological change in the sector and the need to modernise the education of optical professionals.”
GOC chair, Gareth Hadley, praised Ms Peters’ achievements in her time with the regulator.
He explained that: "She has overseen the transformation of CET, the introduction of new standards that the professions are really embracing, and great improvements both in our stakeholder engagement and in the efficiency with which we carry out our core regulatory functions. She has also overseen the modernisation of the organisation, including the move to our new fit-for-purpose office."
Mr Hadley emphasised that: "We will be sad to see Samantha go, but it is a very exciting time for her as she focuses on her studies. The same thoughtful and strategic approach that she took to her role at the GOC will undoubtedly stand her in good stead as she tackles a fascinating, but also highly complex, research project."
"I look forward to seeing the outcome published – it will make a seminal contribution to future thinking on healthcare," he said.
AOP chief executive, Henrietta Alderman, told OT that Ms Peters "has been a positive force for change at the GOC. Much of these efforts have so often taken place behind the scenes, but we’ve seen developments across many challenging aspects of the profession as a result of [her] leadership and her willingness to engage with stakeholders.""We will be sad to see [Ms Peters] step down but wish her well in her future endeavours," Ms Alderman concluded.