The General Optical Council’s (GOC) strategic plan for the next three years has a strong focus on the future of education in the optical professions.
Publishing the 2017–20 plan yesterday (20 April), the regulator detailed that its main strategic objectives during this period will be “the learning and development of optical professionals, a targeted approach to regulation and organisational transformation.”
Chair of the GOC, Gareth Hadley, explained: “It should be no surprise that education is at the heart of our strategic plan. The professions that we regulate are changing fast and new technology could render obsolete some of the ways in which our registrants have worked for decades. At the same time, an ageing population and pressures on NHS services mean there is more demand for eye care services than ever.”
Mr Hadley highlighted that, with these changes, optometrists and dispensing opticians could play a “major” part in meeting these demands by taking on new roles, “but only if they have the right education and training to support them,” he stressed.
He confirmed: “We have received a positive response to our recent Education Strategic Review call for evidence and are committed to making sure that optical professionals are ready to face the challenges of the future.”
In the strategic plan, the regulator also commits to making improvements to the way it carries out its core regulatory functions, including modernising its fitness to practise function, as well as the processes it uses and the customer service that it delivers.