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GOC Acceptance Criteria makes it easier to “filter out” complaints

The optical regulator has published new criteria that set a benchmark for whether a fitness to practise complaint is investigated

General Optical Council business standards

The General Optical Council (GOC) hopes its new Acceptance Criteria that sets a benchmark for which complaints are investigated will speed up fitness to practise wait times.

The criteria are described by the GOC as a case management tool for the fitness to practise team to decide whether or not to accept a complaint as an allegation of impaired fitness to practise.

If a complaint does not meet the criteria, the optical regulator will not open an investigation into whether the registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired.

The GOC has decided to regularly review the criteria to make sure that it is up to date in reflecting legislative changes and case law, as well as remaining consistent with other associated guidance.

Head of fitness to practise case progression at the GOC, Keith Watts, highlighted that fitness to practise is about dealing with serious misconduct, not minor clinical or consumer concerns.

“The criteria will make it easier for us to filter out complaints that could not lead to a finding or impairment and will allow us to focus our resources where they are most needed,” he shared.

“The criteria will also have a secondary benefit in helping us to speed up the fitness to practise process,” Mr Watts concluded.