The General Optical Council’s (GOC) new Business Standards came into effect yesterday (1 October), replacing the regulator’s Code of Conduct for business registrants.
The standards aim to define the requirements that the GOC expects optical businesses to meet to protect the public and promote high standards of care.
The standards do not apply to all businesses, but do to those that are registered with the regulator.
To coincide with the introduction of the new standards, the AOP has released guidance to provide advice for members on how to meet the new requirements, as well as highlight where existing policies may be sufficient.
The detailed AOP guidance shares advice in each of the three areas of the standards, which can be defined as your patients, your culture and governance and your staff, as well each sub section of the standards.
Speaking about the new standards, AOP clinical director, Dr Peter Hampson, said: “We welcome the publication of the business standards as they should help to redress the balance between the expectations placed on individual registrants and those placed on businesses. This was one of our main areas of concern when the GOC originally published the standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians in 2016. These new standards go some way to making those requirements fairer.”
On the AOP’s guidance to the new business standards, Dr Hampson confirmed that its advice would evolve as it becomes clearer what the GOC expect from business registrants.
“In the meantime, the AOP advice should enable members to be well prepared to ensure they comply,” he added.
The GOC’s new Business Standards can be accessed in full on its website.
The AOP’s guidance to the standards can be accessed on the AOP website.