Authority responsible for GOC performance review launches consultation

PSA aims to review the approach it takes when assessing healthcare regulators

laptop pen and paper
The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has confirmed that it is consulting on how it carries out performance reviews of regulators including the General Optical Council (GOC).

The PSA currently carries out annual performance reviews of the 10 statutory healthcare regulators to check how well they are performing against its Standards of Good Regulation.

The PSA last reviewed its performance review process in 2014/15. Following that assessment, it implemented its current process in 2016, based on feedback from stakeholders.

In a statement online, the PSA explained: “We have been using our current approach for five years and want to check that it is still fit for purpose. We have identified several areas where we think there is room for improvement. We want to make sure that our approach to reviewing the regulators continues to be proportionate and effective.”

The PSA highlighted that the consultation would focus on four questions. These include whether all of the Standards of Good Regulation should be assessed annually for all the regulators, and if the PSA should retain the current binary system where regulators meet or do not meet a Standard or adopt a different approach.

Responding to the launch of the consultation, AOP policy officer, Saqib Ahmed, told OT: “The PSA plays an important role in assessing the performance of the UK professional healthcare regulators, including the GOC. Its annual reviews of the GOC in recent years have helped to highlight the unacceptable delays in Fitness to Practise (FtP) cases. We will be seeking the views of our members to inform the AOP response to the PSA consultation.”

The deadline for responses is 4 March 2021.


In May 2020, the PSA announced that the GOC met 22 of the 24 Standards of Good Regulation, as part of its annual review of the regulator’s performance for 2018–19. The PSA said that the GOC met all the relevant standards for Guidance and Standards, Education and Training, and Registration, but concluded that only eight out of the 10 standards for Fitness to Practise (FtP) were met.