GOC appoints optometrists to new roles

Optometrists Rukaiya Anwar and Harry Singh have become council associates at the optical regulator


The General Optical Council (GOC) has appointed two optometrists to the newly created role of council associate.

The job involves attending GOC council meetings as well as the council’s audit, risk and finance committee.

The council associates will not be permitted to vote but they will be encouraged to participate in discussions.

Describing the motivation behind creating the roles, the GOC highlighted that the positions aim to increase the diversity of perspectives and experiences on the GOC council as well as giving registrants the first step towards a board, committee or panel role.

Rukaiya Anwar and Harry Singh Bhakar are the first optometrists to be appointed to the roles.

Anwar graduated from Aston University in 2016 with a Master’s in optometry. She works in the southwest of England, splitting her time between academia and specialist NHS practice.

After graduating from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020, Bhakar began working within a multiple in County Durham.

While studying, Bhakar was awarded the Haag-Streit UK prize for undergraduate research into technology and low vision assessment.

The GOC highlighted that a strong response was received to the creation of the new positions.

Dr Anne Wright, GOC chair, highlighted: “This scheme will enhance the work that council does to protect patients and the public, by gaining broader perspectives around our council table to represent the diverse needs of our registrants, staff and other stakeholder groups.”