AOP welcomes new GOC guidance for registrants on raising concerns

How registrants can speak up when patient or public safety may be at risk

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) welcomes new guidance published by the General Optical Council (GOC) for registrants who find themselves needing to speak up when patient or public safety may be at risk. 

The guidance, entitled ‘Speaking Up,’ replaces the GOC’s ‘Raising concerns with the GOC (whistleblowing) policy,’ and is split into two parts: one for individuals and one for businesses. 

Dr Peter Hampson, Clinical and Professional Director at the AOP said: “Registrants are required to speak out in situations that could potentially cause harm but, of course, the steps for doing so are not always easy to take or feel straightforward – making the process all the harder to navigate. We’re hopeful that this new guidance from the GOC will help registrants understand why raising concerns is so vital, what is expected of them and make the whistleblowing process clearer for those that need it. Speaking out can help remedy poor practice and prevent harm – we encourage all practitioners to familiarise themselves with the guidance, so they feel supported to take action where needed.” 

Areas covered include:
Why it’s important to speak up
When to consider speaking up 
How to go about the process 
Speaking to the GOC
Maintaining and promoting awareness within businesses. 

The Speaking Up guidance also includes a flowchart that outlines the speaking up process, and details key organisations that registrants could consider speaking to if they need to seek advice. 

The guidance is in response to a consultation that took place between December 2020 and March 2021. 

AOP members who have any concerns regarding the Speaking Up guidance, should contact the AOP by emailing [email protected] 


For more information, please contact Serena Box, PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists in the UK. We support over 82% of practising optometrists, to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. For more information, visit