General Optical Council
The General Optical Council (GOC) is an organisation in the United Kingdom which maintains a register of opticians and regulates the services provided by dispensing opticians and optometrists (ophthalmic opticians). The stated function of the GOC is "to protect the public and promote high standards of professional conduct and education amongst opticians".
In order to work as (dispensing) opticians or optometrists in the UK, individuals must demonstrate to the GOC that they are suitably qualified and fit to practise. The GOC also maintains a register of companies who carry on business as opticians. The GOC currently register around 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.
The GOC sets standards so that every registered practitioner knows what is expected of them. They take action against opticians who do not meet these standards of professional conduct and also against people or companies who break the terms of the Opticians Act. A consultation on new standards of practice in 2015 received 2,000 responses. The Optical Confederation and other trade associations called for the new standards to be proportionate to the risks.
The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA), is an independent body accountable to the UK Parliament, which promotes the health and wellbeing of the public and oversees the nine UK healthcare regulators, including the General Optical Council (GOC).
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