Governance is about making sure that the General Optical Council is doing the right things, in the right way, for the right people and in a timely, open, inclusive, honest and accountable manner.

The governance framework under which the General Optical Council works is made up of:

  • systems, processes, values and culture by which the General Optical Council is directed and controlled; and
  • the activities, through which it engages with registrants, public and other stakeholder.

This framework allows the General Optical Council to monitor the achievement of its objectives and to consider whether those objectives have been met in an effective and efficient manner.

Our Council

Our Council is made up of 12 members, 6 professional and 6 lay, with different backgrounds and skills, knowledge and experience all of whom share the same duty of public protection and oversee the range of regulatory processes. We expect all members to behave in accordance with our values and accepted standards of public service.

Our committees

We have nine committees, five that are statutory  - also known as Council committees - and four which are non-statutory, which advise our Council.

Council committees

The Education, Standards, Registration, and Companies committees make up our Advisory Panel.

Advisory Panel terms of reference

Companies Committee

Advises the Council and other committees on matters relating to business registrants.

Companies Committee terms of reference

Education Committee

Advises the Council and other committees on optical training and education.

Education Committee terms of reference

Investigation Committee

Decides whether an allegation that a registrant’s fitness to practise, train or carry on business is impaired should be referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee.

Registration Committee

Advises the Council on registration issues, including the rules governing registration and publication of the registers.

Registration Committee terms of reference

Standards Committee

Advises the Council on the standards of conduct and performance expected of current and potential registrants.

Standards Committee terms of reference


Audit, Risk, and Finance Committee

Advises the Council and other committees on procedures relating to budgeting and financial performance, risk management and internal and external audit. 

Audit, Risk and Finance Committee terms of reference

Remuneration Committee

Advises the Council on fee payments, allowances and expenses and the remuneration package of the Registrar. 

Remuneration Committee terms of reference

Nominations Committee

Approves our Council and committee appointment process, Council and committee appraisal process and plans for member appointments and reappointments (excluding Council members) and matters relating to the continuation in office of any member.

Nominations Committee terms of reference

Investment Committee

Advises and makes recommendations to the Council on investment of our assets. 

Investment Committee terms of reference