Call for evidence on the Opticians Act and consultation on GOC policies

In March, we launched a call for evidence on the need for change to the Opticians Act and a consultation on associated General Optical Council (GOC) policies. Both offer a unique opportunity for stakeholders including patients, the public, registrants, sector bodies and employers, to ensure that legislation and regulation are fit for the future.    

We have used the catalyst of planned reforms to health and social care regulators’ legislation by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to consider what further changes are needed for the aspects of the Act that are specific to the GOC or the practice of optometry and dispensing optics.

The call for evidence and consultation seeks views, information and factual evidence on the following:  

  • objectives for legislative reform;  
  • protection of title, restricted activities and registers;  
  • regulation of businesses; 
  • testing of sight;  
  • fitting of contact lenses;
  • sale and supply of optical appliances; and
  • delivery of remote care and technology. 

Supporting materials 

To deepen understanding and help stakeholders respond to the call for evidence and consultation, we have produced a series of presentations and FAQs to introduce the call for evidence and consultation, explain why we’re undertaking it and what we want from stakeholders, and outline the current legal requirements in place. 


In these two presentations, Marie Bunby, our Head of Strategy, Policy and Co-Production, introduces the call for evidence and looks at the DHSC’s regulatory reforms more broadly.  

Introduction to the call for evidence on the Opticians Act 1989 and consultation on associated GOC policies  

We look at what the call for evidence is, why we’re doing it and what we want from stakeholders. 

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) regulatory reforms   

We look at why the DHSC want to reform regulation of healthcare professionals, what their proposals are, what our position is and how our stakeholders can get involved.  

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

These FAQs focus on the different regulations and requirements currently in place for registrants to help stakeholders make an informed decision before responding to the corresponding section of the consultation.   

Responding to the consultation 

Visit the GOC Consultation Hub to respond to the Call for Evidence and consultation. The deadline for responses is 18 July.