Tenders

Mapping optical businesses

We are seeking an analysis of optical businesses to inform our work on possible reform of the Opticians Act 1989. This will involve designing and conducting the research, analysing the findings, and producing a report.

The aim of the research is to:

  • build a picture of the size and characteristics of UK optical businesses;
  • assess the benefits and risks these businesses present; and
  • estimate costs of different options for extending business regulation.

We have an approved budget of up to a total cost of £30,000 including VAT and all other contractor costs. Proposals over £30,000 will not be considered.

The deadline for tenders is 5pm on 24 October 2022. See the full invitation to tender for more information.

Patient and public views on refraction

We are looking to commission deliberative research to understand the views of patients and the general public on whether dispensing opticians should be permitted to carry out refraction for the purposes of the sight test, and, if so, under what circumstances and regulatory controls. This will involve designing and conducting the research, then analysing and reporting on the findings.

The research, alongside other evidence on this topic, will inform our policy development as part of its call for evidence on legislative reform project.

The aim of the research is to help us better understand: 

  • views and perceptions of both patients and the public on these issues, including on the core question of whether dispensing opticians should be allowed to refract for the purposes of the sight test;
  • if dispensing opticians were permitted to refract, should this be limited in some way, e.g. only under the supervision of an optometrist or registered medical practitioner; and
  • what additional regulatory safeguards would give patients and the public confidence in the system and mitigate any risks. 

We have an approved budget of up to a total cost of £40,000 including VAT and all other contractor costs. Proposals over £40,000 will not be considered.

The deadline for tenders is 5pm on 1 November 2022. See the full invitation to tender for more information.

International comparisons on refraction services with the sight test model in the UK

We are seeking a primarily desk-based analysis of international comparisons with countries where refraction and eye health checks are not carried out by the same person (as would normally be the case in a sight test carried out in the UK), to inform our work on possible reform of the Opticians Act 1989 (‘the Act’) and associated GOC policies. This will involve designing and conducting the research, analysing the findings, and producing a report.

The aim of the research is to:

  • learn more about eye health models in countries where the refraction and eye health checks are not carried out by the same person (even where one person takes responsibility for both processes);
  • compare avoidable sight loss rates in those countries with the UK’s rates of avoidable sight loss and analyse the reasons for the differences in rates; and
  • obtain an up to date figure (and costs) of avoidable sight loss in the UK.

We are tendering at a total cost of approximately £6,000 including VAT and all other contractor costs. Proposals over £6,000 will not be considered.

The deadline for tenders is 5pm on 24 October 2022. See the full invitation to tender for more information.

Clinical advice on refraction for the purposes of the sight test

We are seeking expert clinical advice to understand:

  • how the sight test is delivered by commercial providers of optical services across the four nations of the UK;
  • the possible impacts where the refraction, binocular vision and eye health checks are not carried out by the same person, both with and without the oversight/supervision of an optometrist or registered medical practitioner;
  • the possible impacts where the refraction, binocular vision and eye health checks are not carried out at the same time or in the same place, both with and without the oversight/supervision of an optometrist or registered medical practitioner; and
  • more about the role of orthoptists in refraction and sight testing.

The research will help inform our work on possible reform of the Opticians Act 1989 (‘the Act’) and associated GOC policies. This will involve designing and conducting the research, analysing the findings, and producing a report.

We are tendering at a total cost of approximately £15,000 including VAT and all other contractor costs. Proposals over £15,000 will not be considered.

The deadline for tenders is 5pm on 24 October 2022. See the full invitation to tender for more information.