How we approve new programmes

We welcome expressions of interest from providers seeking to establish new optical education provision fully or partially leading to a registrable qualification in optometry, ophthalmic dispensing, therapeutic prescribing or contact lens optics.

Education providers seeking to establish a new optical education programme or qualification should contact us at education@optical.org.

The expression of interest should include, as a minimum:

  • The name of the institution;
  • The title of the proposed programme;
  • The name(s) of the programme lead and senior management; and
  • The proposed start date for the programme.

As of March 2021, any new optometry and ophthalmic dispensing programmes must meet our new education and training requirements, which can be found here.

Applications for new programmes in additional supply (AS), supplementary prescribing (SP) and independent prescribing (IP), must currently meet our requirements, as listed in our Independent Prescribing handbook.

From 1 January 2022, any new programmes will be expected to meet our updated education and training requirements for GOC approved qualifications in additional supply (AS), supplementary prescribing (SP) and independent prescribing (IP), which were approved by Council on 8 December 2021. Our Council papers can be accessed here

Applications for new contact lens programmes must currently meet our requirements as outlined in our Contact Lens handbook.

Updated requirements for GOC approved qualifications as a contact lens optician have been consulted on. These proposals can be accessed via our Consultation hub, and will be considered for approval by Council in March 2022.