How-to guide: Registrant-led peer review

Georgina Carter, Operations Manager – Education & CPD, provides guidance around registrant-led peer review: 

As part of our 2022-24 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) cycle, all fully-qualified registrants must participate in at least one peer review event.  

Peer reviews are an opportunity for you to meet with other registrants to discuss experiences in practice, and exchange ideas about different ways of handling them. We know that our registrants have a lot of good practice to share and peer review is there to help you learn from each other. 

You may choose to participate in a peer review activity organised and led by a GOC-approved CPD provider (provider-led peer review) or you may organise and run a peer review activity yourself (registrant-led peer review). 

We are aware that the majority of registrants have already undertaken their peer review for this cycle. However, if you are yet to complete one and keen to carry out a registrant-led peer review, we have put together this short ‘how-to’ guide.  

Who counts as a peer for your peer review? 

Both optometrists and dispensing opticians count as peers of each other for the purposes of peer review.  

If you have a specialty, peer review must be undertaken with a registrant holding the same specialty. The exception is contact lens opticians who can conduct their peer review with optometrists.  

For registrant-led peer review, we recommend a group size of between four to eight peers.  

Carrying out registrant-led peer review 

You and your peers will need to determine what topics will be discussed, intended learning outcomes and what domains will be covered. You can cover up to a maximum of two core domains, or – for those with a specialty - two core domains and a specialty domain. 

Sufficient time should be given to allow a thorough and meaningful discussion to take place, with everyone contributing and reflecting. Good practice is a minimum of one hour and two cases, although depending on the complexity of the cases, this may need to be more.  

To help with logging your registrant-led peer review, you’ll each need to keep records of the cases you have discussed, what you learnt, and the domains covered. 

It is unlikely that you will need a facilitator for registrant-led peer reviews. In the exceptional circumstance that one is required - for example, if you are a group of locums using pre-designed cases and have asked someone to facilitate the conversation - the facilitator would get one general point through self-directed CPD. This would not count towards their peer review requirement. 

After the event 

You (and all peers involved) should upload the details of your peer review to your own MyCPD accounts. Please note, registrant-led peer review is no longer pre-approved like it was in previous Continuing Education and Training (CET) cycles – it is now counted and uploaded as self-directed CPD on your MyCPD account.  

When uploading to MyCPD, you will all need to input the details of the other peers who took part, complete a reflection statement, and submit appropriate evidence.   

For a reflection statement, you might wish to consider what your expectations were for the peer review, what you learnt, whether you will be applying the learning to your practice (and why), and if so, how.  

For appropriate evidence, a good rule of thumb is to think of something only those who attended and took part would be party to. This could be an email exchange between participants, or any notes you have made during the discussion. It could also include a copy of anonymised case notes.  

Whether you undertake a registrant-led or provider-led CPD, please make sure you have completed your peer review requirement by 31 December 2024. 

For more information about the GOC’s requirements, read our CPD: A guide for registrants, browse the useful materials on our MyCPD platform, or you can contact