GOC announces the departure of Director of Strategy Alistair Bridge and the appointment of Leonie Milliner as Senior Education Adviser

The General Optical Council (GOC) has announced that Director of Strategy, Alistair Bridge, will be leaving in February to become Head of Strategy at the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).

During Alistair’s seven years as a member of the GOC’s senior management team, he led the organisation’s policy, standards, communications, research and governance functions and led the development of new Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians and new Standards for Optical Businesses.

At the same time, the GOC has welcomed Leonie Milliner as Senior Education Adviser to ensure delivery of its strategic education reforms and provide advice and support in relation to broader education matters. Leonie brings to the role extensive education experience, having been a lay member and team leader (Chair) of the General Pharmaceutical Council's Accreditation Panel, a lay member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives’ Qualification Committee, Director of Education at the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Office for Students Teaching Excellence Framework main board and Chief Executive of the Association for Nutrition, where she oversaw the expansion of nutrition qualifications.

Commenting on these changes, Chief Executive and Registrar Lesley Longstone said:

"I would like to thank Alistair for his substantial contribution to the GOC’s work over the last seven years. His regulatory expertise and understanding of the optical sector have been invaluable to the organisation and I wish him every success in his new role at ABDO.

I am delighted to be welcoming Leonie to the GOC to lead our crucially important education reforms. She brings a wealth of education experience from a range of sectors and I am looking forward to working with her, and all of our stakeholders, to make sure the education and training of optometrists and dispensing opticians is fit for the roles of the future."

As Senior Education Advisor, Leonie’s immediate focus will be on delivery of the current stage of the Education Strategic Review (ESR) by summer 2020, including the development of learning outcomes for students, a common assessment framework, education standards for providers and a quality assurance framework to evaluate performance against these standards. Leonie will also support cross-sector dialogue to explore the practical barriers to implementation of the ESR and lead preparations for the next stage of the project, which will begin in summer 2020.