GOC encourages eligible optical businesses to register

The General Optical Council (GOC) is today encouraging eligible optical businesses to get GOC registered.

Limited companies operating as optical businesses which use protected titles such as optometrist or optician, must register with the GOC by law. However, the GOC urge all eligible optical businesses for which business registration is not mandatory to register their business to take advantage of the benefits registration affords.

Alistair Bridge, GOC Director of Strategy, said:

"One of the most significant advantages of registering is greater trust from patients. Independent research showed that 84 per cent of patients interviewed said they would rather ‘use an optical business that meets a certain set of standards, than one that does not’.

"Business registration can also enhance trust from optical professionals because it gives them confidence that their employer operates to the same high professional standards as they do. Additionally, it could give NHS commissioners more confidence about the high standards of the sector as optical professionals take on more clinically complex work.

"Currently thousands of UK optical businesses are registered with the GOC, from small independents to large well-known national chains. But we’re encouraging all those who are unregistered to do so and enjoy the benefits of extra trust."

GOC registered businesses are able to display their registration to their patients by downloading an ‘I’m registered’ logo from MyGOC, personalised with their business’ GOC number.

The GOC is currently pursuing legislative reform to ensure that all businesses carrying out restricted functions are required to register with the GOC. This would create a more level playing field for all optical businesses and give both patients and practitioners assurance that all businesses are regulated.

Find out more about business registration.


For further information please contact: Communications Team

General Optical Council

t: 020 7307 3478 – option 3


Notes to editors:

About the General Optical Council

  1. The GOC is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Its purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, conduct and performance amongst opticians. The Council currently registers over 30,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.
  2. The GOC Code of Conduct for businesses sets out the expectation the GOC has for registered optical businesses. The current Code of Conduct will be replaced by new Standards for Optical Businesses which will take effect from October 2019.
  3. The new Standards provide further information to all optical business owners on the GOC’s expectations of them and will reflect what’s already being done in many businesses, they must be read alongside Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians.
  4. Bodies corporate using the protected terms ophthalmic optician, optician, dispensing optician and optometrist must register their business with the GOC (Opticians Act 1989).
  5. Interviews and focus groups with patients were carried out by independent agency, Pye Tait. The full research report can be found on the GOC website.
  6. The 2019 business registration fee is £350 and is charged on pro-rata basis.