GOC erases Surrey based dispensing optician

The General Optical Council (GOC), the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, has decided to erase Michael Bowles, a dispensing optician based in Surrey, from its register. He will now be unable to practise as a dispensing optician in the UK.

A GOC Fitness to Practise Committee found his fitness to practise impaired by reason of misconduct relating to his serious and sustained abuse of position towards a junior member of his staff.

In making the decision, the Committee, chaired by Rachel O’Connell said:

"The Committee considered that a fundamental tenet of the profession was an obligation to uphold professional standards of behaviour particularly in the workplace and in relation to more junior members of staff. The Registrant had clearly violated this fundamental tenet and had brought the profession into disrepute.

"The Registrant’s conduct involved the abuse of a senior position and the mistreatment of an employee in a more junior position. It not only involved inappropriate remarks but also physical touching.

"In the Committee’s view, the sustained misconduct in this case showed evidence of harmful deep-seated personality and attitudinal problems; in particular, because the misconduct was sustained over several months.

"The Registrant’s misconduct was and is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration and the Committee has concluded that the only proportionate outcome is an order for erasure."

Mr Bowles has until 15 August 2019 to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.



  1. The full determination can be found on our past hearings page
  2. A full transcript of the hearing is available on request and payment of an administration charge.
  3. Read a guide on how the FTP process works
  4. The registrant’s date of most recent registration with the GOC as a dispensing optician was 16 January 2017. His GOC registration number is D-11623. His last registered contact address was in Surrey, England.

For media enquiries please contact:

GOC Communications Team

General Optical Council

t: 020 7580 3898 (option 3)

e: communications@optical.org

About the General Optical Council

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, performance and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 30,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.