GOC publishes response to COVID-19 statements consultation

The General Optical Council (GOC) has published its response to its COVID-19 statements consultation, alongside a set of updated statements. The statements will now all be aligned to The College of Optometrists’ red-amber-green classification system, which outlines the various phases of the pandemic-based risk and restrictions in place.

The GOC aligned with this system in order to reduce the number of different reference points for registrants and to ensure that its expectations can be more clearly linked to the guidance being offered by the professional associations. Each statement is clearly marked at the top with the phase in which it applies.

All of the statements were reviewed and updated following the analysis of the consultation responses and registrants have been provided with a summary of the amendments. The GOC will update its COVID-19 webpage to archive older versions of the statements and the statements that no longer apply so they can be used as a reference point.

The majority of statements will take effect from 21 June 2021 to allow registrants time to prepare, with the exception of the four statements that relate to the internal GOC functions of Education, CET, Fitness to Practise and Registration, which will take effect from 28 May 2021. The effective date is clearly marked on the statements.

Marcus Dye, GOC Acting Director of Strategy, said: “We would like to thank everyone that responded to our COVID-19 statements consultation. The responses helped us to ensure that our statements continue to support registrants in delivering patient care effectively during the pandemic.

As we move out of the more restrictive lockdown measures we have been in and more of our staff return to the office, we will now only be serving statutory notices electronically where we have consent from the registrant to do so.

We will continue to take the consultation feedback into account as we reflect on our response to COVID-19 and any further guidance that might be required to assist registrants delivering patient care in the future.”

View the GOC’s consultation response and updated statements.