GOC registrants demonstrate their continued fitness to practise

New figures released by the GOC today show that the vast majority of optical practitioners have maintained their commitment to their profession by meeting their Continuing Education Training (CET) requirements.

The (GOC) removed 392 individual practitioners from its register for failing to meet their CET requirements – less than 2% of registrants.

Marcus Dye, GOC Head of Standards and CET, said:

"I would like to congratulate all registrants who met their 2016 –18 CET requirements and applied for renewal on time. As the optical professions change rapidly, it is more vital than ever that optical practitioners keep their skills and knowledge up to date, so they can continue to deliver high standards of care to their patients".

40 optometrists and 58 dispensing opticians failed to renew their registration by the 31 March 2019 deadline and have been removed from the register. It is now illegal for them to continue practising in the UK.

Yeslin Gearty, GOC Head of Registration, said:

"A very small number of registrants failed to renew by the deadline and have therefore left themselves unable to practise in the UK and will also be removed from the NHS Performers List. I would urge any practitioner, who wishes to restore to the register to start the restoration process as quickly as possible."

Any individual or business registrant who has been removed from the register, but wishes to continue practising or carrying on business, must restore to the register immediately. Applicants must complete the restoration form and pay the restoration fee of £70. Individual practitioners must also provide evidence of having met the necessary CET requirements in the past 12 months.

Read our restoration guidance for students, practitioners and bodies corporate.


For further information please contact:

Communications Team

General Optical Council

t: 020 7307 3478 – option 3

e: communications@optical.org 

Notes to editors

  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. Registrants are required to meet their CET requirements to remain on the GOC register.
  3. The 2016-18 Continuing Education and Training (CET) cycle ended on 31 December 2018.
  4. Registrants who believed their failure to meet CET requirements was due to an inaccuracy in their CET records were able to make a dispute application and eligible registrants were able to make a special circumstance application. Written guidance was sent to all registrants. Registrants were given notice of their removal in a formal letter and given the opportunity to appeal the decision. Anyone who did not appeal or whose appeal failed was removed from the register on 1 April 2019.
  5. A full breakdown of those removed for failing to apply for retention:
    • Optometrists:40
    • Dispensing opticians:58
    • Bodies corporate:45
  6. A breakdown of those removed for failing to meet their CET requirements:
    • Optometrists:216
    • Dispensing opticians:175
  7. 22314 individual registrants and 2669 body corporates successfully renewed their registration.
  8. A full guide on CET can be found on the GOC’s website.