GOC shares insights from 2021 registrant survey

The General Optical Council (GOC) has published the findings from its 2021 registrant survey, which asked registrants about their views and perceptions of the GOC and their experiences of working in clinical practice.

The online survey was conducted by Enventure Research, an independent research company, who also conducted the 2016 registrant survey.

Almost 5,000 registrants responded, representing a 1 percent increase in response rate compared to 2016. 56% of respondents were in optometrist roles, 25% in dispensing optician roles, and 21% were either a student optometrist or dispensing optician.

More than half of respondents (65% and 62% respectively) agreed that the GOC was meeting its strategic objectives to build a culture of continuous improvement and deliver world-class regulatory practice. Just under half (49%) agreed that the GOC is meeting its objective to transform customer service.

The research also highlighted the challenges faced by registrants during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 40% of respondents reporting that they worked beyond their hours, 28% found it difficult to provide patients with the sufficient level of care they needed, and 52% being furloughed by their employer or having their educational course suspended in the last 12 months.

A large proportion of respondents (58%) were satisfied with their job or role over the past 12 months, and 43% plan to gain additional qualifications or skills in the next 12 to 24 months.

Marcus Dye, GOC Acting Director of Strategy, said: “We would like to thank everyone that responded to this year’s registrant survey and Enventure Research for carrying out this work. It’s positive to see that a large proportion of respondents think we are meeting our strategic objectives as we progress through the second year of our ‘Fit for the Future’ strategic plan, and that almost half of respondents plan to bolster their knowledge or skills over the next couple of years.

We know this past year hasn’t been easy for many registrants, so we are thankful for their hard work and dedication to still deliver high quality eye care despite the challenges. It’s been beneficial to gain insight into their experiences during the pandemic and we will use these findings, amongst others, to consider how we can continue to support registrants going forward and also protect the public.”

The full report and infographic are available here.