GOC welcomes the Professional Standards Authority performance review

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today welcomed the publication of the Professional Standards Authority’s (‘the Authority’) annual review of our performance for 2018/19. The GOC has met 22 of the 24 Standards of Good Regulation.

The GOC met all the relevant standards for Guidance and Standards, Education and Training, and Registration. Eight out of the ten standards for Fitness to Practise (FTP) were met – the two standards not met related to the timeliness of FTP cases and communication of FTP decisions.

The Authority’s report notes the GOC’s commitment to improve the timeliness of FTP cases as part of its Strategic Plan for 2020-25, which includes upgrading its case management system, improving communication with NHS regional contacts and businesses, and introducing case management hearings.

The Authority also noted the improvements the GOC made to ensure information on its register is easily accessible in order to meet the third Registration standard, which the GOC had not met last year.

Lesley Longstone, GOC Chief Executive and Registrar said:

"We welcome the Authority’s report and are pleased that they have recognised our commitment to improving our FTP processes. We know this is an area which requires continuous improvement and we have put several measures in place in our ‘Fit for the future’ Strategic Plan for 2020-25 to address this.

These measures will take some time to have an impact, but we have already seen shorter times for FTP cases to be heard due to removal of the cap on hearings panel members, which has allowed us to hold more hearings simultaneously.

We have also made improvements to the quality of data on our register of optometrists and dispensing opticians which has been recognised by the Authority.

We look forward to continuing to make progress with our FTP processes so we can fulfil our regulatory role of protecting the public to the best of our ability."

Read the full PSA report.