News from Council 13 November 2019

Education Strategic Review update

Council agreed the implementation plan for the Education Strategic Review (ESR), which is split into three stages: key deliverables, provider readiness and implementation.

The first stage began in September 2019 with the creation of the Expert Advisory Groups (EAGs), who are helping to deliver the key project deliverables:

  • Learning Outcomes for students
  • Education Standards for providers
  • A common assessment framework
  • A standards evaluation (QA) framework (SEF).

Stage one will end in July 2020 and then move in to stage two which will allow education providers time to prepare for implementation. The last stage is divided into three tranches to accommodate providers’ needs and will begin in September 2022 and conclude in September 2024.

Gareth Hadley, Chair of the General Optical Council, said:

"This is a historically significant decision marking the biggest shake up of optical education for over 35 years. The certainty that this timetable provides will assist all of us, including educational establishments themselves, to begin the process of implementation.

"We will continue to engage with the sector as we elaborate the details, but there is no turning back, these reforms will happen. This work, alongside our Continuing Education and Training (CET) Review, will ensure both new and old registrants are equipped for opportunities and challenges that could not have been imagined when the current system was designed."

Strategic Plan 2020-2026

Council provided feedback on the draft that was presented to them and agreed that the updated strategic plan should be issued for full public consultation. The plan will form the basis of the General Optical Council’s new strategic objectives from 2020. It will be consulted on from December to January through the GOC Consultation Hub before a final version of the strategy is presented to Council in February 2020.

Teesside University and University of Highlands and Islands

Council granted provisional approval to both Teesside University and University of Highlands and Islands (UHI) to deliver optometry programmes. Teesside University will begin delivery of their programme in January 2020, with subsequent cohorts starting annually in September 2020. UHI will begin delivery of their programme in September 2020.

Registration fees 2020-21

Council agreed to increase the annual registration fee by £10, from £350 to £360, which is in line with previous years’ fee increases.

View the Council papers in full.