News from Council – 8 December 2021

We held our last Council meeting of the year, which considered updated requirements for independent prescribing categories, the new GOC website, registrant fees, and the business plan for 2022-23.  

The meeting also marked Lesley Longstone’s last Council meeting as Chief Executive and Registrar (CEO). Leonie Milliner, current GOC Director of Education, will take up the role of CEO on 4 January 2022. 

Approved updated independent prescribing requirements  

Council approved updated education and training requirements for GOC-approved qualifications in Additional Supply (AS), Supplementary Prescribing (SP) and/or Independent Prescribing (IP) categories. 

They replace ‘A Handbook for Optometry Specialist Registration in Therapeutic Prescribing’ (published in July 2008) and the ‘Competency Framework for Independent Prescribing’ (published in 2011), and the policies on supervision and recognition of prior learning. 

Read our press release for more information. 

New GOC public website launched  

Council noted the launch of the new public website. The website will transform the experience of visitors in line with our five-year strategy to become ‘Fit for the Future’ and be recognised for delivering world-class regulation and excellent customer service.  

Work is also underway to develop and deliver an improved MyGOC registrant portal as part of our commitment to enhance our use of digital technology to improve the way we operate. 

Freeze on registrant fees 

Council agreed to freeze registrant fees for 2022-23 due to the impact of COVID-19 on registrants and the economy. 

The annual fee for fully qualified registrants and optical businesses will remain at £360, and £30 for students.  

Draft business plan 2022-23 approved  

Council approved the draft business plan for 2022-23, which supports year three of the five-year ‘Fit for the Future’ strategic plan.  

The business plan includes work to review business regulation, consult on new Standards of Practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians, launch of the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme to replace Continuing Education and Training (CET), and update of the registrant MyGOC portal. 

The plan also incorporates our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy, which includes various workstreams such as mandatory EDI training for all staff and the production of the EDI annual report. 

Next meeting 

The next Council meeting will take place on Wednesday 16 March 2022.  

Council papers 

View the December Council meeting papers for more information.