Over 97 per cent of registrants meet CET requirements

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today released figures showing that over 97 per cent of all registrants met their Continuing Education and Training (CET) requirements for the 2016-18 cycle.

The number of registrants at risk of removal for failing to meet their requirements is just 435, which represents less than 2% of the total register. A further 130 had already told the GOC they would be withdrawing or retiring from the register.

In line with GOC rules some registrants may be able to lodge a dispute application if they believe there is an inaccuracy in their CET record or be able to demonstrate exceptional circumstances meant they were unable to meet their CET target, meaning the number of registrants removed is likely to be even lower than 435.

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

"I am delighted that the vast majority of registrants completed their CET by the 31 December 2018 deadline. CET is vital in ensuring registrants keep their skills and knowledge up to date, so they can continue to deliver high standards of clinical care to their patients.

"We will be writing shortly to all registrants who did not meet the requirements to explain the steps that we will take before they are removed from the register, including the appeal process.

"I would like to thank all stakeholders for their support over the cycle, including professional bodies who encouraged registrants to meet their targets, and all CET providers, especially for their work in providing CET so close to the deadline for registrants still requiring points."

Following feedback from the publication of the Fit for the Future (CET) consultation, the GOC will not make any significant changes to the CET scheme until 2022. This will ensure CET providers have sufficient time to prepare for changes and enhance the ability of the GOC to develop a CET scheme which fulfils the aspirations the optical sector has for a new scheme.

The CET cycle for 2019-21 will maintain existing requirements – the GOC will shortly be sending all registrants a new digital guide setting these out in detail.

A new look MyCET system for registrants to find and log CET is now open for the 2019-21 cycle. The revamped system has a new contemporary design, and now includes an easy to use single-screen interface for registrants to review their requirements and accept points. The new design also makes accessing MyCET via tablets and smartphones easier.


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. At the end of the cycle, 565 registrants (306 optometrists and 259 dispensing opticians) had not met their CET requirements; this figure includes the 130 registrants who had chosen to retire/withdraw from the register.
  4. Registrants who believe their failure to meet CET requirements is due to an inaccuracy in their CET records can make a dispute application. Written guidance will be sent to all registrants.
  5. Registrants who are to be removed from the register will be given notice in a formal letter and given the opportunity to appeal the decision. Anyone who does not appeal will be removed from the register by 1 April 2019.