How to raise a concern about an optician
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Who can raise a concern?
Anyone can raise a concern with us about an optician, optical student, or optical business if they think an optician is not fit to practise (or train), or run a GOC-registered business. We receive complaints/concerns from members of the public, patients, carers, employers, the police and other GOC registrants.
We have also produced guidance for registrants in situations where they need to consider the professional requirement to speak up when patient or public safety may be at risk. Read our 'Speaking up' guidance.
What is fitness to practise?
If an optician is described as ‘fit to practise’, it means they meet the standards of health, character, knowledge, skill and behaviour that are necessary for them to do their job safely and effectively. Read more about our Standards.
Should I raise my concern with the GOC?
There are many different types of concern that someone could have, and we want to make sure your particular concern is seen by the right organisation as soon as possible. This might be us but, depending on your concern, another organisation might be better placed to help.
The types of concern we can investigate
We are only able to investigate serious concerns about an optician, which may mean that they are not fit to practise, including:
- Poor professional performance, such as failing to notice signs of eye disease
- Physical or mental health problems affecting their work
- Inappropriate behaviour, such as violence or sexual assault
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work
- Fraud or dishonesty
- A criminal conviction or caution.
What we can't do
- Arrange refunds, compensation or apologies
- Give you legal advice
- Give you an explanation of what has happened to you
- Order an optician to give you access to your records.
Even if your complaint is about a subject we cannot investigate, we can still give you information on where you can go to get help. The Optical Consumer Complaints Service can assist with complaints about the goods you have received (glasses, contact lenses, etc) and/or the service provided.
We assess all new referrals against our published Acceptance Criteria. The criteria help us to decide whether or not a referral constitutes an allegation that a registrant's fitness to practise is impaired:
We will not investigate referrals that do not meet its Acceptance Criteria.
Raising your concern
Having read the information above and our guide on how to complain about an optician do you still wish to raise your concern with us?