Standards for optical businesses

3.2 Staff are suitably trained, qualified and registered

Why is this Standard necessary?

It is a legal requirement that those undertaking restricted functions are appropriately registered with the GOC or the General Medical Council (GMC). In addition, staff undertaking other roles in the optical business need to have suitable levels of training so as not to have an adverse impact on patient safety or trust. It is therefore crucial from both healthcare and commercial perspectives that the business takes a proactive role in ensuring its staff are suitably trained, qualified and registered (where necessary).

An individual’s learning needs to be lifelong so that they can keep up-to-date with changes in outlook, technology and scope of their profession, and ensure that they remain fit to practise. It is important therefore that the business environment is one in which staff feel able to learn and grow.

To achieve this, your business:

  1. Requires that those working as optometrists and dispensing opticians (and student optometrists and student dispensing opticians) have up-to-date registration with the GOC, and take reasonable steps to ensure that this is the case;
  2. Supports its staff to develop their communication skills and to treat patients with care and compassion;
  3. Encourages staff to undertake learning and development in professional decision-making, as appropriate to their role;
  4. Prepares new staff to understand how patient care is delivered in your specific business setting;
  5. Makes staff aware that they must only work within the limits of their competence, and takes appropriate action where they do not;
  6. Provides a system for the monitoring of staff objectives and training needs, as appropriate;
  7. Supports GOC registrants to meet their professional requirements, including Standards of Practice for Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians and Standards for Optical Students and continuing education and training (CET) requirements.