Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians

Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians

The General Optical Council

We are the UK regulator for the optical professions with statutory responsibility for setting standards.

This section sets out the nineteen standards that you must meet as an optical professional. These standards are not listed in order of priority and include both standards relating to your behaviour and your professional performance.

You will need to use your professional judgement in deciding how to meet the standards. To help you in doing so, we have provided additional information about what we expect of you under each standard.

In relation to a small number of standards we may produce supplementary material where we feel that registrants need additional support.

Your role as a professional

As a healthcare professional you have a responsibility to ensure the care and safety of your patients and the public and to uphold professional standards.

You are professionally accountable and personally responsible for your practice and for what you do or do not do, no matter what direction or guidance you are given by an employer or colleague. This means you must always be able to justify your decisions and actions.

If someone raises concerns about your fitness to practise, we will refer to these standards when deciding if we need to take any action. You will need to demonstrate that your decision making was informed by these standards and that you have acted in the best interests of your patients.

Making the care of your patients your first and overriding concern

The care, well-being and safety of patients must always be your first concern. This is at the heart of being a healthcare professional. Even if you do not have direct contact with patients, your decisions or behaviour can still affect their care and safety.