Sanctions we can impose
Other content in this section
There are different types of sanctions we can impose if our Fitness or Practise Committee decide that an individual’s fitness to practise is impaired. Sanctions come into effect 28 days after the substantive hearing at which they were imposed unless an immediate order is imposed.
If the Hearings Panel decide that the individual’s fitness to practise is not impaired, they may issue a warning about their future conduct or performance.
A warning is not subject to an appeal period and the sanction will come into effect immediately.
A financial penalty of no more than £50,000 can be imposed. The penalty must be paid within a specified length of time which is set by the committee.
If the penalty is not paid, we may take court action to recover the full amount. Failure is reported to our Investigation Committee for further action.
The individual can stay on the relevant register providing they comply with certain conditions, such as undertaking extra training. Once the period of conditional registration has ended, a review hearing may be held to determine whether the registrant should remain subject to conditions, or if other sanctions should be imposed.
Suspension from the register
The individual’s name is temporarily removed from the relevant register(s) and cannot practise as an optometrist/dispensing optician, or in the case of student registrant, cannot continue with their training for the duration of the suspension.
If the individual is suspended from a specialty register, they may not perform any duties associated with that specialty for the duration of the suspension. The maximum suspension period is 12 months. Once the suspension period has ended, a review hearing may be held to determine whether they should remain suspended, or if other sanctions should be imposed.
Erasure from the registers
The individual’s name will be removed from the register and cannot practise as an optometrist/ dispensing optician, or in the case of student registrant, cannot continue with their training. If the individual’s name is removed from a specialty register, they cannot perform any duties associated with that specialty. This sanction cannot be imposed if an individual’s fitness to practise is found to be impaired because of adverse physical and/or mental health.
Hearings and Indicative Sanctions Guidance
The Hearings and Indicative Sanctions Guidance has been developed by our Council for use by the Fitness to Practise Committee when undertaking hearings and considering what sanction, if any, to impose following a finding of impaired fitness to practise.