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General Optical Council Praised

GOC Praised Across All Areas of Work

July 2012

The General Optical Council (GOC) has won praise for its work over the last year.
The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), the body which oversees the GOC, praised work and projects across the GOCís four core functions in its 2011/12 performance review.

As well as commending the GOCís overall performance as a regulator, the review highlighted a number of specific areas. These included the GOCís proposals for enhanced Continuing Education and Training (CET), which comes into effect in January 2013, as an example of how it meets CHREís standards for education and training.

The GOCís online retention system also won praise, with CHRE noting how feedback indicated that it had reduced the burden on registrants while allowing GOC staff to work more efficiently.
The review also noted the GOCís improvements to its online registers, its work in tackling breaches of the Opticians Act, its leading role in collaborating with other regulators and improvements in communicating with those involved in the fitness to practise process.

GOC chair Anna Bradley said, ďIím particularly encouraged that CHRE has highlighted work from all areas of the organisation in their review. 2011/12 was the first year of our current strategic plan and the work we have done is vital in protecting the public. We will continue to work hard during the current year to lead the way in regulation.Ē

Where the review highlighted some areas for improvement, CHRE noted the work that the GOC is already undertaking to address these.

An increase in the number of hearing days per month and the appointment of a clinical adviser and new caseworkers will help to cut the duration of the fitness to practise process. An independent information governance review, to be conducted in the coming weeks, will make the GOCís information governance more robust.

GOC chief executive Samantha Peters added, ďIím pleased that the report supports our good overall performance as a regulator. We work closely with CHRE at all times to ensure we are delivering effective public protection.

ďIím delighted that they have highlighted so much good work that weíve done over the last year, and we will continue the work we have already started to address their improvement points.Ē

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