Refraction ruled out by GOC for DOs

Andrew McClean explores the GOC’s initial response to industry feedback on the Opticians Act

A General Optical Council (GOC) meeting held on March 22 approved the regulator’s response to the 2022 call for evidence on the Opticians Act.

The GOC’s proposed programme of legislative reform was based on an analysis of responses submitted by stakeholders.

The call for evidence was conducted to help the GOC consider whether the Opticians Act was fit for purpose and whether there was any evidence of impact to support any changes to the Act.

It was part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) consultation that sought to modernise the regulatory frameworks for fitness to practise, education, registration and governance across all healthcare regulators.

The GOC consulted on associated policies, specifically whether the GOC should amend or remove its 2013 statement on testing of sight, which stated that refraction cannot be delegated for the purposes of a sight test.

It was decided not to permit refraction by dispensing opticians for the purpose of a sight test. However, the GOC agreed to revisit its 2013 policy statement so it reflected contemporary practice and took into account technological developments and changing business models.

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