GOC yn ymgynghori ar strategaeth ddrafft ar gyfer 2025-30

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched a consultation on its draft strategy for 2025-30. This features new vision and mission statements to guide the GOC’s work over the next five-year period, underpinned by three key strategic objectives. The strategy will cover the period 1 April 2025 – 31 March 2030.

The GOC’s proposed vision – ‘Safe and effective eye care for all’ – provides a concise and externally focused goal of what the GOC seeks to achieve for the public. Whilst the GOC’s mission remains to protect the public, the language has been updated to reflect changing terminology in the sector – ‘To protect the public by upholding high standards in eye care services.’

These are supported by three strategic objectives: creating fairer and more inclusive eye care services; supporting responsible innovation and protecting the public; and preventing harm through agile regulation.

The GOC’s current strategy, ‘Fit for the future’, covers the period 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2025. During this time, the GOC has made significant improvements to its internal processes and delivered key projects establishing a strong foundation for the future. Key achievements include conducting a strategic review of education, introducing the Council Associates programme, making improvements to fitness to practise processes, and delivering a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme. The GOC also launched a Call for Evidence on the Opticians Act 1989 and associated policies, which brought forward several critical considerations for future work.

The GOC’s progress is demonstrated by the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) latest performance review, in which the GOC met all 18 PSA Standards of Good Regulation for the second year running. In its review, the PSA highlighted the GOC’s work to improve time taken in progressing fitness to practise cases and its strong performance on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).

Chair Dr Anne Wright CBE commented:

“I am proud of all the hard work undertaken to deliver our ‘Fit for the future’ strategy. Now we look to build on these achievements with an ambitious plan of work for the next five years.

From 2025-30, we expect to see significant changes across the sector which will affect the optical professionals we register, the patients they care for, and how this care is delivered. When we launched our current strategy in early 2020, we could not have predicted how our day-to-day lives would soon alter dramatically. It is crucial that our next strategy has the flexibility to meet all the challenges, both anticipated and unprecedented, that may come in 2025-30.

We aim to shift our approach as a regulator, becoming more agile in response to developments in technology, business models, and the workforce and preventing harm before it arises. We will support registrants to deliver more clinical eye care by realising the full benefits of our education and training reforms, while also helping to reduce barriers to patients accessing services and ensuring that those in vulnerable circumstances receive high quality care.”

The consultation can be accessed via the GOC Consultation Hub and is available in both English and Welsh. Responses can also be sent directly to consultations@optical.org. The GOC will use the feedback to inform the development of the final strategy, due in early 2025.

The consultation closes 10 July 2024.