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  • ABDO

    Association of British Dispensing Opticians - the representative body for dispensing opticians in the UK.

  • ACLM

    Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers

  • AMD

    Age-related macular degeneration

  • AOP

    Association of Optometrists - the representative body for optometrists in the UK.

  • BCLA

    British Contact Lens Association

  • Body corporate

    A body corporate is a limited company or limited liability partnership that has been incorporated with Companies House. Bodies corporate registered with the GOC are known as business registrants.

  • Business registrant

    A business registrant is a body corporate that has registered with the GOC.

  • DH

    Department of Health

  • Dispensing optician

    A person who fits and supplies glasses or low vision aids.

  • DPA

    Data Protection Act. The DPA regulates the processing of information relating to individuals, including the obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such information.

  • EEA

    European Economic Area

  • FMO

    Federation of Manufacturing Opticians

  • FODO

    Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians

  • FoI

    Freedom of Information. Freedom of information laws allow access by the general public to data held by national governments and public bodies.

  • FTP

    Fitness to practise. A registrant’s ability to carry out their professional duties as outlined in the Opticians Act.

  • IC

    Investigation Committee. A GOC committee which investigates allegations about registrants

  • Lay member

    In the GOC’s case a lay member is a member of Council or one of its committees who does not hold an optical qualification.

  • LOC

    Local Optometric Committee

  • OCCS

    Optical Consumer Complaints Service. GOC-funded body which deals with complaints relating to issues (refunds, broken glasses, etc) that do not call an optician’s fitness to practise into question.

  • Optometrist

    A person who tests your sight and can diagnose eye conditions. They can also fit and supply spectacles, low vision aids or contact lenses.

  • PQE

    Professional Qualifying Examination

  • Privy Council

    The part of Her Majesty’s Government which advises on the exercise of prerogative powers and certain functions assigned to The Queen and the Council by Act of Parliament.

  • Professional bodies

    The collective term used to refer to the organisations who represent the optical professions in the UK.

  • Protected title

    Protected titles are legally reserved for GOC registrants. They are: (registered) optometrist; (registered) dispensing optician; (registered) ophthalmic optician; and (registered) optician(s).

  • PSA

    Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. Oversees the work of the GOC and the eight other UK healthcare regulators

  • Registrant member

    A member of the GOC Council (or its committees) whose name appears on the GOC register.

  • RNIB

    Royal National Institute of Blind People - a UK charity supporting blind and partially-sighted people.

  • SCM

    Senior Council Member The Senior Council Member’s role is to act as a sounding board for the Chair of Council; serve as an intermediary for other Council members; and formally manage the appraisal of the Chair’s performance annually.

  • SMT

    Senior Management Team. The GOC’s SMT comprises the Chief Executive and Registrar, the Director of Resources, the Director of Policy and Communications and the Director of Regulation.

  • Specialty

    An area of skilled practise that requires additional training, assessment and qualification. Registrants with a specialty entered against their name in the opticians register are qualified to perform additional duties to those of a normal optometrists or dispensing optician.

  • The College

    The College of Optometrists. The professional body for optometrists in the UK.

  • Trustees

    A member of a charity’s board or management committee. In the GOC‘s case its trustees are its 12 Council members.

  • UK Corporate Governance Code

    The UK Corporate Governance Code sets out standards of good practice in relation to board leadership and effectiveness, remuneration, accountability and relations with shareholders