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Flashcards in The opticians act and the GOC Deck (45)
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when was the opticians act initially passed, updated and recently amended again

- Initially passed in 1958
- Updated act past in 1989
- Has recently been amended again (2005)

Opticians Act 1989 (Amendment) Order 2005 (and supporting rules)


list 3 main functions of the opticians act

- To provide for the registration of opticians and the enrolment of bodies corporate carrying on business as opticians (e.g. optometrists, dispensing opticians and anyone who runs a business as an opticians)

- To regulate the practice of opticians

- To impose restrictions on the testing of sight and the supply of optical appliances (to tell us whose legally allowed to test sight and sell glasses, e.g. optom can test sight and not dispensing optician)


how many sections does the opticians act have and what does each section deal with

Has 5/6 sections

Part 1: The General Optical Council
Part 2: Registration and Training of Opticians
Part 2A: Fitness to Practice
Part 3A: Proceedings and Appeals
Part 4: Restrictions on testing of sight, fitting of contact lenses, sale and supply of optical appliances and use of titles and descriptions
Part 5: Miscellaneous and Supplementary


what 2 things does the opticians act state about the Constitution and functions of the Council (GOC) in part 1 of its act

The GOC:

- Statutory body which regulates dispensing opticians and optometrists (inc student) and bodies corporate carrying on business as optometrists or dispensing opticians.

- Protects the public and promotes high standards of professional conduct and education amongst opticians


how many members does the GOC consist of and since when

6 lay members
6 registrant members

as of April 2009

Prior to 2009 council consisted of 28 members
Reduction due to Government recommendation for constitution of councils


list all the 10 particular/individual committees that the members of the GOC sit on

- The Education Committee
- The Companies Committee
- The Investigation Committee
- The Registration Committee
- The Registration Appeals Committee
- The Standards Committee
- The Fitness to Practise Committee
- The Hearings Panel
- General power to appoint committees
- Powers of delegation


what are the education committee of the GOC responsible for

to see if the university is teaching the optometry students, what they're supposed to teach them and giving the right contact with the patients


what are the investigation committee of the GOC responsible for

- Initial investigation of allegations relating to registrants (first place to go to if someone makes an allegation or complaint)

- Serious Cases referred to the fitness to practice committee, who then follow a procedure similar to what happens in a criminal court

- Some cases may be referred to the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) e.g. if its down to a defective pair of glasses, which is not relevant to the GOC


what are the fitness to practice committee of the GOC responsible for

- Inquiring into and determining allegations relating to registrants FTP

- Referrals made by investigations committee

- Procedure followed is similar to what happens in a criminal court


list all the 5 registration requirements

- Spent sentences, cautions, and any matters currently under investigation

- Any conviction, caution or investigation in relation to a criminal offence apart from matters which have been previously declared (unless GOC Registrar has specifically asked the registrant to declare them again)

- Road traffic offences (speeding, parking fines) except where the matter has been dealt with by way of a ‘fixed penalty notice’ – such matters do not constitute a criminal conviction
NB This type of offence must be recorded but will not in itself jeopardise registration with GOC

- Investigations or determinations by any of the other UK health regulatory bodies, as well as by a primary care organisation

- Any health matters which may currently impair a registrant's fitness to practice


how often does GOC registration need to be renewed and why

- registration lasts one year so needs to be renewed yearly
- because they want you to declare certain things and see if your fit to practise

if you declare a spend sentence, they won't stop you from practising automatically, but if you dont declare something and they find out later, it will look like you've been dishonest
once you have declared something, you dont have to keep declaring and they will send you a letter to say so


what 2 things is required to be a full registrant of the GOC

- professional indemnity
- Continuing Education and Training (CET)


who needs to undertake CET, how does the cycle run, how many points are required per cycle, how many of the points must be met every year and how many in the cycle must be interactive

- All registrants need to undertake CET
- Cycle runs every three years.
- 36 CET points per cycle
- With a minimum of 6 CET points per year
- 18 of the 36 points must be achieved through interactive CET
- Specific requirements various groups: Optometrists, Therapeutic Specialist Optometrists, DOs, CLOs


what is the specific CET requirement for an optometrist

36 general points which must include:

- At least one point obtained for participation in a peer review group or peer discussion event
- All optometry competency units E.g. Communication, Professional Conduct (from certain competency areas etc)


what are DOCET

The Directorate of continuing Education and Training

Special Committee set up by the Department of Health in 1989 (the government) to oversee the management of government funds set aside for the provision of optometric continuing education and training for all UK registered optometrists


what does the fitness to practice part of the opticians act regard

- Deals with matters relating to a registrants (including students) fitness to practice (qualified registrants) and fitness to undertake training (students)

- Procedure to be followed if a registrants fitness to practice is impaired. E.g. Removal from Register

if make mistake as a student, their supervisor has to face a fitness to practice procedure


what does the Proceedings and Appeals part of the opticians act regard

- Serving Notification
- Procedures to be adopted by the Fitness to Practice and Registration Appeals Committee

if someone is found to have something wrong with their fitness to practice, then this describes what the procedure for notification is


what does the standard of proof regard

It is for the fitness to practice committee

- the level of proof required in a legal action to convince the court that a given proposition is true.
- degree of proof required depends on the circumstances of the proposition
- can be either ‘balance of probabilities’ or ‘beyond reasonable doubt’


what is the balance of probabilities

- Standard required in most civil cases.
- Standard met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. i.e. greater than 50% chance that the proposition is true (or 50% chance that somebody is guilty)


what is beyond reasonable doubt

- Standard required in most criminal cases.
- Proposition must be proven to the extent that there is no "reasonable doubt" in the mind of a reasonable person (usually this means the mind of the judge or jury).
(90% evidence to suggest that they're guilty)


what is the standard of proof used by the GOC and explain how it works

- Burden of proof lies with the GOC (prosecutor) and must prove them on balance of probabilities - Civil standard proof (that someone is guilty)
- Defendant must prove their case on balance of probabilities

Civil standard does not require much proof

Prior to November 2008 all Fitness to practice hearings used to operate on beyond reasonable doubt - Criminal Standard


what 4 things can disciplinary proceedings i.e. if your found guilty result in

- Conditional registration
- Erasure
- Suspension
- Penalty Order (up to £50,000)

or a combination of these


what is a conditional registration disciplinary proceeding

you have to do additional training for certain amount of hours e.g. at MEH with a consultant and once they've signed you off, you can come back on the register


what does the 'testing of sight' section in the opticians act regarding Restrictions on testing of sight, fitting of contact lenses, sale and supply of optical appliances and use of titles and descriptions state

Testing of Sight - Can only be undertaken by a registered optometrist and medical practitioner (inc prescription of glasses)

in the hospital, an orthoptist can do the refraction and the consultant can sign it off = legal because somebody is taking responsibility for that refraction


what does the 'fitting of contact lenses' section in the opticians act regarding Restrictions on testing of sight, fitting of contact lenses, sale and supply of optical appliances and use of titles and descriptions state

Fitting of contact lenses - Can only be undertaken by a registered optometrist, contact lens optician and general medical practitioner


what does the 'duties to be performed in sight testing' section in the opticians act regarding Restrictions on testing of sight, fitting of contact lenses, sale and supply of optical appliances and use of titles and descriptions state and list 3 points that it mentions

also name an exception of this

When conducting a sight test, which is defined in law it is the duty of the Optometrist/Doctor to perform, for the purpose of detecting signs of injury, disease or abnormality in the eye or elsewhere

(i) an examination of the external surface of the eye and its immediate vicinity,
(ii) an intra-ocular examination, either by means of an ophthalmoscope or by such other means as the doctor or optometrist considers appropriate,
(iii) such additional examinations as appear to the doctor or optometrist to be clinically necessary

The provisions of testing sight do not apply where the testing of sight
is carried out by a doctor at a hospital or clinic in the course of diagnosing or treating injury or disease of the eye.

e.g. if someone is at a and e because they have a retinal detachment, then you might not carry out a complete sight test, as just want to get RD treated. so in these cases, we don't have to test sight as defined in the opticians act.


what 2 things does the 'duties to be performed on sight testing' of the Restrictions on testing of sight, fitting of contact lenses, sale and supply of optical appliances and use of titles and descriptions of the opticians act state about once the sight test is done

Provide the patient with a written statement indicating that an adequate eye examination was carried out and that referral is or is not required
A signed written prescription or if no prescription was required a note to this affect must be issued


list 3 exceptions to the duty to issue a prescription or statement stated by the opticians act

- The doctor or optometrist who has tested the patient’s sight refers the patient to his doctor for further investigation or treatment;

- the sight test was carried out as part of a general medical examination including such an examination for insurance purposes, within the meaning of section 2(1) of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988, or for employment purposes, within the meaning of section 2(1) of that Act; or

- the patient was resident in a hospital or a clinic, for the purposes of treatment, when his sight was tested


list all 6 things that a spectacle rx should contain as part of the opticians act

- Name and Address of patient
- DOB if patient is not yet 16
- Name of practitioner and address of practice
- Date of eye examination
- Sph, cyl, axis, prism and its base direction and addition for each eye as applicable
- No change in Rx if applicable

NB: The PD is one of several face
l measurements that are taken as part of the dispensing process. It is not part of the prescription.


what are the 2 duties following a Contact Lens Fitting as stated by the opticians act

A contact lens prescription must be issued to the patient once you've done the fitting (which may take several visits)

Provide the individual with instructions and information on the care, wearing, treatment, cleaning and maintenance of the lens (once you've done the fitting, it is your responsibility)