SOP 1.1 Rules and Regulation
Rules & Regulations
HG Policy is to comply with all relevant UK practice regulations.
This SOP describes the key regulatory framework practices should follow.
The General Optical Council (GOC) is responsible for the governance of all Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians. All optical professionals must be registered in the UK and retain their registration annually and CPD cycle.
The following titles are protected, which means it is a criminal offence to use the title without being registered with the GOC. Only qualified professionals registered with the GOC can use the following titles:
"By or Under” Supervision is required when spectacles or contact lenses are supplied (sold or free of charge) or when delegated tasks occur that must be carried out by or under the supervision of a fully qualified GOC registered professional. This type of supervision means that a fully qualified GOC registered professional is:
on the premises,
in a position to oversee the task and
intervene in the process where necessary.
Delegated task is a task which an individual is permitted to perform on behalf of a registered professional after undertaking the relevant training and that training has been validated. This shall be covered later.
Once a team member has been trained and validated, they may be permitted to carry out delegated tasks. Examples of these are detailed below (this list is not exhaustive):
Contact Lens teaches
A GOC registered professional must carry out, or supervise patients who fall into the following categories
Children under 16
Registered sight impaired or severely sight impaired
Patients requiring safety spectacles (HG Policy)
Non restricted categories
Can be dispensed by a non GOC registered team members, once training has been completed and validated.
As part of the Restricted categories dispensing process an Optometrist or Dispensing Optician must do or supervise the following:
Vertical OCs (5 Dioptres and over)
Other facial measurements as necessary
Check frame is suitable for patient and prescription
If external prescription, check Rx has been inputted correctly
Quality Control Check (on receipt of spectacles from supplier)
Quality check spectacles to original copy of the prescription (not order screen or copy)
Quality check spectacles to British Standards including measurements
Quality check the correct frame and lenses have been supplied
Check fit and vision on collection of spectacles
A clear note of the supervising registrant responsible at each stage of the process must be documented on the patient record.
Spectacles can be dispensed from an expired prescription under mitigating circumstances but only by or under the supervision of a registered Optometrist/Dispensing Optician. If you are a non-registrant, you should check with the registered professional on duty and ensure to make adequate notes on the patient’s record card for their reason for doing this.
Supplying Contact Lenses
Contact lenses can either by supplied (sold or free of charge):
By or under the supervision of a qualified GOC registered professional OR
Under general direction (of a qualified GOC registered professional).
by or under the Supervision
Supply by or under supervision applies to all contact lens supply including plano (non-powered) lenses and supply to under 16’s. The by and under supervision supply rules apply which means that the registrant must be:
on the premises,
in a position to oversee the task and
intervene in the process where necessary
What is required for a Contact Lens Supply under by or under supervision
Registrants should ensure that any non-registrant member supplying contact lenses under supervision should:
check that the contact lenses are for the correct person
check that the specification is valid (a valid eye examination is not required)
check that the supply of contact lenses will not take the patient past the expiry date of their specification*
check that the contact lenses that are supplied are those specified in the patient’s contact lens specification
ensure the patient knows which contact lens is for which eye
ensure the patient is given written information on care solutions and knows how to handle the contact lenses
ensure he patient knows how often to replace their contact lenses
reinforce the need for regular contact lens check-ups
ensure adequate records are kept
*Should any adjustment to this policy be required, a qualified GOC registered professional must be consulted. Any change of supply must be fully noted on the record card.
General Direction (GD)
Contact lenses cannot be suppled under the GD rules to under 16’s or plano contact lenses.
Sharks must define who the “generally directing” (GD) registrant is for the practice. Any order queries or errors that occur must be brought to the attention of the GD registrant.
In order for the practice to supply under the GD rules, the following apply: -
hold the original specification i.e. the lenses must have been fitted at the practice or
a copy of the specification i.e. fitted elsewhere and a specification issued or
a written or electronic order from the patient, which contains the details that are in the specification i.e. if the patient tells you which lenses they wish to order or brings in the boxes, you may complete an order on their behalf either on a PMS or paper. Alternatively, the patient may place an electronic order.
For options B and C, you must validate the specification with the prescriber, that is check that the:
contact lenses are for the correct person
specification is valid
supply of contact lenses will not take the patient past the expiry date of their specification*
contact lenses that are supplied are those specified in the patient’s contact lens specification
patient knows which contact lens is for which eye
patient has been given written information on care solutions and knows how to handle the contact lenses
patient knows how often to replace their contact lenses
need for regular contact lens check-ups has been advised
You should ensure adequate records are kept of every supply under “By or Under” or GD rules, including trial lenses. A copy of the specification or order should be kept with the patients record for future reference.
All optometry services must be covered by professional indemnity insurance which is arranged through the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO). This cover is arranged centrally by Hakim Group Head Quarters (HGHQ). In order to calculate insurance premiums HGHQ need to know accurate figures of the number of full time equivalent (FTE) clinicians in the practice. It is the responsibility of all Sharks to ensure this information is submitted accurately and on time to ensure adequate insurance cover.