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SOP 1.2 - Standards of Practice


SOP 1.2

Standards of Practice

Professional Bodies

General Optical Council (GOC) is the regulator for the optical profession with statutory responsibility for setting rules and standards.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) independent regulator of health and social care responsible for government regulatory standards.

College of Optometrists (CoO) is a professional body that deliver the guidance and the resources needed to develop clinical and professional practice. They can help members to advance their careers and provide excellent eye health care.

Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is the professional body for dispensing opticians. ABDO supports and represents its members to enable professional development and advancement of the dispensing profession.

Association of Optometrists (AOP) is a representative membership organisation for optometrists that support them in their professional roles. The AOP protects, supports, and represents its members in a variety of ways from education, legal counsel, and insurance. They take an active role in healthcare policy for the benefit of members and patients.

Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) is a national association for all eye care providers in primary and community settings. They provide insurance, legal defence advice and guidance. They also work with NHS and government to achieve policy changes for member and patient interest.

Standards of Practice

The standards set out by the GOC cover behaviour and professional performance. Professional judgement should be exercised on how to meet these standards and uphold them for the safety of your patient and the reputation of the profession.

All registered professionals are required to adhere to the GOC Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians. Also, Sharks should adhere to the GOC Standards of Practice for optical businesses



Duty of Candour

All healthcare professionals have a professional responsibility to be honest, open and transparent with patients when errors occur. These errors in treatment or care may have resulted in them suffering loss or harm and may have implications on future patient care.

It is important that errors are recognised, addressed and resolved. We know we all make mistakes, but it is necessary for these to be documented and learning taken from each incident to safe-guard patients and all team members.

Spectacles Prescriptions (Rx)

These are legally required to be given to the patient following an eye examination under GOC rules ‘The Sight Testing (examination and prescription) (no2) Regulations 1989 section 3 (1)(a). A copy Rx can be issued at a later date and signed by Optometrist or Dispensing Optician.

Under no circumstances can anyone not registered with the GOC issue a copy Rx.

Issuing a Spectacle Prescription


All prescriptions should be completed legibly in ink and contain the following. Optix and iClarity do this for you with ease!

· Patient name and title, DOB and address · Name and address or practice where eye examination was carried out · Name and signature of person performing the examination, including GOC number · Date of eye examination · Recall date · Sphere and cylindrical power if prescribed · Prism and base orientation if prescribed · Near and/or intermediate add if prescribed · BVD if Rx over +/- 5 dioptres



If an external prescription is illegible or missing information such a recall it is the responsibility of the GOC registered professional to clarify this were possible which may require contacting the issuing Optometrist or practice.

A copy of a patient’s prescription is required to be kept with their record so that spectacle orders can be Quality Control checked against it, this is to reduce errors.

Except where an eye test is recorded on the practice’s PMS by an internal Optometrist, all paper prescriptions should be scanned to Optix or iClarity for future reference.




Issuing a Contact Lens Prescription


All prescriptions should be completed legibly in ink and contain the following. Optix and iClarity do this for you with ease!



· Patient name and title, DOB and address · Name and address or practice where eye examination was carried out · Name and signature of person performing the examination, including GOC number · Sufficient detail to allow the lens to be replicated (lens power, BOZR, diameter, brand,type) · Date of contact lens fitting or aftercare · Expiration date


All of these details are to be included on the patient’s record at the end of each contact lens fitting or check-up appointment. Contact lens fitting is not completed until the registered professional has signed off and issued the specification. This may require a follow up appointment unless otherwise stated.


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