Advice for professionals

Advice for Professionals

At the Optical Consumer Complaints Service we appreciate that as professionals, you are committed to providing excellent care to your consumers as well as delivering a quality service.

Nonetheless, complaints can and do arise, and we are here to support the optical professions.

The GOC Practice Standards introduced on 1 April 2016 place an obligation on registrants to respond to complaints effectively, honestly, openly, politely and constructively (PS 18). 

This includes a duty to operate and follow a complaints policy. The OCCS can provide guidance to registrants on how to approach complaint handling as well provide assistance in resolving individual complaints and mediate complaints that cannot be resolved within the practice. 

Practice Standard 18 also requires registrants to inform the patient (at the appropriate time) of their rights to complain to the General Optical  Council or to seek mediation through the  Optical Consumer Complaints Service. If you would like any further information or advice on complaints handling and the Practice Standards, please contact us. 

We are happy to offer help and guidance to professionals who would like to talk through a particular concern and help them to manage the situation and, where possible, avoid a complaint.

We are also here to facilitate: 

  • A satisfactory and fair resolution to individual complaints
  • Sharing of best practice, particularly in terms of complaint avoidance and handling
  • Useful analysis of complaint trends to help the General Optical Council to allocate resources and training
  • Profile raising of the regulated professions to make the public aware of the risks of using non-regulated alternatives;

We Promise: 

  • To listen to both sides of the complaint
  • Review the details of the complaint quickly
  • Share feedback and guidance to help you reduce future complaints

If you would be interested in our CET events and insight sharing seminars for LOCs and local groups or practices, then please get in touch for more information.

Since 1 April 2014, the OCCS has assisted over 4,500 consumers and practices to resolve their consumer complaints. Jennie Jones, head of the OCCS, explains: ‘We are delighted that the OCCS  is seen as an effective and useful service, providing independent and impartial mediation and advice. The team does an amazing job ensuring that both the consumer and the practice feel heard, understood, and importantly, helped to find a very practical resolution to the complaint. Mediation is not about judgment or deciding who is right. It is about understanding each other’s perspective to be able to find an answer both can accept. We will soon be reporting on our 4th year in action, and look forward to sharing even more insight and useful information for all involved in optics.'