Helping the General Optical Council understand how its stakeholders perceive its performance as the regulator of optical professionals

In-depth interviews with GOC stakeholders

Business registrants surveyed

Responses from optical professionals in the 2022 registrant survey


The General Optical Council (GOC) is the regulator for optical professions in the UK, with the stated mission of protecting the public by upholding high standards in the optical professions. The GOC wished to understand the views and perceptions of stakeholders about its performance, including how it responded to the pandemic and how it is responding to challenges in the optical sector.

Enventure Research was commissioned to undertake a programme of research with stakeholders within the optical sector to provide an up to date understanding of their views.


Enventure Research used both qualitative and quantitative methods for the research. A topic guide was co-designed between Enventure Research and the GOC and used by researchers to conduct 30 in depth qualitative interviews with stakeholders, each lasting 30-40 minutes using Zoom. Stakeholders involved in the qualitative research included professional/ representative/membership bodies, patient/public groups and organisations, large employers, training and education providers, and government/commissioner representatives. The interviews were digitally recorded, and, for analysis, notes made to draw out common and key themes.

To supplement the qualitative research element, an additional business registrant survey was securely hosted online, and personalised email invitations sent to all GOC business registrants. In total, 147 responses were received in total to this survey. Enventure Research also conducted the GOC registrant at around the same time, and responses were received from 4,102 optometrists and dispensing opticians.


Enventure Research collated the qualitative feedback from stakeholders and analysed it alongside findings from the registrant surveys. A comprehensive report was provided to the GOC which presented the research findings and evidence based conclusions, illustrated by anonymous verbatim quotes and charts were applicable.

The findings highlighted that many stakeholders reported good working relationships with the GOC and held it in high regard as the regulator of optical professionals, although some felt that improvements could be made to the way it communicates with its stakeholders. The GOC will use the findings to assess its performance in key areas and make improvements to how it operates where necessary.

“Stakeholder feedback is really useful for regulators to understand how performance is perceived externally, and for looking at ways to improve stakeholder engagement and foster closer working relationships with partners for the mutual benefit of patients and the public.”

Andrew Cameron

Associate Research Director, Enventure Research