European economic area applicants

This page is only relevant for those applicants from the EEA who submitted their application prior to 11pm on 31 December 2020. If you are from the EEA and did not submit your application by this date, you can apply for registration through our international process.

Application process (for those applications received prior to 11pm on 31 December 2020)

  • Under EU Directive 2005/36/EU on the recognition of professional qualifications, we consider applicants’ qualifications and practical experience, and determine whether there are any significant differences between your training and education, and that which is required of a UK optometrist or dispensing optician.
  • You must be registered with your national regulator (if your profession has one) OR have practised for at least one year in the last ten years to be eligible to apply under the EU Directive. To check if your profession is regulated in your member state please use the EU regulated professions database.
  • If you do not have sufficient knowledge and/or experience to practise in the UK, you can choose to either undergo further training known as an ‘adaptation period’ or complete an ‘aptitude test’. If completed successfully, you may then be eligible to join the registers and practise in the UK.

How long does it take?

  • Once you have submitted your application, we will advise you within 28 days if we require any further information before progressing your application to the equivalency assessment stage.
  • If your application progresses for an equivalency assessment it can take up to four months to assess. At the end of this you will receive an outcome that will advise you if you have any deficiencies in your experience or training that require a compensation measure.
  • If further education and training is required, it will be your responsibility to identify and secure a suitable provider to complete this. You will need to provide a proposal to the GOC for approval prior to starting the placement. Depending on the recommendation you may be required to pay a fee to the provider for their course. We cannot guarantee the timescale this part of the process will take.
  • If no deficiencies are identified, then you will be able to progress to our fully qualified register.

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