2. Glossary of Terms

2.1 Optical Sector – The optical sector includes optical education, optical businesses and organisations, optical services and NHS bodies.

2.2 Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) – The Act that gives legal protection to workers against detrimental treatment or dismissal as a result of disclosing information which is in the public interest. The Act offers a right to redress in the event of victimisation if workers raise concerns under the legislation. Workers who make a public interest disclosure are sometimes known as ‘whistleblowers’.

2.3 Prescribed Person – A prescribed person is an organisation an individual can approach if they do not wish to make an internal disclosure to their employer or educational body (or cannot) or if they have made an internal disclosure but no action has been taken. These organisations are usually regulators and their purpose is to investigate concerns. They cannot provide legal protection, but they can provide support and advice about raising concerns. The GOC is listed as a Prescribed Person in the Public Interest Disclosure Order (Amendment) 2014. The full list can be accessed on legislation website.

2.4 Protected Disclosure – A “protected disclosure” is the legal term for whistleblowing which brings about the protection of PIDA – meaning that the worker may have right to redress through the employment tribunal should they suffer a detriment (from the organisation, employer, educational body or any colleague) or be dismissed from work as a result of making that disclosure.

2.5 Workers – Includes optical sector employees, registrants and locums (including self-employed locums), students/trainees, and agency workers. Workers do not have to be GOC registrants.