About this guidance and how it applies to you

1. We have produced this guidance to help our registrants in situations where they need to consider the professional requirement to speak up when patient or public safety may be at risk or when they have concerns about propriety, such as when they observe something that appears seriously wrong or not in accordance with accepted standards. This is something we know can be difficult for individuals, and businesses are not always clear about what their responsibilities are to make the process simple and to act on concerns raised.

2. This guidance should be read alongside the Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, the Standards for Optical Businesses and the Standards for Optical Students, which registrants must apply to their practice.

3. There are two parts to this guidance: part 1 which focuses on guidance for individual registrants (optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical students) and part 2 which focuses on guidance for businesses. Whether you are reading the guidance from an individual or business perspective, it is important to read both parts.

4. We have included a flowchart in the annex, which summarises the process to be followed.