Meet the team

Our senior management team is responsible for the development and delivery of our strategic objectives and oversees the day-to-day operation of the College.

Ian Humphreys

CEO's office

The College is a dynamic chartered professional body for optometrists. Our members are at the heart of everything we do.

Optometry is in a period of significant change, and it’s our role to ensure that the profession, and our members, are ready and fully equipped to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise, and to provide the best possible care for patients. 

We know that supporting our members in their professional development and career aspirations is the key to their success and the future success of the profession.

We champion optometry in government and national health services and raise the profile of eye health care with patients and the public. Our members, the wider health care community, and the public look to the College for reliable and evidence-based information, advice and clinical guidance.

Membership and fellowship of the College are signified by the affixes MCOptom and FCOptom, which are recognised and valued by the regulator, patients and employers. College members are committed to the College’s Code of Conduct and aspire to meet the highest professional standards in optometry.

Sarah Cant

Director of Policy and Strategy

The College inspires and supports expertise in optometry and eye health, in policy and practice. The Policy & Strategy department leads the College’s clinical and influencing activities.

Our Clinical Advisers develop the profession’s guidance and Clinical Management Guidelines, offer clinical advice to members, other professionals and the public. We assure clinical input for the College’s events, CPD and other resources and provide clinical advice and guidance to national and cross-sector health services and committees.

Our Policy team represents and champions the profession to decision-makers in all four nations, and ensures that the voice of the profession is heard. We advocate for optometrists to work at the upper limit of their scope of practice, and ensure that their skills are recognised and utilised, so that they are at the heart of  new and evolving models of care across the UK. We uphold the need for commissioning of safe and sustainable eye care services that meet the needs of all patients, to improve patient care and outcomes. 

Lizzy Ostler

Director of Education

We enable optometrists to develop their professional identity and standing, to achieve their career aspirations and deliver excellent clinical outcomes for patients

The Education team provides a wide variety of online and in person learning opportunities, delivers GOC-regulated assessments, and accredits higher qualifications for both pre-registration and practicing members. We collaborate with a wide range of sector stakeholders and funders across the UK to ensure that GOC registration standards are met and members can develop their careers and maintain or increase their scope of practice safely and consistently. Our high-quality courses and accredited provision help members to meet developing healthcare priorities and professional opportunities, and our influence ensures that their skills are recognised in the workplace.  

We are funded by NHS England and the health authorities in all four nations, to support the development of all GOC-registered optometrists through Docet, which delivers CPD courses, webinars and podcasts. We also lead the SPOKE knowledge hub, funded by GOC, to help key optical stakeholders to navigate the new requirements for GOC-registerable qualifications. 

Mike Bowen

Director of Research

The Knowledge and Research directorate leads the College’s work to manage, develop and promote access to the resources that make up the evidence-base for optometry that underpins optometry’s status as a regulated profession.

We ensure the profession’s clinical practice and the College’s guidelines are underpinned by a robust evidence-base and ensure that relevant evidence informs the development of optometry and eye health.

We represent the profession within the sector and in cross-sector health research contexts, ensuring that optometric evidence is recognised, optometrists are represented in relevant decision-making processes with the research environment, that optometrists have the best opportunities to access research funding. We support individual and sector-wide projects and collaborations, and provide research advice for members on how to evaluate, use, and carry out research .  

The College produces the world’s leading international optometric research journal, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (OPO), which is available to College members free of charge.

The College’s world-class library provides an unrivalled range of specialist resources, available both online and in person. Members can access thousands of books, journals and articles, worth thousands of pounds in fees, with expert staff to guide and advise on searches. The College’s specialist library represents both the literary heritage of the profession, and the leading edge of current evidence and knowledge.

Uniquely, the College at Craven Street is also home to a museum, the oldest and one of the foremost optometry collections in the world. This remarkable resource represents the physical history and is and important element of the evidence-base for the profession, which the College proactively preserves, develops and promotes. The museum is one of the College’s important routes of engagement with the public, and for promoting optometry, optics and eye health. Our museum supports researchers, artists, and clinicians from a range of disciplines and from across the world with their work relating to optometry, optics and eye health.

Juliet Leach

Director of Member Services and Communications

We engage and communicate with members to ensure that they have all the resources and support they need to achieve the highest clinical and professional standards, in every role and setting.

We manage and develop the College website  and provide the latest news, views and information from the College and the sector. From fortnightly College news, Clinical filesAcuity journalwebinarspodcasts, our social media channels and the exclusive member app, which gives instant access to the College’s most valuable clinical information, we ensure that all College members receive the most valuable, timely and relevant content that will help them in practice and to develop their careers .

We also raise the profile of optometrists  and the importance of eye health with the public. We host a vibrant website, produce a range of patient leaflets and videos, and secure high profile media coverage for the profession.  

Bill Scott

Director of Finance

We work with the College’s Board, Council, Members and staff to ensure that the College’s resources are used to deliver the best outcomes, which are aligned with our charitable objectives.

We manage the College’s cash, ensure that suppliers, staff, assessors and examiners are paid and membership fees are collected in an efficient and a timely manner. We advise members on the best way of paying their fees and how to claim tax relief on their membership fees.

We oversee the Investment Managers to ensure that they invest College funds following the ethical guidelines set by Trustees and report on the manager’s performance against the standards set.

We also deliver IT, IS (including data) and physical facilities, to provide safe, effective and easy-to-use services to enable the smooth running of the College’s building and activities (both on site and remotely).

We ensure compliance with Health and Safety and Data Protection law and follow best practice in doing so.

Sue Haydon

Director of People

We lead on the development of a people culture and strategy which is future proof and gives the College the ability to attract and retain skills and staff critical to delivery of our strategic aims and engenders a psychologically safe, continuous learning, inclusive environment where staff can thrive and perform to their full potential.  

We support the board, council and College staff and managers to embed our values in all we do and so in becoming a flexible, high performing workforce equipped to anticipate and adapt to changes on the horizon, make timely robust decisions and deliver market leading performance via developing leadership and staff capabilities.

We lead on development of cohesive, transparent, legally compliant, fair and inclusive policies and practices, organisational structures, personal development offerings which assist all at the College in the transition to streamlined/new ways of working and improve job quality and retention.  

We work with Board, Council and staff to make both the College and the profession a more diverse and inclusive space to work within by leading on EDI strategy and policies.