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Optical Confederation
Social media



Regulated healthcare professionals are expected to uphold the highest standards in and outside work, including online. This guidance helps individuals and employers ensure conduct on social media mirrors conduct in the real world. This means:

  • Never sharing confidential patient information online
  • Being careful when sending information electronically
  • Using social networking websites with caution
  • Thinking before posting.

Optometrists and dispensing opticians

You should be aware and comply with General Optical Council (GOC) standards, which state you should:

  • Maintain confidentiality when communicating publicly, including speaking to or writing in the media or writing online including on social media [1]
  • Ensure your conduct in the online environment, particularly regarding social media, whether or not connected to your professional practice, does not damage public confidence in you or your profession [2].

Inappropriate use of social media could therefore be seen as a conduct issue by the GOC. For further information please refer to Optical Confederation Social Media Guidance.

Orthoptists and audiologists

Be aware and comply with HCPC standards which include the use of social media. Learn more.


Read the GMC guidance on the use of social media and make sure you comply.

Provider organisations

Be aware and help your team comply with the applicable standards listed above.

You can find more support in your practice hub, including a social media policy, contracts of employment and an employee handbook, which will help all your employees understand the importance of taking care when using social media.


Originally published: September 2018

Reviewed: January 2020

Next review date: March 2022

Info: This guidance was updated in January 2020 to include links to social media guidance for all regulated eye health professionals to reference GOC standards and provide a link to OC guidance following changes to the OC website. 

References and notes

[1] GOC 2016, Standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians, standard 14.3

[2] GOC 2016, Standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians, standard 17.2.