The General Optical Council wanted to transform their consultation approach.
They already have a Consultation Framework in place, which outlines how they consult, and the standards to which they hold themselves when they do so. They pride themselves on being open and accountable, and were looking for a tool that would help them uphold these principles in the best way.
They chose Citizen Space as the best platform for their online consultation activity. It has plenty of features that encourage openness and transparency – like response publishing, where responses from contributors who have consented to having their comments published can be displayed publicly for anyone to read; and the ‘We Asked, You Said, We Did’ page, where the consulting organisation posts a summary of the responses received and what actions were taken as a direct result of respondents’ views.
Accessible for everyone
They also needed a tool that had in-built accessibility features. It was important that respondents who were visually impaired, or otherwise disabled, were able to access consultations as well. Citizen Space is fully integrated for use with screen readers, so that nobody is blocked from sharing their opinions.
The General Optical Council made use of these features in its largest consultation to date, ‘Fit for the Future’. They wanted stakeholder views on their Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme. The CET scheme ensures that registrants have access to continued training and development, and also continue to be fit to practise.
All in all the consultation received nearly a thousand stakeholder responses. This enabled the General Optical Council to make an informed decision on their plans for the scheme. In keeping with their principles of transparency, they updated the We Asked, You Said, We Did page with information on how respondents influenced their decisions moving forward.