Help The GDC. Your Regulator Needs You!

Help The GDC. Your Regulator Needs You!

In his first blog of the New Year Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the GDC, has asked registrants for some help.

The GDC has two open consultations, and both directly affect general dental practice and those who work in it. The GDC Chair invites registrants to respond. One relates to potentially making it even easier to suspend registrants, before they have had a Fitness to Practice (FtP) hearing. The other could make changes to undergraduate training that will put more responsibility on FD trainers and those who work with recent graduates.:

GDPUK has previously covered the Interim Orders Committee Guidance and Conditions Bank Consultation (  This would alter the guidance that the Committee uses, and appears to make suspension more likely. As a result registrants can be stopped working for many months before their FtP case is heard. Whatever the outcome of the FtP process when it does finally occur, suspension at this early stage can be career ending. This consultation closes on February 2nd

The Safe Practitioner Framework Consultation ( relates to one of the GDC’s original key responsibilities, indeed it has a statutory role in, “assuring the standard of pre-registration education and training.” Entitled “The safe practitioner” the document speaks of “A framework of behaviours and outcomes for dental professional education”. Just as the pursuit of skills and knowledge have given way to behaviours and outcomes, the GDC seek to move away from the terms “safe beginner and “independent practitioner”. They will use the term “safe practitioner” instead and want to provide a broader description of what a safe practitioner constitutes, in terms of skills and attributes, rather than providing an explicit definition.

There is much talk of what many GDP’s would consider soft skills and virtually none related to clinical skills and training. The GDC is focussed on insight, EDI and environmental sustainability. In keeping with the government and NHS agenda to make better use of therapists and hygienists, this review has updated the learning outcomes to reflect all dental care professionals’ scope, and their ability to provide dental care directly to the public. The GDC recognise that there will be implications for registration processes for international qualifications, including the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE).

Time is running short and this consultation closes shortly.

It would be easy given the GDC’s behaviour, to wonder if responding is a waste of time. GDP’s should know the likely consequences of falling into that trap. The GDC makes much use of its consultations, using them as a means to legitimise changes in how it wields its considerable powers.  It suits them to have very low response rates, as they can then argue that registrants must be happy with the Councils actions.

Christmas may be over but Lord Toby would still be delighted to receive a blank cheque from the profession. For him and the GDC, GDP disinterest in these consultations will be a gift that keeps on giving. To quote the GDC chair in his blog, “I encourage anyone with an interest in these to respond.”

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Keith Hayes
Help The GDC. Your Regulator Needs You!
Thank you for writing this piece. I hope it raises this issue sufficiently to encourage colleagues to write their responses.
I was hoping that we might receive some assistance from the BDA in composing our replies. I even offered to rejoin the BDA if it does this, but there is a deadline and I'm not optimistic.
See the GDPUK thread:

You really do need to do this before its all too late.


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