GDC - September 2022

View from the GDC Chair 

Read our Chair’s latest blog post where he explains why the data in our annual fitness to practise report is important to understanding diversity in dentistry. For the first time, we were able to include a reliable breakdown of cases by equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) characteristics, including ethnicity. We’re in the early stages of understanding what the data is telling us and it’s important that the data isn’t used in isolation.

Also, the recent consultation into our strategic plans for the next three years has closed and the Chair explains that it’s now our turn to listen to the responses and understand what they mean for our strategic plans in the ongoing uncertain economic climate.

Opportunity to join the Statutory Panellists Assurance Committee

If you’re committed to public protection and want to develop your leadership and management skills, we have an opportunity for you. We’re looking to appoint a new member to our Statutory Panellists Assurance Committee for an initial term of four years from 1 January 2023. Applications will close on Thursday 29 September.

We’re offering annual remuneration of £7,500 (plus expenses), training and support for the successful appointee. You will need to be a registered dental professional and a strategic thinker with a clear track record of improving performance and promoting learning, development and inclusion. You will be part of the committee responsible for overseeing the appointment and independence of fitness to practise panellists, so experience as a panellist or in a non-executive role is desirable, but not essential.

You can find out more and apply for this role on the GDC jobsite.

The impacts of COVID-19: a dental professional’s perspective

Dental professionals and patients have been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These impacts have been captured by our recent COVID-19 and dentistry research.

Reflecting on the findings of the research, Shamir Mehta discusses the impact of the pandemic at a personal level, through his different roles as a dentist, practice owner, postgraduate tutor and Clinical Dental Advisor to the GDC. Shamir explores the challenges we have faced over the last two years, and his thoughts on the future.

GDC registration and fitness to practise reports, now available 

Our 2021 fitness to practise and registration reports are now available, and include for the first time a reliable breakdown of cases by protected characteristics, such as age, gender and ethnicity. Made possible by recent efforts to improve EDI data.  

The fitness to practise report highlights areas in need of further investigation. Particularly on the mechanisms leading to disproportionately high numbers of concerns being raised against some groups, when compared to their proportion of the register, including Asian or Asian British dentists, male dental professionals, and dentists aged 51-60.

Executive Director of Fitness to Practise, John Cullinane, said:

“This is the first time we have published EDI data in the context of fitness to practise and we’re in the early stages of understanding what it tells us. What we do know is that EDI analysis is complex and, as such, the data in our reports should not be used in isolation to draw conclusions as many other factors may be relevant, such as practice location, size of practice or local demographics.

“We are committed to developing the data we hold and our understanding of it, and we look forward to sharing further insights as our work progresses.”

We have also identified the need to improve our data on sexual orientation, with still a quarter of dental professionals not recording these details.

Find out more about our EDI strategy

Clinical Fellows’ farewell event at the GDC

The 2021/22 clinical fellows brought a year full of opportunities and challenges to close with an event focused on the future of dental leadership, held at the GDC last month. The fellowship scheme provides placements for professionals who want to broaden their horizons by immersing themselves in leadership, policy and strategic roles at national and regional healthcare organisations.

Sharing their career journeys at the event were some of the most prominent leaders in dentistry, including the Chief Dental Officer (CDO), Sara Hurley, Deputy CDO, Jason Wong MBE, and President of the College of General Dentistry, Abhi Pal. Clinical fellows told us about networks they’ve created, and the value of diverse perspectives following some open reflections and advice on strategic policy development and leadership from our Executive Director, Strategy, Stefan Czerniawski.

Clinical fellowships for 2022/23 are now underway. The scheme is sponsored by the Office of the CDO, with Health Education England sponsoring the regional fellowship scheme.

Our strategic plans for the next three years 

Thank you to all those who provided views on our proposed strategic plans for the next three years. Our consultation has now closed. We are reviewing responses and considering any changes we need to make. Our final plans will be presented to Council for approval in October.

We expect the fees for 2023 to be announced following approval of our plans.

Our consultation outcome report and finalised regulatory impact assessment will be published on our website when complete.

New cohort of Education Associates starting in November 

We have engaged 57 Education Associates, who will take up their new three-year appointment from 1 November 2022, following a recent round of recruitment. High professional standards in practice starts with a quality education, which is why we set the Standards for Education and quality assure programmes and courses to ensure those standards are met, as part of our public protection role.

Our Education Associates play a vital role in making sure students gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to start their new careers in dentistry. Associates come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Most are registered dental professionals with the clinical expertise and experience needed to review provider assessments and complete inspections, and a small number are experienced lay people who act as chairs of inspection panels.

Find out more about our role in education and training quality assurance.  

Professional health and social care regulation conference 2022 

The professional health and care regulation conference, Looking to the Future, will take place on 24 October 2022 in Edinburgh. GDC speakers include our Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Brack, who will lead on the pressing need for regulatory reform, and other speakers discussing the importance of promoting professionalism, diversity in dentistry and public and patient engagement.

Council Member, Angie Heilmann MBE, will chair a panel discussion on what we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. You will find all of UK professional health and care professional regulators at this popular event, with contributions from the Scottish Government, DHSC, and the Professional Standards Authority.

Book your place now. Attendance is free of charge, and you can register your attendance throughout September, at what is widely acknowledge as the UK’s principal regulatory conference.