Latest updates from the GDC

A view from the Chair: Review of education, consulting on remote hearings and looking ahead to January   

This month, our Chair thanks dental professionals and stakeholders for their hard work in 2023, he talks about the GDC’s work to set and ensure the standards for dental education, and shares details of the upcoming webinars to explore new and better ways to provide standards and guidance

Consultation on the format of hearings launched 

We would like your views on proposals to hold all hearings remotely by default, while providing a way for requests for hearings to be held in-person to be decided fairly.  

The consultation on the format of hearings is open until 15 February 2024. 

Review of Education 2022/23 published 

One of the ways we fulfil our primary purpose of maintaining public safety and confidence in dental professionals is through our quality assurance of education and training programmes, which lead to registration as a dental professional. Last month, we published our annual review of our quality assurance activity for the academic year 2022/23

The Safe Practitioner: A framework of behaviours and outcomes for dental professional education 

In late 2022, we consulted on our proposed revision of the expectations we have for dental education and training, to better reflect the significant shifts in society and in dentistry. Following valuable feedback from stakeholders and professionals, last month we published the consultation outcome report and the new framework for each of the seven professions.

The Safe Practitioner framework will replace Preparing for Practice as the curriculum document for all UK undergraduate dental education programmes from September 2025.

You can read more about how we developed the new framework

Maintaining professional standards in relation to controversial issues  

Dental professionals, like everyone else, have a right to express opinions, including political opinions, which other people may disagree with very strongly or even consider illegitimate. We respect that right, but expect it to be exercised in ways which are consistent with upholding professional standards. Statements or actions that are discriminatory against an individual or group based on characteristics such as religion or ethnicity are a breach of professional standards and are unacceptable. 

Dental Leadership Network focus on the system from patients’ and the public’s perspectives 

Almost one year since its formation, the Dental Leadership Network met on 14 November to discuss the dental system, as seen from the perspective of patients and the public.

The Dental Leadership Network brings together dentistry leaders to partake in an open dialogue, discuss the issues facing our profession, and enable a platform to encourage collaboration and an understanding of all both our shared and diverse priorities.

We have published the text of the keynote speech from the GDC Chair, Lord Toby Harris, along with an event recap of the day.  

The next event is scheduled to take place on 14 March in London. If you are interested in joining the network or to find out more, please contact us by email

Sign up to the upcoming events on Exploring Professionalism

In January, we will be hosting two online events to continue our exploration of new ways of setting standards and guidance for the dental team. These events will build on the series of events we held in the Autumn and will include:

  • a short presentation by the GDC summarising what we heard from dental professionals and other stakeholders during the first phase of engagement  
  • a discussion on what the role of the GDC and other organisations is in providing guidance for dental professionals  
  • a discussion on what support is needed from the GDC and others before any changes are made to the current model of standards and guidance.

Representatives from a variety of dental organisations will join us to discuss these items. There will also be opportunities for all attendees to ask questions and provide feedback.

The online events will be held on:

  • Wednesday 10 January, 15:30-17:30  
  • Tuesday 16 January, 18:30-20:30. 

Please visit our Eventbrite page to sign up for either of these events. 

Take part in a YouGov survey on your views about the GDC

We have commissioned YouGov, an independent market research agency, to conduct the third in a series of research studies exploring stakeholders’ knowledge of and current perceptions about the GDC. We are looking to understand your views and perceptions of us as an organisation. This research will inform GDC activities with stakeholders and support our objective of building trust and communicating our work effectively.  

Please do take part in the online survey before it closes on 20 December 2023. The survey should take 15 minutes to complete. 

Updated case management procedures for hearings 

The Dental Professionals Hearings Service introduced updated case management procedures on 1 December 2023. The updated case management procedures aim to improve efficiency in the scheduling of hearings and use capacity more effectively by proactively managing the issues that often lead to delays.  

The goal is to increase the number of hearings that proceed on time to lessen the impacts that delays and rescheduling can have on registrants, informants and witnesses by making it easier for all parties to understand the requirements. Improved case management will also mean more hearing days can be utilised by facilitating faster listing and fewer delays.  

These procedural updates are part of our efforts to improve timeliness in the completion of hearings, and we are asking relevant stakeholders for their support and cooperation to ensure cases can proceed as scheduled, whenever possible.    

The case management procedures are available online.