Latest updates from the GDC - April 2022

New lay Council member appointed 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ilona Blue as our new lay member of Council, effective from 1 April 2022. You can find out more about Ilona’s appointment on our website.

A view from the GDC Chair 

In this latest update, GDC Chair, Lord Toby Harris, welcomes Ilona Blue to the GDC and looks ahead to our plans to take forward our preventative agenda and invite views on a revised set of principles of professionalism and updated scope of practice guidance in the autumn. 

CPD requirements for the dental team  

We appreciate the huge effort that has gone into continuing to provide safe and effective dental services during the pandemic, and that the backlog in demand for services means dental teams continue to work in challenging environments. Much has changed, but one thing that hasn’t is the important role that CPD plays in protecting patients and safeguarding public confidence.

Recognising the difficulties in accessing CPD early in the pandemic, we offered flexibility on the minimum requirements of the Enhanced CPD scheme for those affected by COVID-19. This flexibility has now ended, which means all dental professionals will need to meet all of the minimum CPD requirements at when they next renew their GDC registration. 

You can find out more about the Enhanced CPD scheme on our website. 

Flexible listing for improved timeliness in hearings

We introduced flexible listing for ‘on paper’ hearings on 4 April. Our new approach aims to improve timeliness by making use any gaps that appear in the hearing’s schedule. On paper hearings are now given a listing window of one-week to effectively utilise any time that becomes available while providing sufficient notice to those involved. You can find out more about how we are looking to improve fitness to practise in advance of regulatory reform on our website.

Careers in dental therapy and dental hygiene

Monica Matanda and Jyoti Sumel are dental therapists and clinical fellows who have been exploring professionalism and careers in dental therapy and dental hygiene for us. In their latest posts they give guidance on the education and skills requirements for those thinking about becoming a dental therapist or dental hygienist, and some of the recent developments for those already in the profession who want to develop and progress their skills and careers

NHS Education for Scotland Conference 28 April 2022  

We will be exploring ‘The role of the regulator in a time of change’ with delegates at the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) annual virtual conference on 28 April 2022. Our session will consider the lessons learned during the pandemic and our response. In a look ahead, we’ll touch on how our new corporate strategy for 2023 to 2205 is developing. You can register for this free event on the NES conference website.  

Citizens’ Panel on dental services Scotland 

We were pleased to work with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer (CDO) Scotland and colleagues at Healthcare Improvement Scotland to ensure dental services were included in the latest Citizens' Panel Survey. Gordon Matheson CBE, Head of Scottish Affairs, tells us more about the work and explains why hearing from dental professionals and patients matters to us. 

Quality of dental education remains high despite the pandemic 

Our latest Review of Education, covering the last three academic years, has been published. Despite the unprecedent challenges faced by education providers in recent years, nearly all education programmes inspected were found to be satisfactory to enable the qualifying cohort of dental professionals to join the GDC register. Those who did not, have a clear plan of action.  

We continue to work closely with key stakeholders to understand and respond to the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. Where necessary, we will make changes to ensure our quality assurance processes remain agile and fit for purpose.

You can find the reports on our dedicated Review of Education section of our website.

Student and new registrant engagement programme continues

We’re three months into our expanded student and new registrant engagement programme, which we’ve developed to build positive relationships with new and future members of the dental team.

Our programme continues, but to date we have delivered 33 sessions to around 2,300 students and new registrants joining the register as dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and clinical dental technicians from across the UK.

CDO for Wales appointed 

Andrew Dickenson has been appointed as the new CDO for Wales and took up his post on 1 April. He replaces Colette Bridgman who retired in July last year.

He joins from Health Education England, where he was the Regional Postgraduate Dean for Midlands and East of England as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Andrew has also served as Vice Chair of COPDEND.

A new Deputy CDO will also be appointed in the near future to replace Paul Brocklehurst, who has recently moved to a new role with Public Health Wales.