The General Dental Council (GDC) has agreed the composition of the 12 registrant members of a new-look, smaller, fully appointed Council, expected to be in place by 2008.
The make-up will consist of eight dentists and four dental care professionals.
In making this decision, the Council was keen to ensure that the GDC of the future could continue to command the confidence of the profession whilst fulfilling its public protection role. Council members will not be appointed as representatives of any particular group, and should have the skills for the job.
GDC president Hew Mathewson said: ‘I am aware that some believe losing the right to elect members means they will have little say in the regulation of their profession. This is not so. The Council will always want to consult on key policy decisions and modernisation initiatives. In doing so, it must weigh up the views and expectations of patients, the public and the profession.
‘As one of the leading healthcare regulators we have recently implemented a range of reforms to improve public protection. To continue leading the way, we need to strengthen the way we engage with the profession, particularly to keep pace with the changing nature and context of dental practice.
‘Of course, this engagement is partly reflected by the Council’s membership – and we will be encouraging a wide variety of registrants to apply to be Council members over the next year or so. Additionally over the coming months, we will be considering the different ways we involve all professional groups and individuals across the Council’s work, to ensure the regulation of the dental profession remains relevant and fit for purpose.’
Members of the new Council will be appointed by the Appointments Commission, within parameters set by the GDC. The Council will now draw up the job profile and person specifications for these positions. ensuring that consideration is given to particular areas of expertise required, the fact that the GDC regulates dental professionals from each of the four UK countries, and equality and diversity.