As the clock counts down to compulsory registration in 12 months time, the General Dental Council is urging all dental technicians and nurses to register now.
GDC registration licenses dental professionals to work in the UK, and dental nurses and technicians will be working illegally if they have not registered with the GDC by the deadline of 30 July 2008. After this, dentists will need to make sure they only employ and work with registered technicians and nurses.
Compulsory registration will improve protection for patients by ensuring that everyone who helps deliver dental care is properly trained and under a duty to maintain the high standards set by the GDC.
So far, 6,797 dental care professionals (DCPs) from the four new groups have registered with the GDC, with the following numbers from each group:
• Dental nurses – 6,240
• Dental technicians – 525
• Clinical dental technicians – 32
• Orthodontic therapists – 0 (the first are still in training).
Until registration becomes compulsory, dental nurses and technicians can apply for GDC registration on the basis of experience. But anyone registering after 30 July 2008 will need to hold a GDC-approved qualification. So those who don’t have a qualification are being warned it’s crucial they don’t leave it too late to register.
In response to feedback, the GDC will be launching new application forms to simplify and clarify the process for DCPs and their referees.
Hew Mathewson, GDC president, said: ‘We know that there are many dental nurses and technicians out there who still need to register. Our advice is to register now rather than leaving it to the last minute If you put it off for too long, you could find yourself working illegally when it comes to next July. Applying for registration is simple: download one of the new application forms, and send the completed form back to us, with supporting documents, and the £72 registration fee.
‘It’s also worth bearing in mind that the registration fee will be reviewed and there is no guarantee it won’t go up, so act now to avoid the possibility of paying more.’
The new application forms and further information about DCP registration is available from the GDC website www.gdc-uk.org. You can also request an application form by contacting its registration department on 020 7887 3800 or by email at GDCregistration@gdc-uk.org.