The Resident Dentists Group UK has responded to the GDC’s changes to the International Qualifying Exam (IQE).
The three-part test has been changed to a two-part Overseas Registration Exam (ORE), while transitional arrangements have been made for those who were already in the middle of their exams at various stages of the IQE.
The Resident Dentists Group UK is a group of overseas-qualified dentists who are British citizens and permanent residents of Britain. It comprises over 200 members and champions the cause of those who are facing difficulties during the registration process.
A statement from the group read: ‘The Resident Dentists Group UK welcomes the new exam that will help reduce the waiting lists and hopefully fast-track the registration process. We recognise and applaud the GDC’s commitment and efforts that have gone into organising the ORE. However, the transition arrangement has been a huge let down.
‘The transitional arrangements (for people part way through the existing IQE) devalue and ignore the knowledge and skills candidates have already demonstrated. Many have struggled for years to get this far in the face of low and inconsistent pass rates, long delays and escalating fees.
‘These arrangements also fail to acknowledge anyone’s extenuating circumstances and such candidates are being bullied into switching to ORE. Limitations are now being imposed where there was no limitation on the number of attempts when these candidates started the IQE process. Goalposts have been moved without due consideration or consultation on the transition arrangement.
‘The overseas-qualified doctors going through PLAB exams with the GMC face no limitations on the number of attempts. They are allowed to resit Part 1 of PLAB if they failed to complete Part 2 within three years of passing part 1. No such provision is being made for overseas qualified dentists in the same situation. This would impact the overseas qualified residents and the citizens of UK more than anyone else.
‘We have concerns about the practicality and fairness of some elements of the ORE because it is an untested exam. The GDC promised to conduct a pilot study to establish the practicality of certain elements of the ORE part 2. It is not clear if such a study has been conducted and, if yes, what were the findings.’