Back to school – changes to dental education

The General Dental Council (GDC) wants to hear the views of the dental team on the future of their education.

This new consultation opens next month (September) and closes in December.

The GDC explains that as education is central to regulation – and as every member of the dental team shares the responsibility of ensuring patient safety – it is aiming to replace the two current sets of guidelines, the dentists’ curriculum ‘The First Five Years’ and the DCP curricula ‘Developing the Dental Team’, with a single set – ‘Learning Outcomes.’

While clinical skills remain central, the GDC wants to give greater weight to:
• Communication
• Professionalism
• Management and leadership.

A range of consultation exercises has been taking place from late spring 2009 and a new set of learning outcomes has been developed and a draft publication produced.

The formal 12-week public consultation, which will be open to all stakeholders will be launched during September 2010.

It will ask: ‘Have we got the balance right? Is there enough flexibility so that providers can deliver new and innovative programmes? Does this prepare students for safe, independent practice? Is there enough emphasis on the well being of patients?’

Once the feedback from the consultation has been analysed and any changes incorporated, the GDC hopes to publish a final set of learning outcomes in spring 2011.

A spokesperson says: ‘We will work closely with our education and training providers
to agree on a date for implementation. Please get in touch if you have any comments or questions.’

Email or call 020 7009 2728.

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