GDC
The GDC will be launching plans that it claims will ‘make regulation better’

The GDC has announced it will publish plans to make regulation better for patients and fairer for dental professionals.

It plans to do this by moving the current system of regulating activity onto prevention, by placing ‘greater emphasis on supporting and empowering the profession’, for example, through education and learning.

‘The current model of dental professional regulation has become outdated, cumbersome and inefficient,’ Bill Moyes, chair of the General Dental Council (GDC), said.

‘Too much of our activity is focused on responding to harm.

‘While such enforcement action is sometimes necessary, we should focus our efforts on supporting dental professionals to prevent that harm from occurring in the first place.

‘By refocusing our efforts and changing the way we do things, we can make the system better for patients and fairer for dental professionals, strengthen public confidence in the profession and minimise the level of enforcement action required by the GDC.

‘By providing dental professionals with the information and tools they need to meet and maintain high professional standards, it is hoped the GDC will have a more constructive relationship with the professionals it regulates.’

Delivering professional regulation

The plans are expected to be published on 26 January, however the GDC claims work has already begun.

It is hoped the proposals will create greater collaboration between the dental regulator and those it regulates, as well as making it clearer when the GDC will use its enforcement powers to manage serious risks to patients.

‘We have been engaging with the profession and stakeholders over the past year, and now it is time to deliver professional dental regulation that is fit for the world we live in,’ Ian Brack, chief executive of the GDC, said.

‘We absolutely cannot do this alone, which is why are seeking the support and participation from the profession, our partners and patients.

‘This is probably our most significant proposal in a generation so I encourage you to respond to our plans when they are published later this month.’

GDC proposals

Further proposals include:

  • The need to improve GDC collection, analysis and use of information, data and intelligence
  • Improving the way the GDC engages with students to ensure they are in the best possible position to begin their career as a registered dental professional
  • Changing the model in continuing professional development (CPD) to that of providing data, intelligence and information to assist dental professionals determine their own development needs
  • Working with education providers and stakeholders to ensure that future professionals are well-equipped to understand and apply the standards expected of them when they register.