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GDC approves new Standards

The new 'Standards for the Dental Team' has been published by the General Dental Council (GDC), replacing its current Standards Guidance

The GDC's 'Standards for the Dental Team' will be effective from 30 September 2013. The new guidance was approved by the Council in June and is now available to view on the GDC website: http://www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Standards/Pages/standards.aspx.

It is important down to the individual responsibility for all registrants to behave professionally and to follow the standards at all times. If a complaint is made about a registrant about a registrant it is against the principles in this document that their behaviour/conduct will be measured.

Janet Collins, head of standards at the GDC, said: 'Developing 'Standards for the Dental Team' has been a lengthy and in-depth process. It's involved research with patients, input from registrants through workshops, consultation, analysis and finally approval by Council. The aim of increased patient protection has been worth the hard work. The inclusion of patient expectations reaffirm the importance of putting patients' interests first.'

'Standards for the Dental Team' contains nine principles. Each principle includes a set of patient expectations followed by standards and guidance which registrants must follow at all times. 'Must' and 'should' are used throughout the document and the GDC has made clear what those terms mean.

Other changes include:

• Standalone principles on communication and personal behaviour;
• Greater emphasis on softer skills; and
• New requirements to display indicative prices for treatment.

'Standards for the Dental Team' will be supplemented by a number of additional guidance documents which will be available to view online in September. Hard copies are currently being printed and will be sent to all dental professionals by the end of August 2013.

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