'Clinical staff know clearly what qualifications they require to undertake various procedures, but the rest of the team are very much in the dark'
Unregistered members of the dental team have been 'left in the dark' with the General Dental Council's new Standards for the Dental Team.
The Campaign for Administrative Standards and Professional Education for Receptions and practice managers, (CASPER) says the GDC's new Standards, to be implemented from 30 September 2013, do not provide sufficient guidance on what is considered to be ‘appropriate’ training and qualifications, to ensure the competencies of unregistered members of the dental team.
CASPER was established in July 2012 to provide support for practice managers, receptionists and all non-clinical members of staff. It was concerned that there was no meaningful guidance on training requirements and sought the development of a 'kitemark' standard for the provision of training, development and CPD for members of the dental team with non-registered roles.
Glenys Bridges, speaking for CASPER, said: 'We believe the quality of management reflects on the quality of patient care and expressed our concerns to the GDC in a face-to-face meeting when it was developing the new Standards for the Dental Team.
'New Standard 7.3 states: 'You must update and develop your professional knowledge and skills throughout your working life' and goes on to talk about CPD activity – which non-registered team members are not obliged to undertake.
'The Standards also highlight that the public expects that all members of the dental team should be properly trained, but then falls short of defining this terminology for non-registrants.
'Clinical staff know clearly what qualifications they require to undertake various procedures, but the rest of the team are very much in the dark. Even apprentice dental nurses have to be working towards a qualification to be allowed to work in a dental environment.
'Far from CASPER being made redundant by the new Standards, we feel it now has a vital role in helping non-registered team members undertake appropriate training and development and gain recognised qualifications.'
Members of CASPER will agree an action plan shortly. To inform this the group is keen to receive the views of dental team members, dental organisations and training companies about what they consider appropriate training and qualifications for non-clinical dental staff.
Glenys Bridges can be contacted on 07973361390
Comments can also be posted on Twitter using the hashtag #CASPERUK