Policies

Continuing assurance of fitness to practise

Background

​Our work in this area aims to introduce an approach to continuing assurance for patients and the public that those on our registers continue to be up to date and fit to practise.

We are committed to taking an approach to developing continuing assurance policies and procedures that is workable, proportionate and cost-effective.
An important first phase of our work on continuing assurance is the development of proposals for an enhanced scheme of continuing professional development (CPD).  This may be further developed in due course into a fuller scheme of continuing assurance.
 
What is continuing assurance?
Continuing assurance for patients and the public is the outcome that policies and procedures in this area should achieve.  We are committed to developing approaches that are workable, proportionate and cost effective.

Why is continuing assurance necessary?
It would provide mechanisms that enables the GDC to assure patients and the public that those on our registers are up to date and fit to practise throughout their professional life.

Why is CPD part of these developments?
We believe that CPD plays an important role in supporting registrants to stay up to date and practise in accordance with the GDC’s Standards for the Dental Team.  Evidence of participation in regular and well-targeted CPD activity may also contribute to the GDC assuring patients and the public that those on our registers continue to be up to date.  CPD for dental professionals is already a requirement of registration with the GDC.

What are the GDC’s current proposals for the future of CPD?
The key features of our proposals are:
  • Making good decisions about CPD based on effective planning and reflection, in accordance with the GDC’s Standards for the Dental Team and a registrant’s practice;
  • Undertaking CPD that achieves learning outcomes relating to the GDC’s Standards;
  • Embedding regular CPD into professional life;
  • Giving the GDC regular assurance of CPD activity, as part of assurance for patients and the public.

In March 2015 the Council agreed the policy and proposals for the new CPD scheme.

What will the GDC do next?
We are now focusing on getting ready for a new CPD scheme which includes developing an implementation plan and doing any appropriate testing and piloting.

If the GDC’s CPD requirements change in the future, when will it affect registrants?
Any new requirements will take time to introduce. Once a date for implementation of any changes is decided we will inform all registrants about what it means for them.  We will provide adequate notice of any changes.
 

What are the potential benefits of continuing assurance?
Policies and procedures for continuing assurance would make a contribution to assuring patients and the public that dental professionals are keeping up to date and practising in accordance with our Standards. 

Is continuing assurance the same as revalidation?
Revalidation is a term sometimes used to describe certain continuing assurance policies and procedures.  The GDC has not made any final decisions about what any future scheme within dentistry might be called.

Research

​We are committed to taking an evidence-based approach to the development of continuing assurance proposals and policies where appropriate.

Published research
Our published research relating to continuing assurance can be found in our Research Library.


Research opportunities
From time to time we advertise research opportunities on our Tenders page.
 
Public consultations - closed
We have also conducted a number of relevant public consultations which are now closed.  These are:

CPD Rules consultation 2013-2014
Enhanced CPD policy consultation 2012-13

Calls for information - closed
From time to time we may issue other calls for information.  These include the following, which are now closed:
GDC public statements
The GDC has not yet made any final decisions about future continuing assurance policies and procedures.  From time to time we may make public statements where appropriate.  These include:

CPD Rules consultation statement - 2014
GDC Post CPD policy consultation statement - 2013
Next steps

​What will the GDC do next?
Following the 2013-14 CPD rules consultation, the GDC is currently considering the responses and will make a final decision about enhanced CPD in due course. We are also continuing to consider potential approaches to a fuller scheme of continuing assurance for the future, including through commissioning research and engaging with the dental profession.

If the GDC’s CPD requirements change in the future, when will it affect registrants?
Any new requirements will take time to introduce. Once a date for implementation of any changes is decided we will inform all registrants about what it means for them.  We will provide adequate notice of any changes.

What can I do now?
The GDC already has requirements in place for CPD for dental professionals.  Those seeking to return to the GDC’s registers should read and become familiar with our requirements set out in our current guidance.
 
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