Fitness to practise hearings
As part of our duty to protect the public we hold formal public hearings into cases about dental professionals.
Hearings are held once a complaint about a dental professional has been investigated and the Investigating Committee
has decided there is a case. The case is then referred to one of the practice committees depending on the type of case, and a hearing is held. Practice committee hearings form the third and last stage of our complaints procedure
The practice committees
- The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) is charged with determining whether or not a dental professional's fitness to practise is impaired on the basis of the facts found proved. Where a registrant's fitness to practise is found to be impaired the PCC decides whether to impose a sanction.
- The Professional Performance Committee (PPC) deals with cases where it appears that a dental professional's performance is consistently falling below an acceptable standard.
- The Health Committee (HC) deals with cases where the dental professional's fitness to practise is impaired by reason of ill health.
- The Interim Orders Committee (IOC) can, as an interim measure, suspend or place conditions upon a dental professional before a full inquiry by the PCC. The suspension may be renewed or revoked later. At this stage it is important to note that the allegations have not been tested or proved - this is the work of the PCC.
List of sanctions
Reprimand: This is a statement of the committee's disapproval, but the registrant is still fit to practise with no restrictions and so no other action needs to be taken.
This is where restrictions are placed on the registrant’s work
for a set amount of time. The conditions may include that the registrant must take further training and give us evidence to prove that they are taking steps to improve. The conditions usually have to be reviewed within a certain time. Although conditions may be tailored to fit specific circumstances, they generally follow the format set out in the Practice Committee
(445KB, PDF) and Interim Order
Committee (58KB PDF) Conditions Banks. Please read the Practice Committee Conditions Bank in conjunction with this Glossary of Terms
Suspension: The committee can suspend the dental professional’s registration. This means that the registrant cannot work as a dental professional for that set period of time.
Erasure: This is the most serious sanction as it removes a registrant’s name
from the register. This means that they can no longer work in dentistry in the UK.
Attending a hearing
Hearings are normally held in public, but all or part of a hearing may be held in private. Anyone may attend the public parts of a hearing.
Hearings usually take place at our offices, but may on occasions take place at external venues. Please check the hearings list for the location of each hearing.
Information for journalists
If you require any further information about these hearings please contact the press office on 020 7009 2756 or 020 7009 2728 or email us