GDC to review its Standards and Scope of Practice

​GDC to review its Standards and Scope of Practice

2 November 2010

The General Dental Council (GDC) has begun a review of its ‘Standards Guidance‘ and ‘Scope of Practice’.

It’s five years since the GDC published its ‘Standards Guidance’ and replaced its previous guidance document, ‘Maintaining Standards’. The move to ethical principles was a significant change in direction at the time, but in the last five years the landscape of the regulatory world, and the GDC itself, has changed again.

The GDC now registers the entire dental team – dentists, dental nurses, orthodontic therapists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental technicians and clinical dental technicians – and has more than 92,000 dental professionals on its registers.

The aim of the Standards review is to go back to square one. The GDC will be asking registrants, patients and other stakeholders what level of detail they would find helpful, what they think of the current standards, what works, what doesn’t and what’s missing. The review will take place throughout 2011 and will include consultations, focus groups, a working group and GDC staff attending events across the UK to hear directly from those affected.

Anyone who wishes to make any comments on the current guidance can email now standards@gdc-uk.org

The GDC is hoping to produce the new guidance in early 2012.

The ‘Scope of Practice’ review will run alongside the work on Standards and will evaluate the effectiveness of the current document, which outlines what each member of the dental team can do and the additional skills they might go on to learn throughout their career.

A call for feedback on ‘Scope of Practice’ will be launched at the end of January 2011 and will be available on the GDC website www.gdc-uk.org It will ask registrants to give their views on whether the document is useful in helping the dental team work more effectively together and what skills may need to be added or amended for each of the seven registrant groups.

Dental technician David Smith, Chair of the Standards Committee, said:

“The reviews of both of these documents could result in a radical redesign of the GDC’s guidance for registrants and it’s therefore extremely important that we hear from everyone who’ll be affected and make the right changes. The standards are the main ethical guide that we expect dental professionals to apply to their everyday work. This is a significant piece of work for the GDC and one that we anticipate will have a positive impact on dental professionals and therefore on patients.”

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For media enquiries, please contact Moira Alderson on 020 7009 2756 or email malderson@gdc-uk.org