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Measuring our success and demonstrating accountability

02 February, 2023

We have a number of ways to measure our success as an organisation and are subject to independent oversight of our work. 

We publish our strategic plan every three years. Each year we prepare and publish a three-year rolling Costed Corporate Plan and our Annual Report and Accounts where we set out our strategic aims and objectives, our plans, progress and expenditure. We make our work transparent so that we are accountable to patients and the public and dental professionals through the UK and Scottish Parliaments.  

Our performance as a regulator is scrutinised by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), which publishes annual reviews of our performance. We provide quarterly data on our performance to the PSA in the same way as the other health professional regulators, and are subject to periodic review and ongoing monitoring.  

In addition, we are legally required to manage our finances in line with International Accounting Standards and are required to give full consideration to the public sector financial reporting framework and government's guidance on financial management (set out in HM Treasury's Managing Public Money and Financial Reporting Manual).  We are then subject to scrutiny by the National Audit Office (NAO) in regard to our compliance and regularity of our expenditure around those requirements. 

Our financial viability is also tested annually through a 'going concern' assessment, by two independent external auditors, including the NAO. They assess whether our reserves are sufficient to maintain our financial solvency and whether they support our judgement that the GDC is a ‘going concern’. Their opinion is reported to Parliament as part of our Annual Report and Accounts. 

Underpinning these accountability requirements is a framework of performance monitoring integrated into our way of working and scrutinised through our own governance framework. Our Council meetings are held in public, and the papers published on our website so that everyone can see how we are performing throughout the year as well as when we publish the Costed Corporate Plan and Annual Report and Accounts.  

We have also taken steps to implement a framework for long-term evaluation of our impact, with monitoring and evaluation increasingly being built into our routine processes and research activities being undertaken to inform how this can be done most effectively. To do this we have developed evaluation frameworks for our fitness to practise and preventative work.  

This has included research into: 

  • Stakeholder perceptions of GDC.
  • Research into how we capture, analyse and report fitness to practise data.
  • An evaluation of our fitness to practise process.
  • Cross-regulatory research into how professional health and care regulators define and apply definitions of seriousness.  

To realise our equality, diversity and inclusion objectives we have also built equality, diversity and inclusion measures into all our monitoring and evaluation, which has also led improvements to our capture of data about the characteristics dental professionals and is being used to improve capture of information about other people engaging with our processes.