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Strategic aim four: Dental professional regulation is efficient and effective and adapts to the changing external environment

02 February, 2023

Objective: We protect the public because we maintain or improve our performance and are ready to adapt to changes to our legal framework and risks to the public.  

Regulation must be efficient and effective in order to protect the public and to manage the impact of the costs of regulation on dental professionals. There is still more to do in 2023-2025 to continue to improve our performance and increase efficiency in our processes.  

Regulation must also adapt to the changing context of risk to patients and the public. Dental practice is not static. It evolves as the needs and behaviours of patients and the public change, as the evidence underpinning practice grows, as technology and dental businesses advance, and as the roles, knowledge and skills of the dental team develop. This means regulation must keep pace with the changing risks to the public. We will continue to develop our organisation, policy framework, use of evidence and stakeholder engagement so that we have the information and capability to adapt. 

The UK Government’s plans to reform the legislation governing health professional regulators have been delayed, and it remains unclear when specific proposals affecting the GDC might be brought forward. However, reform is needed to address some of the restrictions that affect our performance, particularly in our fitness to practise and international registration processes. We will continue to make preparations but will keep these at a level which recognises that they may not come soon or at all, and be ready to improve how we operate without reform. 

All of this affects how we operate, and we will continue to improve organisational performance, resilience and agility. We will develop our people, including our associates, so that they are ready to respond to the risks that the public faces or deliver the improvements our regulatory functions and processes require.   

Being an efficient and effective regulator means that we must foster inclusion, support diversity and eliminate discrimination as we perform our work. It also means we must use data, research and evidence to inform our approach to undertaking our work and measuring our performance. 

In 2023-2025, we will: 

  • Continue to ensure our regulatory functions and processes are as efficient and effective as they can be, including improving our performance in international registration and fitness to practise. 
  • Work with other regulators to prepare to maximise the potential of reform to improve our efficiency and effective, taking into account the uncertain timetable and scope of the UK Government’s plans.
  • Foster equality, diversity and inclusion, and continuously work to eliminate discrimination, in our regulatory functions and processes, including by continuing to be vigilant of over-representation of people who share protected characteristics in our concerns processes.
  • Use data, research and evaluation to inform the design, measurement and performance of our functions and processes.
  • Support the people who work in the GDC, both staff and associates, to ensure they have the right knowledge and skills and are part of an inclusive culture focused on improving performance and adapting to the changing external environment.