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Strategic aim one: Dental professionals reach and maintain high standards of safe and effective dental care

02 February, 2023

Objective: We protect the public by ensuring that dental professionals are well-trained, and deliver care to high standards, supported by a regulatory approach which enables prevention of harm, and lifelong learning.  

The dental professional registers play an essential part in ensuring that patients and the public can be confident in the professional knowledge, skills and behaviours of the dental team. The single most important thing we do is to ensure that dental professionals admitted to the register meet the required standards for them to provide safe and effective dental care. 

The most effective way for us to protect the public is to support the positive application of professional knowledge, skills and behaviours by dental professionals. It is even more effective if it is done in a way that recognises that the context in which care takes place and the wellbeing of dental professionals have a strong influence on both professionals and patient outcomes. We form part of that context and can support dental professionals to learn, develop and improve in effective and supportive environments through our work.  

We will continue to support public trust in dental professionals by ensuring that our processes for setting standards and guidance, quality assurance of education, admitting new dental professionals to the register and maintaining registration mean that dental professionals are prepared for the context in which they are working.  

Core to delivering this objective will be our work to embed new principles of professionalism and the guidance which will underpin them. We will be implementing new learning outcomes for education and training of dental professionals trained in the UK. Subject to the necessary legislative change, we will review and revise our processes for the registration of those who qualify outside of the UK. We will also be continuing to review our approach to lifelong learning ensuring we are prepared for the opportunity improve with the new flexibility that regulatory reform is intended to bring.  

Further, we will continue to use our regulatory processes and evidence to identify risks to the patients and the public, and feed that intelligence into our work to increasingly support dental professionals to practise in a way that prevents harm from occurring.  

In 2023-2025, we will: 

  • Engage and consult upon the Promoting Professionalism Framework to support safe and effective practice by dental professionals.
  • Implement new standards and learning outcomes for education and training for dental professionals, the Safe Practitioner Framework, to prepare new entrants to the profession for safe and effective practice.
  • Make our international registration processes more effective while continuing to assess the knowledge and skills required for safe practice.
  • Make the specialist list assessed application process more effective and embed the new specialty curricula
  • Support lifelong learning for the whole dental team with the aim of encouraging positive professionalism, supporting professional development and maintaining high professional standards.
  • Use research, evaluation and intelligence from our regulatory functions to inform our approach to risk to the public and prevention of harm.