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Foreword from the Chair and Chief Executive

30 May, 2024

The GDC exists to protect, promote and maintain the safety of patients and the public and confidence in the dental profession. Everything we do as a regulator is shaped by these objectives.

It is therefore only right that as part of a trusted and regulated profession, dental professionals are held to high professional standards. These standards reflect patients’ expectations and rights to be treated as individuals, without discrimination, and to have their cultures and values respected.

We believe that dental professionals are best able to provide safe and effective patient care when they are working within a safe, fair and inclusive system, free from discrimination and bias. As the professional regulator, we are responsible for working with our partners in the dental system to make that happen. This is not only because we have a legal duty to have due regard to promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating discrimination, but because it is the right thing to do – for professionals, patients and the public. For us to be a trusted and effective regulator, equality, diversity and inclusion must be central to how we regulate, how we engage with stakeholders and all those who use our services, and our actions as a responsible employer. 

Through our last EDI strategy (2021–2023) we made some good progress. We have significantly improved our understanding of the diversity of our staff and dental professionals through an improved approach to collecting EDI data. We have established strong staff networks including a new staff forum, Rainbow, established to promote inclusivity of LGBTQ+ employees, REACH, where ethnically diverse colleague can share their lived experiences, our Women’s Network and Our Disability Network (Enable). However, there is still much left to do.

To truly embed EDI into everything that we do, we believe that in the future, our EDI vision and approach should be incorporated into our broader corporate strategy development and delivery. We have started the process of developing our next Corporate Strategy 2026–2028, and this will be a great opportunity to ensure that our EDI vision and commitments are embedded within our broader strategic objectives.

In the meantime, this two-year ‘bridging’ strategy both builds upon the solid foundations laid by the last EDI strategy and paves the way for a new approach in 2026.

 This change is well-timed. We are part-way through an extensive change programme to re-evaluate the values and culture of the organisation and will be welcoming a new Chief Executive and Registrar who will be joining in June. As we get ready to embark on this new chapter, we have the perfect opportunity to reflect on progress and our goals in respect of EDI and continue to ensure patient protection is at the heart of everything we do.

Lord Toby Harris of Haringey                                  



Gurvinder Soomal

Interim Chief Executive and Registrar