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Objective 4

30 May, 2024

Making sure that our EDI action is guided and informed by insight gained through data, research and feedback

We are committed to being an organisation that is evidence led, using data, research and insight to inform everything we do.

EDI is, and will remain, one of our four research themes applied across all our research and insight work, built into the design of research studies and our approach to analyses. We are striving to improve the way in which we use available evidence to inform our work related to EDI, as well as to improve how we monitor and evaluate associated effectiveness and performance.

Insight is, of course, also gained in other ways. As the professional regulator, our interactions with dental professionals can quite easily end up as transactional. We try to find better ways of engaging with the profession and our stakeholders more widely, including organisations that represent groups with protected characteristics, to gain feedback and work together to achieve common goals.   


  • Enable the GDC to prioritise evidence-based approaches in fulfilling our corporate and EDI strategy commitments through enhanced data collection and utilisation. This enables us to leverage robust and reliable evidence to inform our actions and assess our impact
  • Collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders, including representatives of minority groups, by actively listening and acting upon feedback received
  • Use monitoring mechanisms to identify potential situations of unfairness and bias in FtP referrals.

What we are doing to achieve our priorities 

Using evidence to inform work, evaluation and monitoring of performance 

Currently, EDI is woven through all our work on research and evidence, and we have a plan for future analyses of data we intend to carry out, which incorporates EDI related analyses. 

There is an ongoing programme of work seeking to improve the data we capture and how we use it. As part of this work, we have made improvements to the EDI data that we capture for dental professionals on our registers.

We are working to improve the completeness and consistency of internal EDI data regarding staff, Council members and our associates. We are also improving EDI data capture more widely, for example from those who raise concerns with us and witnesses in FtP cases. 

To make these improvements, we are updating the EDI data forms we use and associated staff guidance to ensure these remain GDPR compliant, best evidence based and align with best practice. In doing so we can ensure that we are able to access, use and share this data in a safe and timely way. 

Our research and intelligence team is working with teams across the organisation to ensure that the EDI data we need is captured consistently through appropriate channels and to support colleagues’ delivery across the business. 

As we improve data capture, we will work with colleagues to better understand how our data can better inform our processes and decision making. Through our research programme, we aim to identify issues that impact those with protected characteristics as well as different professional groups and feed the findings into forward work plans. 

Gaining a better understanding of the workforce  

While the GDC is responsible for registering those entitled to practise dentistry in the UK, we do not have responsibility for workforce planning. However, difficulties in accessing dental care results in health inequalities, and understanding the data that underlies those issues is a key part of seeking to address those inequalities.

As part of our data improvement work programme, in 2023 we began collecting data on working patterns of those on our registers. Planned analysis of this working patterns data will include seeking to identify any correlations with the EDI data we hold. We will be analysing and reporting on this in 2024. We will work with our partners across dentistry and healthcare to better understand what this evidence means, particularly for equality of patient access to dental care and any potential impact on existing healthcare inequalities.  

Working with our partners

The GDC does not work in isolation. As the professional regulator, we believe the GDC has a role in bringing together some of the leaders in dentistry to recognise and work towards our common goals.

We have been working closely with several partners to influence and encourage a profession-wide commitment to EDI, including via the Dental Leadership Network, which we convene. As a member of the Diversity in Dentistry Action Group (DDAG), the GDC joins over 35 organisations in promoting the principles of EDI within the dental team.

The GDC also works in partnership with several other organisations for further exploration and access to best practice, training, networking, guidance and research. These include the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei), Disability Confident, Diversity Matters, the Inter-Regulatory EDI Forum, and the Racial Equality Inclusion Network (REIN).