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Consultations and responses

On this page you can find details of any consultations that we are currently running, consultation outcomes, details of closed consultations from the past two years, and our consultation responses.

Open consultations

There are currently no open consultations.

Consultation outcomes

In May 2019, the General Dental Council (GDC) published a consultation on its proposed strategy for 2020-2022. The strategy described the organisation’s vision, values and strategic aims, and provided high-level information on the expenditure plans to support the achievement of those aims over the period.

Consulting on the new strategy marks a change in approach for the GDC. This new approach is set out in the GDC’s fee setting policy, which was consulted on in 2018, and came into effect from January 2019. It explains that we will consult every three years on the high-level objectives and associated expenditure plans that will underpin the annual retention fee (ARF).

The draft strategy set out five strategic aims, which were developed to describe the GDC’s priorities within its statutory remit. In order to deliver the necessary outcomes, the strategy also identified objectives designed to support the achievement of those aims.

The consultation, which opened on 8 May 2019 and closed on 30 July 2019, invited views on the objectives we had identified to support the achievement of the strategic aims, as well as the expenditure plans associated with them.

GDC corporate strategy 2020–2022: Consultation outcome report

GDC responses to consultations

​The DHSC launched a consultation called Appropriate ​clinical negligence cover for regulated healthcare professionals and strengthening patient recourse.
 

The consultation closed on 28 February 2019.

GDC's response to Appropriate clinical negligence cover

​The DHSC launched a consultation called Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation which asked for views on proposals to reform the regulation system for healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom.
 

Closed consultations

Start date

11 July 2019

End date

3 October 2019

Background

This discussion document presents ideas for the future development of lifelong learning and builds on previously published proposals included in Shifting the balance. The ideas for discussion draw on our Review of the literature on CPD, January 2019, and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, at two workshops, held in April 2019. 

Summary

Can you help shape the direction of lifelong learning for dental professionals?

We have opened a conversation about how dental professionals can take increasing ownership of meeting and maintaining high professional standards and quality patient care. This discussion document invites ideas, comments and views on the future development of lifelong learning, or continuing professional development, in dentistry.

The aim is to ensure that lifelong learning in dentistry continues to evolve to meet the expectations of the public, patients and dental professionals, in a way that is proportionate to risk, and flexible on how professionals go about reaching their development goals.

The discussion document is presented in three parts:

  • Part 1: A future model for lifelong learning
  • Part 2: CPD practices
  • Part 3: Informing CPD choices.

The deadline for responses is 3 October. Please provide your response using the online survey. You do not need to complete the survey all at once, to save and complete at another time, please select the 'finish later' option and follow the instructions.

Download the Shaping the direction of lifelong learning for dental professionals consultation document here

Start Date

07/07/19

End Date

07/09/19

Background

A consultation on a proposed pilot of changes to timescales for the Rule 4 process, part of the overall Fitness to Practise process, which include providing registrants and their representatives, under certain circumstances, the opportunity to request to extend the period for the preparation of their observations at the Rule 4 stage, to ensure the best possible evidence can be provided.

Summary

It is proposed that requests for a 14-day extension to the Rule 4 time limit will usually be granted for cases involving clinical concerns where the registrant has no other FtP matter being actively considered at any stage. If the registrant has one or more other cases actively being considered by FtP they may request an extension, however the GDC reserves the right to decline the request.
 
In addition, we would seek to disclose details of any clinical assessment that had been sought in advance of the full 'Rule 4 Bundle' being made available. This could provide up to an additional five working days for registrants and their representatives to consider and prepare a response to any clinical concerns that may have arisen.
 

Respond​

You can read the proposed corporate strategy by downloading the PDF from this page.
 

Start Date

08/05/2019

End Date

30/07/2019

Background

A consultation on our proposed three-year strategy, in which we seek views about the high-level regulatory aims we intend to achieve, the associated costs and the resulting level of the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) for both dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs).
 

Summary

The consultation lists five strategic aims, and within each aim describes the specific activity we propose to complete. The strategic aims are:
 
  • To operate a regulatory system which protects patients and is fair to registrants, while being cost-effective and proportionate; which begins with education, supports career-long learning, promotes high standards of care and professional conduct and is developed in the light of emerging evidence and experience.
  • To work with the professions and our partners to ensure that patients and the public are able to raise concerns with the agency best placed to resolve them effectively and without unnecessary delay.
  • To use evidence, research and evaluation, to develop, deliver and embed a cost-effective and right-touch model for enforcement action.
  • To maintain and develop the regulatory framework.
  • To continue to develop an outcome-focused, high-performing and sustainable organisation.
 

Respond​

You can read the proposed corporate strategy by downloading the PDF from this page.
 

​Please respond to this consultation through our corporate strategy website​ or the alternative methods listed in the Corporate Strategy document.

GDC Corporate Strategy 2020-2022

Start Date

20/02/2018

End Date

15/05/2018

Background

A commitment was made In Shifting the balance to work towards a new way of setting fees which would reflect a new approach to regulation and this consultation represents a step towards fulfilling that commitment.​
 

​Summary

At a headline level, the proposed policy aims to better explain how and why funds are used, to be clearer about how we allocate costs and to provide more certainty about the level of fee registrants can expect to pay. This is a consultation about the mechanisms for setting fee levels rather than about the level of fees themselves.
 
The proposed policy would shape our approach around three main principles. These principles are as follows:
 
Fee levels should be primarily determined by the cost of regulating each registrant group: we will seek to minimise the ways in which registrants fund regulatory activity that is not generated by them by removing, as far as practicable, cross subsidy between different groups. We will do this by allocating costs, as far as possible, where they fall. Where a degree of cross subsidy is necessary, we will explain this through our policy.
The method of calculating fee levels should be clear: we will be open with registrants about how we allocate the income we receive from them and why, and provide sufficient information about cost drivers, giving them the opportunity to contribute to the debate. We will seek to show a clearer link between fee income and regulatory activity. ​

Supporting certainty for registrants and the workability of the regulatory framework: we need to make sure that decisions on the allocation of costs do not lead to undesirable outcomes in the form of unacceptably high or variable costs for some groups of registrants. For example, in determining whether cross subsidy is necessary or desirable we will need to consider the impact on the volatility of fee levels (i.e. how much small changes in workload would cause the fee to change). This is likely to be of particular relevance to small registrant groups, where distribution of costs among small numbers of registrants has the potential to give rise to significant levels of volatility (and therefore uncertainty) and/or prohibitively high fees.

Consultation-clear-and-certain

Start Date

13/09/2016

End Date

12/10/2016

Summary:

​A consultation on our draft revised “Interim orders guidance for decision makers – Interim Orders Committee” (the “Guidance”) which was last revised in October 2009.  ​
 

Background:

​The Interim Orders Committee (the “IOC”) has the power to suspend or impose conditions on a GDC registrant on an interim basis, pending resolution of an investigation into their fitness to practise. The IOC does not investigate the allegations or conduct a fact finding exercise.
 
Cases are referred to the IOC where:
 
  • it is necessary for public protection 
  • it is in the wider public interest
  • it is in the interests of the dental professional
 
What has changed?
​The new guidance expands on the 2009 guidance and aims to promote consistency and transparency in the IOC’s decision making. The guidance now sets out more clearly:
 
  • the test that will be applied to determine whether to impose and interim order 
  • factors the IOC should consider in deciding whether to apply interim suspension or interim conditions of practice 
  • the length of time an order will be imposed
  • the type of information that should be provided about the IOC’s decisions in a particular case

We welcomed the valuable input and views of patients, professionals and our partners regarding the new Guidance.

Interim orders guidance for decision makers - Interim Orders Committee

Start Date

04/09/2017

End Date

01/11/2017

Summary

We are consulting on a proposed change to our fitness to practise operations. The change is minor in nature, and concerns the process by which we invite registrants to respond to fitness to practise allegations made against them.

Consultation Response - Fitness to Practise: Case observations process

Start Date

23/04/2018

End Date

16/07/2018

Summary

This consultation proposes changes to the standards used to quality assure education providers of speciality training.

Consultation on the General Dental Council's Standards for Speciality Education

Start Date

28/02/2018

End Date

23/05/2018

Summary

We are proposing changes to the way we quality assure education and training leading to registration for dental professionals. We are seeking to use our resources more efficiently, supporting education and training providers to drive improvements in dental education.

Consultation on the General Dental Council's education processes

Start Date

31/01/2019

End Date

25/04/2019

Summary

This consultation invites comment on fundamental issues related to the system of specialist listing:

  • revised purposes for specialist listing, setting out what the GDC expects listed specialties to fulfil, and criteria by which the GDC will determine which disciplines of dentistry should be listed
  • principles for the addition and removal of specialist lists
  • processes for maintaining accreditation on specialist lists.

If adopted by the GDC, following consultation, the revised principles and criteria would form the basis for the GDC to make policy decisions on specialist listing in the future. 

Consultation on the principles of specialist listing

Start Date

19/05/2016

End Date

30/06/2016

Following the Council’s decision to remove registrants’ full addresses from our public register, the GDC conducted a consultation on this decision and the information which should be available on the public register of dental professionals.​

Background:

​Following a decision made by the Council in 2006, registrants’ full addresses were included in the published version of the register. This was considered beneficial to the general public as it helped them confirm the identity of a professional based on their location. However, since 2006, there has been growing concern about the safety implications of publishing registrants’ full addresses. 
 

Consequently, the current Council has revisited arguments both for and against the publication of registrants’ full addresses. It concluded that, while the GDC should still require registrants to provide an address they can be contacted on, the risk to registrants posed by publishing this address outweighed the marginal additional public protection benefits of doing so.

Registered addresses public consultation