Consultations and responses

On this page you can find details of any consultations that we are currently running, consultation outcomes and closed consultations from previous years.

You can read GDC responses to consultations by others here.

Open consultations

There are no open consultations at the moment.

Consultation outcomes

We have published the outcome report to our consultation on updating the Guidance on Indemnity and Insurance. 

We have also published the updated guidance, which is effective from 12 February 2024. 

Thank you to all who responded to our consultation. We received much valuable feedback and suggestions for improvements, all of which has helped shape the finalised revised guidance.

You can find a summary of the responses we received to our consultation on our strategic plan for the next three years, and our response in our consultation outcome report.  

Thank you to those who engaged with the proposals and provided their views.  

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


Closed consultations


Start date


End date

15/02/2024 (23.59)


We are inviting views on our proposals to make the current approach to deciding the format of hearings permanent.

The process for deciding whether a hearing is held in-person or remotely (or both, known as a hybrid) is currently set out in our Preliminary Meeting Guidance. We consulted on the process in 2021, as we emerged from the pandemic, but stated that we would consult with stakeholders again if we wanted to make the approach permanent.

We are proposing that our default position will be that all practice committee and registration appeals committee hearings will be held remotely, while providing for requests for hearings to be held in-person to be considered and decided fairly.

We are proposing a slightly different approach to interim order hearings due to urgency of these proceedings. Again, the proposal is for interim order committee hearings to be held remotely, unless we receive a request from a registrant for an in-person hearing. Where requested, the hearing will be held in-person.

Consultation on the format of hearings.

Ways to respond

Please respond to this consultation using the online survey.

You can also submit your response by email (see below). When doing so please include the name of the consultation in the subject line, or something similar that helps it to be identified easily.

When submitting by email, please reference your responses using the question numbers.

For details of how your data will be processed and stored, please see our Privacy Notice. Information held by the GDC is subject to Freedom of Information requests, so please do not provide any information you would not want to be disclosed.

Response to your views

We will respond to views raised during the consultation by producing a consultation outcome report. The report will be published on our website.

Contact us

If you have any questions or queries about this consultation, please get in touch.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 020 7167 6330

We invited comments on routes to registration for internationally qualified dental professionals. We proposed new rules setting out the standards and processes for the assessment of international dental qualifications which were broadly in line with the current arrangements. We also invited evidence on how to assess the skills, knowledge, and experience of international applicants to the registers in future.  

Consultation on routes to registration for internationally qualified dentists and dental care professionals

This consultation is now closed.

Start date


End date



The GDC is consulting on its proposal to improve its guidance to make it easier for dental professionals to understand what they need to report to their regulator, in the interests of patient safety and maintaining public confidence.

We are proposing a new ‘Guidance on reporting matters to the GDC’ that will build upon and replace the current Guidance on reporting criminal proceedings . The proposed guidance will not introduce new requirements for dental professionals, but it will bring together in one place guidance related to all matters which needs to be reported to the GDC.

Dental professionals are required to report to the GDC any concerns they may have about their own or another dental professional’s health, conduct, or performance that may risk patient-safety or public confidence in the dental profession. They must also report any criminal or regulatory proceedings that they may be subject to. The new guidance will cover all these matters.

The proposed ‘Guidance on reporting matters to the GDC’ will become the ‘one-stop shop’ for all guidance related to reporting matters to the GDC. This will make it easier for dental professionals to find all relevant guidance and will ensure they are better equipped in understanding and meeting their obligations in the interest of patient safety and public confidence.

The changes we propose in this consultation are part of a wider ambition to promote professional behaviours, skills, and attributes across dentistry. We continue to take steps to maintain and improve patient safety by moving dental regulation towards preventing harm rather than responding to the consequences of it.  A key part of this move is to foster a system that supports and encourages professionalism and decision making that is centred on the best interests of patients.   


Please access the consultation paper online where you can save your responses to our questions and submit it when you are ready (but before the deadline).  
If you prefer, you can also download a copy of the consultation paper and submit your responses via email or through the post to: The GDC, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8DQ   

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email us

Start date


End date



Dental professionals are required by law to have appropriate indemnity or insurance in place before they practise. This is to ensure any patient who suffers harm in the course of a treatment can seek appropriate compensation. 

The General Dental Council (GDC) is proposing changes to its guidance on indemnity and insurance to ensure it is up-to-date and better supports dental professionals to understand and meet their legal and regulatory obligations, in the interest of patients and maintaining public confidence in the profession.

The proposed changes explain the different types of cover available and highlight the additional benefits that dental professionals should consider when arranging cover, such as advice and support for their wellbeing during a claim.

We invite all interested and affected parties to share their thoughts and views on our proposed updates by 20 June when the consultation closes. 


Please access the consultation paper online where you can save your responses to our questions and submit it when you are ready (but before the deadline).

If you prefer, you can also download a copy of the consultation paper and submit your responses via email or through the post to: The GDC, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8DQ

Read the proposed new  Guidance on professional indemnity and insurance

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email us.

Start Date 


End Date 



This consultation proposes revisions to the General Dental Council’s (GDC) Scope of Practice guidance.  

The GDC has been reviewing the Scope of Practice guidance and we are proposing an approach that better supports professional decision-making. We have been exploring the concept of professionalism, and how we can provide the dental team with the right level of guidance and the space needed to make informed judgements relevant to the situations they encounter in practice.  
The changes we propose in this consultation are part of a wider ambition to promote professional behaviours, skills, and attributes across dentistry. We continue to take steps to maintain and improve patient safety by moving dental regulation towards preventing harm rather than responding to the consequences of it. A key part of this move is to foster a system that supports and encourages professionalism and decision making that is centred on the best interests of patients.   
We have engaged with professionals and patients in the development of these proposals. This consultation is an opportunity to further engage and gather feedback that will help us to develop guidance that is fit for purpose in the context of modern dentistry and enables good patient care.  


Our proposals are based on an extensive review of the Scope of Practice guidance which included independent research and stakeholder engagement, including with dental professionals, patients and the public, professional associations, indemnifiers and organisations involved in dental education. Much of the content for the proposed revised guidance was produced in partnership with stakeholders.  

To address the issues identified with the guidance during our review, which are detailed in the consultation linked below, the changes proposed to the Scope of Practice guidance aim to provide dental professionals with clear boundaries around their role while also enabling professionals who are trained, competent, and indemnified to safely expand their scope of practice within those boundaries.  
The proposed revised guidance also moves away from providing a list of tasks that could be undertaken by each professional group and instead provides criteria for decision making to support and guide professional judgement.  

Our revision to the guidance aims to make it: 

  • Centred on protecting patients – protects patients by guiding dental professionals to practise safely within clear boundaries of their role. 
  • Supportive and guiding – supports and guides professional decision-making. 
  • Enabling – enables the dental team and individuals to work to their full potential in a variety of different settings.  
  • Flexible – sets role boundaries while also adaptive to the ever-changing environment of dentistry.  
  • Futureproof – supports the delivery of dentistry of the future. 


Please access the consultation paper online where you can save your responses to our questions and submit it when you are ready (but before the deadline).  
If you prefer, you can also download a copy of the consultation paper and submit your responses via email or through the post to: The GDC, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8DQ   

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email us

Start date

10 November 2022

End date

2 February 2023


We sought views on revisions to guidance for the Interim Orders Committee and associated documents (see below). We proposed updates that promote patient safety and public confidence, while ensuring decisions are fair and proportionate. The results of this consultation are provided in the outcome report

Consultation documents  

We sought views on the following draft documents (consultation closed, unpublished):

  • Guidance for the Interim Orders Committee
  • Conditions Bank for the Interim Orders Committee
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Equality Impact Assessment  


This consultation is closed.

Start date

18 October 2022

End date

10 January 2023


The GDC has a general concern to promote high standards of education, in all aspects of dentistry, and a statutory role in assuring the standard of pre-registration education and training.   Our expectations for pre-registration training of dental professionals are articulated as learning outcomes in Preparing for Practice, which was last updated in 2015. In the past several years, there have been significant shifts in society and in dentistry, which need to be considered to ensure people joining our register continue to have the right skills, knowledge and behaviours. 


We have reviewed the current learning outcomes and are proposing the following:

1. Moving away from the terms ‘safe beginner’ and ‘independent practitioner’ to the term ‘safe practitioner’ to describe newly UK qualified dental professionals

This term encompasses the most critical outcomes of pre-registration training. Please refer to sections 3.1 and 4.3 of the consultation document.

2. Introducing the concept of “behaviours” 
Behaviours will replace those learning outcomes which describe expectations around professional behaviours, values and attitudes. Please refer to section 4.5 of the consultation document.
3. Updating existing content and creation of some new areas
Reflecting on the impacts of pandemic, the complex environment dental professionals work within, and workplace pressures, we have revised and introduced areas of content such as managing mental health and wellbeing, recognising the impacts of EDI and environmental sustainability as a consideration when providing dental care. Please refer to section 3.3 of the consultation document.

The consultation documentation includes: 

• background and context of Preparing for Practice
• the considerations taken in the review process and changes to content proposed

• the resulting proposed Safe Practitioner Framework

Please find the frameworks which detail the learning outcomes and behaviours for each professional discipline below:

Start date


End date



We’ve set out our proposed plans for public protection for the next three years at a time of considerable uncertainty for UK dentistry. We want to focus on delivery of our core functions while making system improvements where we can, recognising that the timetable for reform is far from clear or certain.

We’d now like to hear your views on our strategic plans for the next three years.

Our plan provides a framework for managing the uncertainty we face, while furthering our ambition for a flexible and responsive regulatory framework that:

  • maintains dental education and training standards
  • supports the registration of those who meet our standards
  • provides public protection if a dental professional falls short of expectations. 

Our priority is to keep building effective prevention strategies and operating a proportionate system for resolving concerns to further our ambition to shift the balance from enforcement to prevention. We plan to embed new principles of professionalism, giving professionals the space to exercise their judgement, and to focus our investigations on issues that provoke concerns for public safety or confidence.

Our regulatory framework has not been fundamentally updated for four decades and its weakness is becoming increasingly apparent. Changes to the system for international registration will be prioritised when the legislation has been agreed but even then, the changes will take time to implement. We’ll work to ensure we are well prepared for the opportunity to modernise our framework, and will continue to press government to bring forward much needed reforms.

Legislative change will help but is still some way off. And there are other important issues for dentistry, including widening health inequalities and access to NHS dental services. Some issues are beyond our remit, but we can make an important contribution: 

  • by sharing intelligence and insights
  • engaging stakeholders
  • working with the right parts of the sector to address risks.

Some of the issues facing dentistry have been exposed or exacerbated by COVID-19. So our plans include considering relevant consequences of the pandemic, such as supporting those whose education and training has been disrupted, increasing capacity for investigations and adapting regulation to address emerging public safety or confidence concerns.

As the UK regulator for dental professionals our plans affect regulated professionals working in the sector, people thinking about a career in dentistry, and the public who rely on safe and trusted dental and oral health services. Our work is primarily funded through fees paid by dental professionals and forecasts for budgets and fees are included in our strategic plans issued for consultation. 

We expect a modest increase in fees from the levels set in 2019. Estimated fees have been articulated at levels that are fair and that ensure we are a financially sustainable regulator. Inflationary risks are affecting everyone in the UK and our expenditure plans have been formulated with this in mind. We have also set out how we plan to manage risks from high and volatile inflation during the planning period.

Our consultation provides dental professionals and other stakeholders with an opportunity to help shape our strategic and expenditure plans for the next three years. We invite all those with an interest in how dental professionals are regulated to share their views.

This consultation is now closed.

Start date

27 January 2021

End date

21 February 2021


A consultation on proposed updates to GDC Guidance on the constitution and conduct of Preliminary Meetings, convened as part of the Fitness to Practise process. Changes to the Guidance will affect those involved in our Fitness to Practise processes, particularly in cases where the investigation has resulted in a referral to a substantive hearing.


The key changes from the previously issued guidance include:

  • greater detail to assist parties in their approach to attending a Preliminary Meeting 
  • inclusion of matters relating to consideration of the format of hearings (remote or in person)
  • matters relating to evidence, special measures, disclosure of material, and admissibility of hearsay evidence.

We have also proposed adjustments to help ensure Preliminary Meetings and, any directions given, are able to narrow or refine issues ahead of a hearing taking place. The current need to hold all or most hearings activity (including Preliminary Meetings) remotely has also prompted an update of this guidance. The changes should ensure that all parties have clear guidance on the issues that might arise and the types of information that may assist resolution of matters at a Preliminary Meeting.

This consultation is now closed.

Consultation on Preliminary Meeting Guidance

Start date

11 July 2019

End date

3 October 2019


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. 


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.

This consultation is now closed.

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


End Date



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.


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.


This consultation is now closed.

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

​Please respond to this consultation using the online survey.

Start Date


End Date



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).


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.

Outcome report

This consultation has now closed.

You will find a summary of views and our responses in the Corporate Strategy 2020-2022 Outcome Report.

GDC Corporate Strategy 2020-2022


Start Date


End Date



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.​


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.


Start Date


End Date



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


​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


End Date



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


End Date



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


End Date



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


End Date



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.

This consultation is now closed

Consultation on the principles of specialist listing

Start Date


End Date


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.​


​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