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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.

Consultation outcomes

We’ve published the outcome report to our discussion document on shaping the direction of lifelong learning for dental professionals.

Thank you to all who provided us their views and insights.

We’ll continue to engage all relevant parties before any changes are made to the CDP scheme.

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

Our response to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consultation entitled Water fluoridation: seeking views on future consultation process.

Consultation details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The consultation closed on 3 June 2022. 

Our response to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consultation on changes to the General Dental Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s international registration legislation.

Consultation details can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The consultation closed on 6 May 2022.

The GDC’s response to the DHSC consultation on whether to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 and influenza as a condition of deployment to Care Quality Commission registered health and care settings in England.

The consultation closed on 22 October 2021.

The GDC’s response to the Department of Health’s consultation on a statutory duty of candour in Northern Ireland.

The consultation will close on 31 August 2021.

Read the GDC's full response to government proposals to reform the legislation under which we operate.

We very much support the ambition set out to remove outdated and overly prescriptive legislation, and to put in its place a modernised and flexible framework that can respond to change and innovation while enhancing accountability, transparency and public protection. But we think the proposals need to go further, and faster, as our Chair of Council, William Moyes, has set out.

The GDC’s response to the NHS Digital consultation on changes to data on written complaints in the NHS.

The consultation closed on 26 March 2021. 

The GDC’s response to the Professional Standards Authority consultation on the approach to the performance review process.

The consultation closed on 4 March 2021

The GDC’s response to the Welsh Government consultation on the Welsh Language Standards (Healthcare Regulators) Regulations.

The consultation closed on 2 October 2020.

The GDC’s consultation response to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman consultation on the Complaint Standards Framework.

The consultation closed on 18 September 2020. 

The GDC’s response to the Professional Standards Authority consultation on virtual fitness to practise hearings.

The consultation closed on 11 September 2020.

The GDC’s response to the Scottish Government consultation on Near Me video consulting service.

The consultation closed on 8 August 2020. 

Closed consultations

Start date

05/07/2022

End date

06/09/2022

Overview

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.

Respond

Please respond using the online form.

If you can’t use the online form, you can submit your response by email, please include the name of the consultation in the subject line of your email to our stakeholder team.

Start date

27 January 2021

End date

21 February 2021

Background

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.

Summary

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.

Equality Impact Assessment

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.

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

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​

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

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.
 

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

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.

This consultation is now closed

Consultation on the principles of specialist listing