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

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

The consultation closed on 8 August 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 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 Welsh Government consultation on the Welsh Language Standards (Healthcare Regulators) Regulations.

The consultation closed on 2 October 2020.

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 NHS Digital consultation on changes to data on written complaints in the NHS.

The consultation closed on 26 March 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 Department of Health’s consultation on a statutory duty of candour in Northern Ireland.

The consultation will close on 31 August 2021.

Closed consultations

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.

GDC Preliminary Meeting Guidance (DRAFT)

Equality Impact Assessment (DRAFT)

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.

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

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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.


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

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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.


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

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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