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

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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.

Consultation outcomes

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.  

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

Read the GDC's full response to the Department of Health and Social Care's (DHSC's) consultation, Regulating anaesthesia associates (AAs) and physician associates (PAs)

You can find the proposals and draft legislation to provide the General Medical Council (GMC) with the necessary powers to regulate AAs and PAs in the UK on the GOV.UK website. The DHSC has presented the proposals as a template for future reform of all health and care professional regulators, including the GDC.

The consultation closes 11.45pm on 16 May 2023.

The GDC’s response to the consultation on mandatory licensing of special procedures in Wales regarding possible exemptions for GDC-registered dental professionals.

Consultation details can be found on the Welsh Government website.

This consultation closed on 19 April 2023.

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.

The DHSC consultation outcome report was published on 17 February 2023.

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

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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

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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 are seeking views on revisions to the Guidance for the Interim Orders Committee and the Interim Orders Committee Conditions Bank (and supporting documents). We’re proposing updates that promote patient safety and public confidence, while ensuring decisions are fair and proportionate. Our goal is to make improvements to our fitness to practise processes where we can within our legislative constraints, and deliver on our commitment to right touch regulation.   

The Interim Orders Committee is responsible for considering and controlling any immediate and serious risks to patient safety and public confidence. It does this through assessing risk, and deciding whether there is a need to suspend or impose interim conditions on a dental professional’s practice ahead of any substantive fitness to practise hearing. 

Of the 152 cases presented to the Interim Orders Committee in 2021: 

  • 60 did not pose an immediate or serious risk (no order imposed) 
  • interim conditions on a dental professional’s practice were put in place in 41 cases 
  • and 51 interim suspensions of practice were imposed.   

The Interim Orders Committee can consider a case at any stage of an investigation. Cases are referred to it as soon as any potential serious or immediate risk to patient safety or public confidence has been identified for an assessment. Interim orders can be imposed on a dental professional’s practice for up to 18 months, and are reviewed every six months.   

The changes we’re proposing will affect those who are subject to an Interim Orders Committee hearing in future, lawyers and advisers who represent dental professionals, and independent fitness to practise panellists

The review aims to deliver the following objectives: 

  • Ensure consistency in our approach to immediate risk. 
  • Improve transparency of interim order rules, considerations and decisions. 
  • Ensure decisions are proportionate and appropriate to the risks posed.
  • Provide comprehensive guidance to panellists. 

Proposed improvements include: 

  • Giving additional guidance on ongoing criminal proceedings, such as the types of cases that are likely to be particularly damaging to public confidence, and consideration of sentencing in the case of a criminal conviction. 
  • Providing further detail on the considerations for panellists, and additional weight to the seriousness of sexual assault, harassment and violence.
  • Adding new guidance on joint hearings where there are multiple registrants.
  • Providing further detail on considerations for the handling of cases where there is an existing restriction on a dental professional’s practice in place.
  • Adding reference to the mode of hearing, including remote hearings and conducting interim order reviews by correspondence where the registrant does not attend.
  • Giving details of the approach and weight to be given to testimonial evidence.

We have drawn on relevant published evidence and case law when updating our guidance, including findings from the cross-regulatory research exploring the concept of seriousness in fitness to practise . Our research findings are particularly relevant to cases where there are allegations of serious misconduct.  

Consultation documents  

We are seeking your views on the following draft documents (consultation closed, unpublished):

Interim Orders Committee Guidance  

Interim Orders Committee Conditions Bank

Glossary of Terms

Equality Impact Assessment  


This consultation is closed.

Responding 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 consultations and responses page when available. 

If you have any questions or queries about this consultation, please contact us

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:

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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.

Equality Impact Assessment

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

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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.


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.

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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


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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.


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​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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

This consultation is now closed

Consultation on the principles of specialist listing

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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