We’ve set out our proposed plans for public protection for the next three years at a time of considerable uncertainty for UK dentistry. Our plan is to focus on delivery of our core functions while making system improvements where we can, because we recognise that the timetable for reform is far from clear or certain.
We’re now inviting 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 fees to increase slightly 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.
Responding to the consultation
The deadline for responses is 23.59 on Tuesday 6 September 2022.
Please respond using the online form.
We have also provided a list of consultation questions.