Our strategic plan for the next three years: your views
Our Corporate Strategy for 2023-2025 will build upon the strategic aims and objectives of Right time, Right place, Right Touch. We revisited and clarified those aims in 2020 to make sure they remained the right priorities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, we report on our plans, progress and expenditure in our Costed Corporate Plan and Annual Report and Accounts. This is how we make our detailed plans, share progress against our objectives and ensure our expenditure is transparent to our stakeholders.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the objectives we planned we:
- Revisited our strategy, which included research and stakeholder engagement, and clarified our strategic aims for the new context.
- Prepared new guidance for dental professionals on two principles: to minimise the regulatory burden on dental professionals wherever possible; and to maximise flexibility for dental professionals to manage their professional activities in response to the challenges of COVID-19.
- Worked with the dental education sector to ensure that students and trainees whose learning opportunities were affected were appropriately supported to meet the standards required for registration with the GDC.
- Transitioned the organisation to a hybrid model of working and to progress cases whenever possible.
- Supported dental professionals who were unable to complete their full complement of CPD for reasons related to the pandemic to remain on the register.
Over the course of 2020-2022 we also continued to drive forward work to achieve our objectives. The detail of our progress and expenditure under our current strategic aims is reported in the rolling Costed Corporate Plan. In this strategy, we are building upon the following achievements under our previous strategic aims:
Strategic aim 1: Career-long upstream regulation that upholds standards for safe dental professional practice and conduct:
- Implemented risk-based approaches to quality assurance of dental education.
- Published research on professionalism and a review preparedness for practice used to inform consultations on principles for professionalism, and the learning outcomes for UK dental education.
- Published Supporting the Dental Team: a guide for managers and employers, created in collaboration with our stakeholders, to support their understanding of the responsibilities of registered dental professionals.
- Reviewed our Scope of Practice guidance to inform a consultation on changes that support and allow dental professionals to work lawfully, within their scope, and as a team.
Strategic aim 2: Resolution of patient concerns at the right time, in the right place:
- Supported the profession-wide complaints handling working group.
Strategic aim 3: Right-touch regulatory decision-making for our enforcement action:
- Completed the end-to-end review of our fitness to practise processes which led to changes to our approach to case management and dental professionals submitting their observations on concerns that have been raised with us.
- Published research on seriousness as a concept in fitness to practise decision-making and how it affects outcomes of cases.
- Completed the administrative separation of our fitness to practise hearings function to reinforce its independence from the investigations process.
Strategic aim 4: Maintaining and developing our model of regulation in preparation for reform of our legislation:
- Adapted to the immediate effects on our international registration processes from the UK’s departure from the EU and started the work to prepare for the UK’s new international relationships.
- Provided clarity on the expectations under our standards for dental professionals providing direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment.
Strategic aim 5: An outcome-focused, high performing and sustainable organisation:
- Strengthened relationships with our stakeholders and the different organisations playing a part in ensuring that patients receive safe and effective dental care.
- Improved collection and use of data as part of our regulatory functions.
- Reduced the Annual Retention Fee as a result of our last consultation on our high-level objectives.
- Introduced payment by instalment for dental professional retention fees, so the costs of being regulated are spread across four payments a year.
- Improved efficiency and effectiveness through a range of back-office initiatives, including upgrading our IT infrastructure, introducing a new people software system, and replacing payment systems.