Our strategic plan for the next three years: your views



View Contents

Foreword from the Chair

05 July, 2022
Headshot of the GDC Chair, Lord Harris of Haringey

I am pleased to present our first draft strategy since my appointment as Chair of the GDC. This strategic plan is the next step in achieving our long-term ambition of moving dental professional regulation increasingly toward preventing harm to patients and the public, rather than responding to the consequences of it. We have been working on this ambition since 2017 when we published Shifting the balance and reinforced it in 2020 with Right time, Right place, Right touch.

Much has changed since 2017, particularly since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This draft strategy sets out our further steps to continue to move the balance of our effort towards prevention in a different context of public protection, dental care, and regulation. It is clear that some challenges will continue into and beyond 2023, including:

  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public, dental professionals, dental sector, and on the GDC
  • the delays and uncertainty over the plans to reform the health professional regulators, which is an essential component to achievement of our ambition
  • changes to our routes to registration following the UK’s departure from the EU
  • economic uncertainty that affects patient choice, dental businesses, individual dental professionals and the GDC.

Flexibility and adaptability will be essential for the GDC to respond to uncertainty. Our efforts to improve how GDC operates, plan over the longer term, and manage expenditure have been essential and important activities, but this strategic plan builds in agility to be able to respond to a changing set of circumstances.

Whatever context we face, our purpose remains constant: to protect the public. At the core of what we do is ensuring that the register is maintained so that the public only receives dental care from safe and effective dental professionals. Flowing from this central task are all our functions and processes, which we perform on behalf of members of the public and in co-operation with the professions, sector, and other regulators. We will be continuing to perform these functions and processes and make them more efficient and effective.

Therefore, while we are building in flexibility into how we achieve our aims, they will be familiar to our stakeholders and reinforce understanding of our role and goals.

We encourage you to respond to this consultation. We want to hear from everyone affected by our work in each nation of the UK: patients and the public, dental professionals, education providers, funding bodies for education and services, the national health services and their providers, private dental businesses, our regulatory partners, and the organisations that represent all these groups. By responding you can influence our thinking over the course of the next three years and the more detailed plans for activity and expenditure that follow from our strategic plan. 

We know dental professionals have been providing patient care under exceptionally difficult circumstances over the last two years. This draft strategic plan is an opportunity to consider how effective professional regulation can support the recovery of dental services for the benefit of dental professionals, patients and the public.


The Lord Harris of Haringey

Chair of the General Dental Council