View Contents

Timeline of legislative change and operational improvements

07 February, 2024
2015Dentists Act amended to include legislation to register professionals who qualified overseas via the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE), which sets out the fees, structure and content, governed by rules which required the approval of the Privy Council. 
2020We started working with DHSC on its plans to change the legislation. 
April 2020 to January 2022ORE sittings were suspended due to the pandemic. This caused a backlog of demand.
February 2022 to May 2022The government sought views on proposed changes to the legislative frameworks underpinning the international registration routes of the General Dental Council (GDC) and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). 
20 November 2022The government published its response to the proposed changes to the legislative frameworks, and that when the legislation changed, dentists qualified overseas would no longer be able to register as a DCP in the UK, but that we would process applications received before the legislation change.
15 February 2023The Order was made by the Privy Council, to come into force 21 days later, i.e. 8 March 2023. This prompted a further surge in applications from overseas qualified dentists to register as DCPs.
8 March 2023 The Order came into force, with some immediate and very specific changes to the current rules to allow the registration process to flow more freely, and will remove obstacles which have blocked progress for some candidates because of problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
16 May 2023We tripled the number of places for Part 1 of the ORE, from 200 places to 600 per exam, which we would sustain remains the same in 2024. At the time, we had around 1,500 candidates to sit Part 1, and the additional capacity announced would provide for 1,800 places over three sittings. 
29 June 2023 The government confirmed that European dental qualifications will continue to be recognised in the UK for the next five years.
July 2023 to September

We held a public consultation on routes to registration for internationally qualified dentists and dental care professionals. 
We also initiated a call for evidence to inform the longer-term plans to develop a comprehensive framework for this route. 

31 July 2023

We increased the number of ORE Part 2 sittings from 2024 from three to four, an increase of 33% of exam places, meaning 576 places in 2024. At the time, there were 520 candidates eligible to sit the ORE Part 2.
We also doubled the size of our registration casework team and took on more independent assessors to help to increase the number of applications assessed each month from the current 150 to around 250. 

8 December 2023The GDC’s Council approved the new rules for registration for internationally qualified dentists and dental care professionals. 
February 2024 

We expect to announce new application processing and examination fees for the ORE. 
We will start a process to procure suppliers for the ORE, with plans in place to open the exercise up to a competitive tender for the first time. 

9 March 2024 The new rules for registration for internationally qualified dentists and dental care professionals effective.