As the transitional period of UK's exit from the EU was coming to an end and with it the arrangements set out by the Professional Qualifications Directive, we commissioned new research to gain a better understanding of the position in relation to the nature, scope and expected outcomes of the dental curricula in EU Member States. The work was completed by the University of Plymouth, Faculty of Health, and the results are published in the 'Review and mapping of basic dental training in EU Member States'.
Researchers from the University of Plymouth used a mixture of research methods to assess EU Member States' dental curricula, including comparing learning outcomes to those used in the UK, assessing levels of clinical experience with patients, and consideration of quality assurance systems for basic dental training.
While researchers reported some challenges in the sourcing of information, the findings indicate continued variation between and, within countries of the EU, in the provision of dental education, and little evidence that ambitions for harmonisation between Member States have been achieved. Variation was also found in how dental education was quality assured, and the extent to which outcomes could be mapped to the UK learning outcomes for dentists.
While variation and flexibility is needed, even as standards converge, it is important for regulators to understand these issues as responsibility for the recognition of qualifications shifts back to the UK, and potentially the responsibility of professional regulators, such as the GDC.