Cardiff University BDS Award 2010-2014

The issue and its resolution

The GDC and Cardiff University, having identified a technical issue with the award of Cardiff graduates’ BDS qualifications between 2010-2014, worked together in the first half of 2015 to rectify individuals’ registrable qualifications and, where appropriate, to ensure individuals’ continued registration with the GDC was unaffected.  
The technical issue arose from the legal status of Cardiff University at the time of the affected individuals’ graduation. All BDS awarding bodies must have the legal status of medical authority for the purposes of the Dentists Act in order for their awards of BDS qualifications to be registrable under the Dentists Act 1984. Due to an oversight Cardiff University did not acquire the relevant status until July 2014 – after the dates of award 2010-2014 upon which approximately 300 graduates’ registration was based.  
The result was that, through no fault of the individuals, their entry in the dentists register was erroneous and steps needed to be taken in order to regularise the position.  
The GDC and Cardiff University, with the assistance of the Department of Health and the Welsh Government, agreed a set of measures to regularise the position with minimum disruption to the graduates and their patients. These measures were as follows:  
  1. Cardiff University issued affected graduates with a new BDS award on 1 May 2015; 
  2. At midnight on 29 May 2015, the GDC removed individuals with an erroneous registration and immediately restored them to the dentists register on the basis of the new award with effect from 00:01 on 30 May 2015.  

Important information


  • Individuals were able to continue working throughout this process. Although their registration was technically erroneous during the period of resolution, their name was on the dentists register and they were working lawfully as a dentist with all the duties, rights and responsibilities of a registrant. 
  • Individuals’ names were on the dentists register throughout this process. The removal of the erroneous entries and the subsequent restorations occurred in one process on 29-30 May 2015 and, whilst some information changed against entries in the register – including a link to this information – the affected individuals’ registration has been continuous. 
  • Individuals’ registration will continue normally after this process. Re-entering names on the register through the restoration process means that dates of initial registration will remain the same.  


Cardiff University have issued graduates with a new BDS award certificate, dated 1 May 2015, which is supplementary to the original certificate:  

  • The new award certificate was issued by Cardiff University with the legal status of medical authority for the purposes of the Dentists Act and therefore enabled individuals’ registration with the GDC to be regularised.  
  • The academic validity of graduates’ original BDS awards is not in doubt and neither is the fact that they successfully pursued a dental degree programme properly quality assured by the GDC. 
  • Cardiff University has not rescinded the original awards, and the certificates are still be valid as an academic award of an accredited dental degree programme. However, the original certificates are no longer valid for the purposes of registration in the dentists register kept by the GDC.
  • The date on which original BDS qualifications were awarded remains the same and is referenced on graduates’ certificates provided to confirm their new awards. The new awards supplement the original awards but, being dated 1 May 2015, have been issued by Cardiff University with the legal status of medical authority for the purposes of the Dentists Act and are therefore fully acceptable in terms of registration in the dentists register.
  • To confirm the length of individuals’ professional experience, the date of their first registration remains as the original date when they were first registered in the dentists register.
  • For job applications and other situations where individuals may be asked for evidence of the length of their professional experience and/or the date of their qualification for their dental degree, they will still be able to refer to the date of their original BDS award, which will be reflected by the date of first registration in the dentists register. If a prospective employer or registration body has any queries about this, both the GDC and Cardiff University will be able to provide any further confirmations as may be required.