Learning outcomes review

We are undertaking a review of the GDC’s learning outcomes for dental team registration.  These outcomes are detailed in  Preparing for Practice which was first published in 2011 and revised in 2015.

The process for reviewing the learning outcomes was launched in September 2019. The project has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcome of the review is not anticipated to be published until 2022 at the earliest.

We have started work to pull together sources of information to inform the review, but this is where we need you. We need your experiences of dental care to identify those learning outcomes that require particular attention and possible amendment.

Whether you have recently been in education, delivered a training course or supervised a newly qualified dental professional, we would welcome your feedback on the following:

• Areas of education you feel are outdated

• Skills or areas of knowledge where professionals have demonstrated little understanding

• Technological advances within the industry of which you think we should be aware

• Pieces of information or research from other organisations or bodies that you think we should consider.


The learning outcomes in Preparing for Practice reflect the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours a dentist or DCP must have to practise safely, effectively and professionally and to be eligible to join the GDC registers. All dental education and training should produce an individual who can demonstrate that they have met the required learning outcomes and are safe and fit to practice independently.

We will review the learning outcomes framework every three to four years, to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Within that cycle, we may also make changes to specific learning outcomes, to address significant public safety concerns or where it will not require structural changes to programmes.

Next steps

We will shortly be inviting providers of dental education to provide feedback on the learning outcomes across each profession by way of a questionnaire. This will seek to reflect on the current requirements of a newly qualified professional. We will also seek views of the definition of a safe beginner.

The questions in this survey will help us with information gathering as we commence the review process. We will ask respondents to consider how dentistry is changing, for example, how the oral health of the public is changing and how the pandemic may impact on the requirements of new registrants in the longer term.

We will use the responses, alongside other information collected from stakeholders and our research activities, to identify issues and themes and assess whether the current outcomes sufficiently address these.

We will not attribute any comments to an individual or organisation when reporting on feedback outside the GDC team. The issues and themes will be explored in stakeholder workshops later in 2021, before we consult in 2022. This will not be your only opportunity to comment.

Our guidance document, Learning Outcomes Review Process provides further information about the new process.

You can email us at [email protected] with your feedback and to ask for updates to the review process.