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Quality assurance in light of COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 on primary dental education has been significant, particularly due to restrictions on patient access and clinical environments. As a result, we developed a process to ensure the GDC continues to only register individuals who are considered ‘safe beginners’.

Targeted monitoring: the impact of COVID-19

Throughout 2020 and the 2020/1 academic year we undertook a programme of targeted monitoring to assess the impact of COVID-19, alongside meetings with providers of primary dental education. This sought assurance of adequate provision of clinical experience for all students, particularly those expected to graduate in 2021.

This informed our decision making about where we would focus our education quality assurance inspection activity in 2021.

Follow-up inspections

In 2021 some education providers with final year cohorts required a follow-up inspection in cases where the evidence provided was insufficient to demonstrate that:

  • all students satisfied the criteria of safe beginner, paying particular attention to an appropriate level of clinical experience.

These follow-up inspections focused on requirements 13 and 15 from the GDC’s Standards for Education, which are particularly concerned with the depth and breadth of experience of final year students. All of the follow-up inspections provided us with this assurance, with inspection outcomes ranging from programme assurance, ongoing programme monitoring and extensions to programmes.

The reports from these follow-up inspections are available below:

Greater Manchester School for DCPs 
GMS HT Targeted inspection 2021 report with observations

King's College London 
KCL BDS Targeted Inspection 2021 report with observations

University of Leeds

Leeds BChD Targeted inspection 2021 report with observations

University of Manchester 
University of Manchester BDS Targeted Inspection Report 2021

University of Sheffield 

Sheffield BDS Targeted inspection 2021 report with observations

University of Central Lancashire
UCLAN BDS Targeted inspection 2021 report with observations

University of the Highlands and Islands
UHI HT Targeted inspection 2021 report with observations

2021/22 and beyond

Due to COVID-19’s ongoing impact on dental education, this programme of monitoring and inspection will continue as necessary. The outcome of this quality assurance work will be published on this page as it becomes available.