This is the sixth Review of Education, reporting on the General Dental Council’s (GDC) education quality assurance (EQA) activity for the academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21 and the direction of policy going forward. There have been key challenges for education providers, not least the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which is discussed in more detail later in this Review. We have also included notable areas of good practice throughout.
In the 2019-2021 academic years, the GDC inspected 20 programmes across six out of the seven professions:
|Regular inspection activity|
|Dentistry||Dental hygiene and therapy||Dental nursing||Dental technology||Orthodontic therapy|
|2 programmes||8 programmes||3 programmes||3 programmes||4 programmes|
During this reporting period, we granted provisional approval to 15 programmes that will be subject to a full inspection, as follows:
|New programme submissions|
|Dentistry||Dental hygiene and therapy||Dental hygiene||Dental therapy||Dental nursing||Orthodontic therapy|
|3 programmes||5 programmes||2 programmes||2 programmes||2 programmes||1 programme|
A decision regarding full approval or sufficiency of these programmes will be made following a programme and examination inspection which will take place during the final year of the programme when the first graduating cohort are expected to qualify.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed new processes to conduct targeted monitoring and targeted inspection activity to focus on areas of greatest risk and concern in line with our risk-based approach to quality-assurance (QA). These differed from our regular monitoring and regular inspection activity and focused on the impact of the pandemic on the delivery of dentistry (BDS) and dental hygiene and dental therapy (HT) programmes, as follows:
|Targeted monitoring 2019-2021||Targeted inspections 2019-2021|
|37 providers||9 providers|
In addition to COVID-19 targeted QA activity, there have been a number of policy developments that commenced during this period, particularly around:
- The quality assurance of specialty training.
- Student engagement.
- A review of GDC learning outcomes in Preparing for practice.
- Continuing professional development (CPD).
- Specialty training developments
We are confident of the assurance given by the QA activity of education and training programme providers during this Review period.