View Contents

Review of Education 2019-2021

13 December, 2022
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    
DentistryDental hygiene and therapyDental nursingDental technologyOrthodontic therapy
2 programmes8 programmes3 programmes3 programmes4 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     
DentistryDental hygiene and therapyDental hygieneDental therapyDental nursingOrthodontic therapy
3 programmes5 programmes2 programmes2 programmes2 programmes1 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 2019-2021Targeted inspections 2019-2021
37 providers9 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.