View Contents

Development plans for 2021 and beyond

13 December, 2022

There is outstanding targeted monitoring and inspection activity relating to the 2020/21 academic year that will take place into 2021/22, including:

  • The Scottish BDS programmes which deferred a year due to the pandemic.
  • Providers who are managing BDS students who did not graduate in summer 2021, but are due to graduate by the end of the calendar year and to commence Foundation Training in March 2022.
We need to continue targeted QA activity of all BDS providers to ensure that 2021/22 graduates meet the required standard and are safe beginners. We have revised our processes from the 2020/21 period with feedback from providers and internal teams. We continue to liaise closely with stakeholders about these developments, including through the Dental Education Stakeholder meetings. These meetings were first established in 2020 to better understand concerns and identify how we could work together more closely in support of one another towards solutions and they will continue in 2022. 

Student engagement work

In the 2019/20 academic year we provided a total of 40 on site presentations to around 2,500 students (2,200 BDS, 150 dental hygienists, 50 dental therapists, 50 dental nurses, 25 clinical dental technicians and 25 orthodontic therapists) and 1,200 foundation/vocational dentists. 

Presentations included information on the role of the GDC, professionalism, guidance on the use of social media and complaints handling. The presentations also included interactive elements to enable attendees to consider and discuss scenarios regarding professionalism. Videos of interviews with patients were also used to help convey the patient perspective. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with Government guidance, in 2020/21 we moved away from face-to-face presentations and delivered the sessions online. The change enabled us to continue this important programme of engagement despite the pandemic and in total we provided 23 presentations to roughly 2,000 students (1,500 BDS, 450 dental hygienists and therapists and 50 dental nurses) and 800 foundation/vocational dentists.

For the 2021/22 academic year we will be focusing on developing the programme of engagement with students and new registrants further. This includes targeting a wider range of trainee dental care professionals and drawing from the data in our perceptions research, to produce content for the preferred communications channels used by students. We will also be producing a wider range of content for social media and feeding information in to channels run by other stakeholders, including education providers.

Learning outcome review

A review of the GDC’s learning outcomes in Preparing for Practice for each profession is currently underway. This document also contains the current definition of a safe beginner that outlines the standard expected of those who qualify in the UK. We will work with stakeholders through workshops and a reference group to identify changes and consult on these in 2022. In 2023, we expect to work with stakeholders on the implementation of the updated outcomes. Following the revision of the learning outcomes, we will seek to review the Standards for Education in 2022/23.

Continuing Professional Development

We published a discussion document in 2019 and invited responses from professionals and stakeholders on a range of different approaches to CPD. We intend to publish a report of the responses we received and outline the next steps for this work. One of these will be an evaluation of the current ‘enhanced’ CPD scheme which will be followed by  formal consultation on a future model for lifelong learning.

Specialty training developments

The GDC continues to work closely with the Specialty Advisory Committees and the postgraduate deans to revise the specialty curricula. Updated curricula were originally planned to be approved and in place by September 2021, but due to the pandemic, work on this was postponed. The work resumed in 2021 and is now due to be completed by September 2022. 

In 2019 a ‘task and finish group’ was formed with key stakeholders to take forward developments and improvements collectively regarding the Specialist List Assessed Application Process. Updates can be found at Specialist List Assessed Application (SLAA) route - task and finish group developments.