There are 21 Requirements in the GDC’s Standards for Education and they apply to all UK dental training programmes leading to registration with the GDC as a dentist or a dental care professional (DCP). The Standards are the regulatory tool used by the GDC to ensure that a programme is fit for purpose. The Standards are central to the GDC’s quality assurance processes.
The Standards outline three areas the GDC expects education providers to address in their training programmes so that holders of the awarding qualification are eligible for GDC registration. These areas are:
Standard 1 – Protecting patients (Requirements 1-8). This Standard states that providers must be aware of their duty to protect the public. Providers must ensure that patient safety is paramount, and care of patients is of an appropriate standard as a ‘safe beginner’ upon graduation. Any risk to the safety of patients and their care by students must be minimised.
Standard 2 – Quality evaluation and review of the programme (Requirements 9-12). This Standard states that providers must have in place effective policies and procedures for the monitoring and review of their programmes.
Standard 3 – Student assessment (Requirements 13-21). This Standard states that assessment must be reliable and valid. The choice of assessment method must be appropriate to demonstrate achievement of the GDC Learning Outcomes. Assessors must be fit to perform the assessment task.
In assessing education providers’ compliance, we determine whether Requirements are ‘met’, ‘partly met’ or ‘not met’.
A Requirement is met if:
‘There is sufficient appropriate evidence derived from the inspection process. This evidence provides the education associates with broad confidence that the provider demonstrates the Requirement. Information gathered through meetings with staff and students is supportive of documentary evidence and the evidence is robust, consistent and not contradictory. There may be minor deficiencies in the evidence supplied but these are likely to be inconsequential.’
A Requirement is partly met if:
‘Evidence derived from the inspection process is either incomplete or lacks detail and, as such, fails to convince the inspection panel that the provider fully demonstrates the Requirement. Information gathered through meetings with staff and students may not fully support the evidence submitted or there may be contradictory information in the evidence provided. There is, however, some evidence of compliance and it is likely that either (a) the appropriate evidence can be supplied in a short time frame, or, (b) any deficiencies identified can be addressed and evidenced in the annual monitoring process.’
A Requirement is not met if:
‘The provider cannot provide evidence to demonstrate a Requirement or the evidence provided is not convincing. The information gathered at the inspection through meetings with staff and students does not support the evidence provided or the evidence is inconsistent and/or incompatible with other findings. The deficiencies identified are such as to give rise to serious concern and will require an immediate action plan from the provider. The consequences of not meeting a Requirement in terms of the overall sufficiency of a programme will depend upon the compliance of the provider across the range of Requirements and the possible implications for public protection’.