Establishing our approach to research and evidence

10 April, 2019 by David Teeman
Establishing our approach to research and evidence

David Teeman, GDC's Head of Regulatory Intelligence, discusses how research underpins our development and programme of work.

As Barack Obama famously said; 'I'm an old-fashioned guy. I believe in the enlightenment, and reason, and logic, and you know, facts!' 

Over the last 24 years I've learned to be a researcher, working in health, education, social care and local go​vernment, and I've realised how frustrating it can be when evidence is treated as an afterthought, rather than the first and last thought. Therefore, it was the opportunity to shape, lead and drive the evidence agenda that drew me to the GDC; to put evidence at the heart of what we do. And I have not been disappointed. Key is the opportunity to provide the evidence to underpin our flagship Shifting the balance programme of work, and to develop individual project and programme monitoring and evaluation.  ​​
​This is an exciting time for research and evidence at the GDC. The importance of our ability to use evidence in everything we do and making evidence-based decisions is illustrated by the investment we make each year in developing our evidence capability and capacity. Working with my team, my task is to develop a comprehensive intelligence strategy and to develop and deliver an ambitious research programme, as well as supporting colleagues to undertake a range of research, monitoring and evaluation activity.  
The last few months have seen a number of research projects completed:
  • We worked with a team from the Association of Dental Education Europe (ADEE) and carried out a literature review to establish an evidence base in relation to the GDC's policy proposals for CPD development, including examples of best practice.
  • We completed research that looked at what non-UK trained registrants thought the impact of Brexit would be
We have recently commissioned our annual patients and public survey through Ipsos Mori, commissioned our annual professionals survey with Pye Tait, commissioned IFF Research to conduct a review of GDC's Scope of Practice, and commissioned a survey of registrants involved with the Dental Complaints Service.
Looking forward to 2020 and beyond, we will be engaging with colleagues, registrants, the public and stakeholders, including other regulators, to look at our research priorities and research plans.
We plan to commission a joint regulatory research project looking at how we define seriousness with the NMC.  We also plan to commission research looking at what makes for an accessible complaints process, as well as literature reviews on preparedness to practice and professionalism which will inform our approach to further work in both these important areas.
We will also be working with fitness to practise (FtP) colleagues to undertake a review of their data to better understand and profile where risk lies across the dental profession and will use the findings to inform and evidence Shifting the balance and upstream work.
So, plenty to keep us busy, and I look forward to sharing the results of these activities with you over the coming months.

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