Matthew Hill, Executive Director, Strategy, introduces the consultation on our Corporate Strategy 2020-2022 which is now open.
The GDC’s objectives, set in law by Parliament, are to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the public, to maintain public confidence in the dental professions and to set professional standards.
This is a broad remit and the Council has to make choices about how best to achieve it. The choices it makes have implications for the cost of regulation and, by extension, the retention fees charged to dental professionals.
Last year the Council consulted on a new policy for fee-setting, which came into effect at the beginning of this year. As well as establishing its approach to setting fees, the Council committed to consulting every three years on our high-level objectives and associated expenditure plans. In essence, the Council is consulting in this way in an effort to engage the public, the profession and others on the choices it has to make in pursuing its broad statutory objectives.
Working with the dental team for public safety and confidence
To this end, the Council has launched a consultation on its Corporate Strategy 2020 – 2022. The strategy reflects not only the statutory objectives Parliament has entrusted to the Council, but also the direction that the Council has taken in recent years of working more collaboratively with the profession to achieve them.
The strategy sets out the Council's five aims and, within each, describes the Council's programme of work over the next three years. The strategy also provides the high-level costs for those activities and indicates our current prioritisation. Your feedback will help us to refine that prioritisation - and will ultimately help to inform the detailed delivery and resource planning for the strategy this summer.
While there is too much to cover in this short note (look out for upcoming blogs which will look at each aim in turn), the strategy is intended to mark a further milestone in the development of better, fairer regulation in dentistry.
Hard work and difficult decisions
In his foreword to the Strategy, Council Chair Bill Moyes reflects on the hard work and difficult decisions that have led to sustained improvement at the GDC and that have ultimately provided the foundations for 'working with the dental team for public safety and confidence'.
Many of those difficult decisions related to the GDC's finances. To be clear, this is not a consultation on the ARF, but we understand that fees are ultimately the product of the choices Council makes in fulfilling its regulatory objectives. Without understanding the context of those strategic choices, meaningful and constructive discussion of fee levels is not possible. It is for this reason that we are committed to engaging with our stakeholders through consultation on our objectives and the associated costs every three years, and we look forward to the richer discussion this will bring.
This strategy enables a significant reduction in the ARF for dentists – reflecting, in part, a reduction in the expected regulatory workload in relation to that group following significant increases in complaints in the first half of the decade.
While we predict a small increase in the ARF for DCPs in 2020, it is worth remembering that it has been held flat since 2014, despite inflation.
Please let us know what you think
We want to hear from as many people as possible about our plans so please do let us know your views on our consultation page here.