An update on specialty developments

25 July, 2019 by Manjula Das
An update on specialty developments

Manjula Das, Head of Education Policy and Quality Assurance, provides an update on specialty developments.

There has been much activity on the specialty education and training front at the GDC over the past few years, including the publication of revised Standards for Specialty Training in January 2019 and the commencement of the quality assurance of specialty training in spring this year. This blog serves to provide an update on other developments and the key milestones and next steps.

Throughout 2018 the GDC worked closely with key stakeholders, through the Specialty Working Group, to develop a GDC consultation on the principles for specialist listing in dentistry. 

It invited comment on the following fundamental issues related to the system of specialist listing:

a) revised purposes for specialist listing, setting out what the GDC expects listed specialties to fulfil, and criteria by which the GDC will determine which disciplines of dentistry should be listed

b) principles for the addition and removal of specialist lists

c) processes for maintaining accreditation on specialist lists.

The consultation was published for 12 weeks and closed on 25th April 2019.

We received 161 responses and are currently analysing this feedback and drawing together proposals for the next steps, which we will take to Council for approval in October. We aim to publish the outcomes and next steps by the end of the year.

Further to the consultation, and as discussed at a range of stakeholder events over recent years, we now consider that it is timely for us to instigate two further pieces of work related to specialty training. These are:

1)    Revision of specialty curricula and assessments

In 2016 we worked with stakeholders to develop a generic template for dental specialty training curricula, which was agreed by Council in December 2016. Following this, we established the Specialty Working Group in early 2017 to strategically align projects relating to specialty education and training across the four nations. While this work was taking place, we tasked the Specialty Advisory Committees (SACs) to undertake a rapid review of the current curricula to ensure that they posed no clear patient safety concerns in the short term.

We are now re-commencing work on the revision of specialty curricula and assessments and will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the 2016 generic template remains up to date. We will be in touch with key stakeholders over the coming months to seek their views about necessary amendments to this. 

We will also develop and publish guidance for the submission and approval process for the revised specialty curricula and assessments in 2020. We will involve relevant stakeholders, including with the SACs regarding the timescale required for revision of the curricula and assessments. Subject to the feedback received, we expect arrangements to be up and running in the new year. Our intention is for the revised and approved curricula to be in place for implementation from the start of the 2021/22 academic year.

We welcome feedback and thoughts on this and if you have any comments, please send these to Mijke Horn, Policy Manager.

2)    Comprehensive review of the mediated entry process

For some time, we have been aware of issues with the mediated entry process and last year we received a number of requests from a range of stakeholders for us to review this. We have taken the feedback we received on board and have recently established a working group to undertake a comprehensive review of the existing process. The group, which is due to hold its first meeting in September 2019 will work to develop proposals. Once approval from Council is received, the proposals will be put to consultation in early 2020, with a view to publishing the revised process in Q3 2020.

We welcome feedback and if you have any comments, please send these to Mark Platt, Policy Manager.

We look forward to taking forward these exciting developments in relation to specialty training at the GDC and will keep you informed as work progresses.

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