Calling on dental care professionals to join our Fitness to Practise panel

19 December, 2019 by Val Shepherd
Calling on dental care professionals to join our Fitness to Practise panel
Next year we will be looking to recruit new members of our Fitness to Practise panel. We are particularly keen to hear from dental care professionals, all titles, and people from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, as both groups are currently under-represented.
Here we look at who sits on our panel and why you should consider getting involved. 
Who sits on the Fitness to Practise panel?
Members of our statutory committees, which make decisions on dental professionals’ fitness to practise, are drawn from an independent pool of around 150 dental professionals and lay people called the Fitness to Practise panel. Panellists can sit as members of the Interim Orders, Professional Conduct, Professional Performance, Health or Registration Appeals Committees. 
Our panel needs a variety of people from a range of backgrounds to discuss and consider cases, this is because different people will see things from different perspectives. Therefore, it is important that the panel is made up of people from dental and non-dental backgrounds. Through discussions, panel members can then come to balanced and fair decisions. 
All panel members are appointed by the Statutory Panellists Assurance Committee. 
Why should I consider applying?
As a panel member, you will sit in hearings and work with other panellists to decide if a dental professional’s fitness to practise is impaired due to their health, their conduct or their performance. You will also be asked to hear cases involving registration decisions and applications for restoration to the registers. You will be compensated for your time. 
Panellists tell us that they find it particularly rewarding to be involved in the regulatory process and to contribute to the maintaining of standards and professionalism in dentistry. You can play a part by taking on this vital role, and make a real difference to patients and practitioners by protecting patients and maintaining confidence in the dental professions. 
Why should dental care professionals get involved?
It is important that all members of the dental team are represented on the panel, so there is a complete picture of modern dental practice and the views of dental care professionals are represented.
As a panellist, you will receive training to develop your skills to help you with different aspects of the role, from the application of case law, to understanding themes in public interest. You will be able to hone your skills in areas such as questioning or working effectively as part of a decision-making panel. Panellists are also given the opportunity to undertake training and development towards becoming a chair of a panel or committee. 
If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a panellist, please visit the webpage and keep an eye out for our call for interest, which will be issued early next year and posted on our website. 

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