A view from the GDC's Chair: Good discussions and progress on international registration

02 March, 2022 by Lord Toby Harris

I was pleased to have a meeting with the Oral Health Foundation this month. They told me about their origins 50 years ago and their priorities for today, improving oral health and wellbeing around the world. As ever when I meet stakeholders, I’m keen to understand their perspectives on the areas we have in common. One of these is the important role dental professionals have in raising oral health awareness with patients, which can only be a positive factor in public confidence in dental services.

Regulating the whole dental team

I’m always mindful that the GDC registers the whole dental team. This month it was good to meet the Dental Technologists Association who are the professional body for many of the 5,341 dental technicians and 391 clinical dental technicians on our registers.

I also met the British Society of Dental Therapists and Hygienists.  This was particularly timely, as the Department of Health and Social Care has now published its consultation on plans to amend the legislation governing routes to registration for dental professionals with qualifications gained outside the UK. The GDC has welcomed these as we believe the reforms will ensure a proportionate, clear and robust route to registration for people who qualified outside the UK.

One of the aims of the proposals is to address long-standing capacity issues with the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. International routes to registration remain important so while the reforms are underway, I am pleased that the GDC has restarted Parts 1 and 2 of the ORE with a full schedule in 2022.

I also welcomed a conversation with MDDUS, as we have many interests in common, albeit sometimes with different perspectives, as we have different relationships with the dental team. 

Looking ahead to our strategic aims

And finally, I enjoyed joining the rest of the GDC’s Council in an initial session to bring together our views on the next Corporate Strategy from 2023 to 2025. Collective thinking is critical here, to consider the strategic aims against the context of the wider external and regulatory environment in the years ahead. I look forward to developing these further, ahead of the public consultation later this year. 

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