With the application window for the latest Council Member recruitment open until 17 February, Caroline Logan, who is a registered DCP and qualified as a dental technician, reflects on what inspired her to join the Council, and why she is excited about the opportunity this round of recruitment presents for other dental care professionals.
Why I decided to apply to be a Council member
When I applied to join the GDC back in 2017, I did so for two very different reasons. The main reason was that I truly believed that dental professionals should be involved in the regulation of their profession. I also felt that the knowledge and experience I had gained throughout my career as a dental care professional (DCP) could be used within Council to help shape how the profession was regulated in the future and that I could positively contribute to ensuring patients continue to receive safe and reliable dental treatment.
The second reason was more personal. I wanted to expand and diversify my career path. I wanted to continue teaching dental technology, but I also wanted to challenge myself and try something completely different that was still directly linked to the dental world. Although it was a demanding process to apply, it was a great opportunity to showcase my skills and the attributes I have as a dental professional, and it really helped me understand how the valuable knowledge and experience that I have could benefit the GDC.
Of the six registrant members on Council, there are only two who are DCP’s, myself and Angie Heilman who is a registered dental nurse. My time on the Council comes to an end in September, which will then leave only one DCP on Council. With over 71,000 DCPs on the register, equating to 62 per cent of registrants, it is really important that DCPs are involved in the regulation of the dental team and that the knowledge and experience they have, in relation to patient safety and the dental environment, is considered in all of the decisions that Council are making.
Supporting you to develop your non-executive skills
One of the roles we are recruiting to this year is designed for a dental professional that does not necessarily have all the non-executive skills that would usually be required for a Council Member position. Instead, we are looking for someone with an enthusiasm and commitment to developing the required Board skills. We have worked hard to plan a programme of peer mentoring and development to enable the new Member to be successful in their role. This role would be perfect for a DCP who want to develop further and increase their knowledge and skills.
You may wonder how a role on the Council would fit with your day job and how you would make time to do it all, but truthfully it's very flexible and you can work around it. One of the roles will not require the same time commitment which should make it easier for those who might not be able to commit as many days due to other clinical or other commitments. You might also have concerns that these roles are nothing like your everyday job and that you won't know what you're doing, but I can honestly say that my career experience and everything that I use in my everyday work has been of use to me and prepared me for my time as a Council Member.
What to do if you are interested
If you are currently considering applying for the role of Council Member, I would strongly encourage you to do it. Beyond my involvement in shaping the GDC and how it regulates the profession, being a Council Member has given me the opportunity to continue my current career while allowing me to learn and develop a whole new set of skills, work with an interesting and diverse group of people and to broaden the scope of my career path for the future.
As one of two DCPs on the Council at present, I want to emphasise that the Council will really benefit from a diverse range of dental team members. I am excited by the opportunity for the Council to have new Members that can bring a different set of skills and experience, and I’m really pleased that it is committed to mentor and support that member to develop their Board skills. The Council would value their input and experience, and I would strongly encourage any DCP who is interested to consider applying.
The application process if currently live, with a closing date of 12pm on Monday 17 February. You can find out more information about both roles on our recruitment partners’ website.