A view from the Chair: improving the restoration process and providing more international registration places

07 June, 2023 by Lord Toby Harris

It’s very positive news that the results of our efforts working with external partners have resulted in three times the number of places of the Part 1 Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) being available in August. We’ll also maintain this capacity for future Part 1 sittings in 2024.

This means that more of the 1,500 candidates, dentists who qualified overseas, will have an opportunity to secure their place on the Part 1 exam. We are also in discussions with our provider to increase the capacity of the ORE Part 2, and hope to be able to advise of future exam dates in the coming weeks.

In the longer term, our ambition is not merely to improve the exam as it stands now but to create a system of international registration which is fair to applicants, efficient to deliver – and above all is rigorous in protecting patient safety. That requires a complex combination of legislative, contractual and operational changes, so we cannot get there in a single step. Some aspects of the way we operate the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) are still fixed in legislation for another 12 months, and the steps we can now take are only the preliminary ones on a journey toward a more innovative, efficient and effective system.

We will consult with stakeholders as we develop the longer-term plans for the comprehensive framework for international registration.

The Registration statistical report which we published last month gives an overview of international registration. 160 new dentists joined the register through the ORE and 46% of new dentists who joined the register in 2022 qualified outside the UK. The route for overseas qualified dentists to join the register as a dental care professional has now closed, but half of all newly registered dental hygienists and dental therapists in 2022 were overseas qualified dentists.

Meeting dental professionals and stakeholders

The GDC had a stand and GDC speakers at both the Dentistry Show, Birmingham and the Scottish Dental Show in May. It’s important for us to be present at such events and an invaluable opportunity to answer questions, provide information and hear from dental professionals and stakeholders first-hand. Questions ranged from practical topics such as CPD requirements and registration, to an update on international registration and the GDC’s consultations.

It’s also an opportunity to provide workshops and presentations where people can hear from us in person and ask questions.

I’m in Harrogate on Friday and looking forward to meeting representatives from Local Dental Committees at their annual conference and speaking about some of the GDC’s priorities.

Improving how dental professionals restore their registration

I’m pleased that we’ve been able to make a small change to the process that professionals need to use to restore to the register if there’s an issue with their annual renewal.  Dental Professionals who have been off the register for less than 12 months and have always complied with CPD will be able to sign a declaration that their CPD is up to date, rather than send us a copy of their full CPD record.

This change should make it quicker and easier to restore, providing that your CPD record is intact, and you have met CPD requirements. The new process is already in place, in time for annual renewal for dental care professionals.

In the meantime, I urge all dental care professionals to log onto eGDC to check that they will have completed the minimum number of hours of CPD. You can do this any time and getting it out of the way before you renew your registration is well worthwhile. 

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