A view from the Chair: responding to the government’s consultation on provisional registration and getting ready to welcome our new Chief Executive

08 May, 2024 by Lord Toby Harris

Give your views on provisional registration by 16 May 

The Department of Health and Social Care’s consultation on provisional registration closes on 16 May. While provisional registration will only directly impact overseas qualified dental professionals who are dentists, the impact of this proposed change will affect the whole dental team so I would encourage you to review the consultation and respond to it, if you haven’t done so already.

We should not underestimate this proposed change, which will be the single biggest change to dental regulation for almost 20 years. We also know that successful implementation will be a substantial task and will depend on close collaboration across the dental sector and across the four nations of the UK.

The legislative changes announced by the government are the essential first step in delivering provisional registration, but they are only the first step, and there is much to be done to design the processes which will allow provisional registration to work safely and effectively.

There are three broad questions that we are focused on:

  • What criteria should people need to demonstrate to be accepted on to the provisional register?
  • What does effective supervision look like, to ensure that patient safety and public confidence is not compromised?
  • What should be assessed to allow someone to transition from provisional to full registration?

Stefan Czerniawski, Executive Director of Strategy, talked more about international registration in this article in BDJ In Practice a few weeks ago. 

However, provisional registration cannot happen overnight. When the consultation has closed, it requires legislation to be laid and the new systems to be designed, before anything can change. 

In the meantime, we want to improve access to the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) for those who qualified overseas and want to work as a dentist in the UK.  As such, we are inviting potential suppliers to tender for the provision of the ORE from next year. Our Invitation to Tender is due to be published next week. The tendering follows quickly from our early market engagement carried out from February to early April. 

Tom Whiting, new Chief Executive and Registrar, joins the GDC on 3 June 

Along with the rest of the Council, I am looking forward to welcoming Tom Whiting on 3 June as the GDC’s Chief Executive and Registrar. As well as his internal and staff engagements, Tom will meet external stakeholders too and he joins just in time to attend the Dental Leadership Network event on 12 June, where I am sure he will have the opportunity to meet stakeholders from across the sector.  

I would like to personally thank Gurvinder Soomal, the Interim Chief Executive, who will return to his role as the GDC’s Chief Operating Officer when Tom is in place. Gurvinder has played a vital role in steering the organisation and ensuring that we remained focused on our priorities during this transition period. I am very pleased that he will continue as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and that I and Council will continue to benefit from his advice and expertise. 

Dental care professionals can soon renew their registration and provide working pattern data 

We edge closer to the opening of the dental care professionals’ (DCP) annual renewal period. This year, those renewing will be able to answer a working patterns survey if they choose to do so, much like the dentists did towards the end of last year. Renewal will be open from 10 June until 31 July 2024, but you can log onto eGDC and update your CPD statement at any time. 

We were pleased to present our plans for this round of working patterns data to stakeholder partners in some workshops this month. They were received positively, and we look forward to working with partners to drive responses. Together with the dentists’ data we released in March, the insights we receive will help us continue to build a comprehensive picture of the dental profession in the UK.   



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