The Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) was suspended in early 2020 as part of the response to COVID-19. It has not been possible, until now, to resume the exam. We have, today, announced that one sitting of the Part 2 exam will take place in January 2022.
When the exam was suspended, the scheduled April 2020 sittings of Parts 1 and 2 were cancelled. Places on the January 2022 Part 2 sitting are being offered in the first instance to candidates who retained their booking (subject to provisions of the ORE legislation). Places will then be offered to those who are approaching the statutory five-year deadline between first attempting Part 1 of the exam and passing Part 2. For this reason, it is highly likely that places on this exam will not become available to other candidates on the Part 2 Candidate List.
Legislation change is needed to enable some people to proceed
The GDC operates under outdated and rigid legislation which prevents us from working flexibly and responsively in all kinds of ways. One of these ways is in setting the requirement for ORE candidates to have passed Part 2 of the exam within five years of first attempting the Part 1. This requirement in law is absolute and we have no legal discretion that we can apply.
What this means is that there are some candidates who were booked on the cancelled April 2020 Part 2 exam who we are unable to offer a place to on the upcoming Part 2 sitting, because the five years have now expired since they sat the Part 1. This affects 44 people from that exam.
Since the ORE was suspended, a further 88 people have also now exceeded the time limit. Unless a change in law is made, we will be unable to offer both of these groups of people a place on any future Part 2 exam.
We recognise this is a significant problem and have been working with the Department of Health and Social Care on a legislative solution, which will require a public consultation. While the timing of that consultation is outside of our control, we understand that it is planned for early 2022.
Working towards further Part 1 and Part 2 ORE sittings in 2022
The GDC does not run the ORE - we are required in law to appoint a ‘dental authority’ to run it on our behalf.
We are currently working through all options to prepare a 2022 schedule of both Part 1 and Part 2 of the exam and will provide an update on this work as soon as possible.