Consultation on our three-year strategic plan opens amidst great uncertainty in dentistry

05 July, 2022

We have today opened a consultation on our plans for the next three years. We are seeking views on our proposed strategy which focuses on ways both to prevent patient harm and to be proportionate when handling the concerns we receive, progressing our ambition to shift the balance from enforcement to prevention. 

The strategy includes plans to embed new principles of professionalism, providing the dental team the space needed to make informed judgements relevant to the situations they face in practice. We will continue our work to focus our investigations on the most serious concerns, such as those that raise issues of public safety or confidence. 

The quality of the regulation we provide is closely linked to the quality of legislation we works under. Our legislation has not been fundamentally updated for four decades, and its weakness is becoming increasingly apparent while the timetable for reform becomes less certain.

We will continue to press government for the reform we need to become more agile and efficient. We will be ready to respond should reform arrive in the next three years, while continuing to focus on our core functions, making improvements wherever we can, should reform not materialise. 

GDC Executive Director, Stefan Czerniawski, said: 

“After the shock of the pandemic and in a rapidly changing environment, we have taken this opportunity to review our aims and objectives and to make sure that our strategic direction remains the right one for the next three years. Our priority is to continue focusing on ensuring dental professionals on our registers reach and maintain the highest standards, but to be ready to intervene where those standards are not met.” 

This is a consultation on our strategic plans and what it will cost to deliver them. That does have an impact on the Annual Retention Fee which we expect will increase from the levels set in 2019 to around £730 (+7%) for dentists and around £120 (+5%) for dental care professionals. 

Like everyone, our costs have increased due to inflation and the expected 2023 fee levels reflect this. Inflation is forecast to continue for some time, and we will do all we can to keep our own costs down, but we may need to revisit the fee in subsequent years if inflation remains high. We commit to limiting any further increases to the rate of inflation unless other exceptional circumstances arise. 

GDC Chair, Lord Toby Harris, said: 

“I believe the plans we set out in this consultation explain how we intend to manage the significant uncertainty we face in the coming years, while continuing to deliver on our core functions of protecting the public and maintaining confidence in the dental professions. Crucially though, these plans are not yet set in stone. This is a public consultation which provides the opportunity for anyone with an interest to tell us their views and help shape our strategy for the next three years. Now is the time to do this and I encourage everyone to read our plans and tell us what they think.” 

You’ll find our consultation on our strategic plans on our website.

The deadline for responses is midnight, 6 September 2022