Around a third of all new registrations in 2021 were from dental professionals whose primary qualification was gained outside of the UK. They are a vital part of the UK dental team and, therefore, it’s important that the arrangements for their registration are as effective and efficient as possible.
For some time, we have been working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to make changes to our outdated and rigid legislation governing those arrangements. This week, DHSC published the outcome of the public consultation it held earlier this year on its proposed changes to the legislation.
We very much welcome this package of reform, as the proposed changes mean we will be able to modernise our processes while continuing to apply our standards for registration, which protect patients and promote public confidence.
Some of the proposed changes, such as restoring the time that was lost to Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) candidates as a result of the COVID-19 exams suspension, will take effect as soon as the reforms come into force. This change will, once again, provide the opportunity to sit the exam to candidates who have been unable to progress through no fault of their own.
For some of the other proposed changes which aim to remove the current barriers to modernising our international registration processes, these will enable us to bring forward proposals which themselves will require consultation and approval. As a result, the benefits of these reforms will be felt later. These measures include steps to increase the capacity of the ORE and, over the longer term, develop a wider range of routes using new powers for international registration.
DHSC has indicated the government intends to move forward with the proposals with a parliamentary debate in late 2022, and we are in the process of sharing what this recent development means for those who are will be most influenced by the reforms.