GDC publishes plans for next three years

02 February, 2023

Today we have published our Corporate Strategy 2023-2025, setting out our priorities for the next three years. 

The final strategy follows the 2023 consultation on our plans, which saw three times the responses received on the regulator’s last strategy consultation. The feedback enhanced our understanding of the current pressures on dental professionals and the difficulties people are facing in accessing NHS dental care.  

While our role in public protection remains unchanged, the plan recognises the need to modernise and for us to improve our performance in certain areas, particularly international registration and fitness to practise. 

The new strategy makes clear we will continue to press for legislative reform, but also recognises that reform may not materialise, and will not resolve all existing issues. The plan, therefore, seeks to drive improvements within our current legislative constraints while empowering the dental team to deliver safe and effective dental care, with high standards of professionalism. 

GDC Chair, Lord Toby Harris, said: 

“We know dental professionals have been providing patient care under exceptionally difficult circumstances. This strategic plan describes how effective professional regulation can support the ongoing recovery of dental services from COVID-19 for the benefit of dental professionals, patients and the public. The plan also sets out our further steps to continue to move the balance of our effort towards prevention, an ambition we have been working towards since 2017. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to consider our plans last year and respond to the consultation.”  

The corporate strategy does not set the level of the annual retention fee (ARF). Nevertheless, the activity described within the plan has a significant bearing on what dental professionals pay for their ongoing registration. In October last year, we announced the ARF levels for 2023. Due to the ongoing inflationary pressures and economic volatility in the UK, we made clear then that the fee levels may need to be reviewed again in 2023 and 2024. We also committed, however, that any increase would be kept – at most – in line with the rate of inflation at the time, unless further exceptional circumstances arise.