General Dental Council seeks valuable workforce insights as part of renewal

06 November, 2023

As part of our efforts to deepen the understanding of the dental workforce we will be asking dental professionals to share a few details of their working patterns as part of their annual renewal.

This additional work pattern data, which will be provided on a voluntary basis, will help to build on the very limited workforce data that the dental sector can currently use.

We are able to address this challenge as we are in the unique position of having the most complete data available, a list of everyone who is registered to practise dentistry, across all the professions and the four nations of the UK. However, the registration data currently held only tells us who is registered with the GDC and does not provide details of what they are doing.

The responses we receive will help us and others to better understand:

  • Where dental professionals are working.
  • What they are doing.
  • The number of hours they are working.
  • Whether they are working in NHS or private practice.
  • How the way dental professionals are working changes over time.

All submissions will be anonymous and we will ensure that no individual can be identified. Furthermore, the answers dental professionals provide will not affect their access to services or how we treat them. We will use the responses to undertake analyses, produce reports and make the data available to any external organisations and stakeholders who request it.

Helping the sector to understand its workforce better will inform discussions and support better decision-making to improve access to services in the future.

Gurvinder Soomal, GDC Chief Operating Officer said:

“We know that information about dental professionals’ working patterns is limited, which makes workforce planning challenging. Following discussions with many stakeholders across dentistry, we have decided to ask dental professionals to provide some additional information as part of their renewal process.

“Understanding more about the dental workforce will provide valuable insight for future workforce resource planning. Completing this is a valuable opportunity, as having a better understanding of our workforce and its needs can only help bring about the changes the profession and patients want and need.