GDC launches new Safe Practitioner framework and consultation outcome report

09 November, 2023

The GDC has today published The Safe Practitioner: A framework of behaviours and outcomes for dental professional education, which will replace Preparing for Practice as the curriculum document for all programmes of undergraduate dental education in the UK from September 2025.

In late 2022, we consulted on our proposed revision of the expectations we have for dental education and training, to better reflect the significant shifts in society and in dentistry. Following valuable feedback from stakeholders and professionals, we have published the consultation outcomes report and the learning outcomes and behaviours for each of the seven professions.

Much of the content remains the same as 'Preparing for Practice'. However, an important change is the introduction of the concept of behaviours. We recognised that some key attributes required of dental professionals did not work well when expressed as a learning outcome, and the new framework distinguishes areas where education providers are expected to monitor behaviours over time rather than use formal assessments as evidence of meeting the requirement. Added to this, the terminology used within the new framework has been amended to better convey the intent of a behaviour or outcomes.

Other changes include additional content that has been added to strengthen learning in specific areas including equality, diversity and inclusion, cultural competence, mental health and wellbeing, insight, sustainability and complaints handling.

The new framework ensures that the clinical knowledge and skills included are specific to the scope of practice of each professional group. Most of the behaviours and learning outcomes for the interpersonal and emotional skills, professionalism and self-management domains are common across all professional groups.

The new framework will also enable education providers to better prepare new dental professionals and, in turn, ensure they are well equipped for the sector they are joining.

We know it will take time to introduce the new framework, and plan to set an implementation target of August 2025, after which all new dental professionals must be on a programme mapped against the new Safe Practitioner Framework.

The consultation outcome report and Safe Practitioner framework can be found on our learning outcomes review webpage.