Review a fitness to practise decision 

You may be able to request a review if you want to challenge the way in which a fitness to practise decision has been made.

The review will consider if the original decision maker applied the law and followed procedures correctly. It is not an opportunity for the same issue or concern to be presented to a new decision maker in the hope of obtaining a different decision.

The process is sometimes referred to as a Rule 9 review, as a reference to the rule that governs the process.

What decisions can be reviewed?

The following decisions can be reviewed:

  • Decision made by the Registrar not to refer a case to case examiners (in full or in part) i.e. it has been decided that the fitness to practise concerns raised do not amount to an allegation, and the case is closed with no further action.
  • Decision made by case examiners that a case referred to them should not be considered by a practice committee at the Dental Professionals Hearings Service i.e. it has been decided to close a case with no further action (or closed with advice or a published or unpublished warning).

Who can ask for a review?

A request for a review can be made by:

  • the Registrar
  • the person who raised the issues or concern
  • the dental professional involved
  • any other person who, in the opinion of the Registrar, has an interest in the decision to close the case.

The review process

When an application is received, the Registrar decides if the request meets the requirements and if a review should be carried out.

The Registrar will close the case with no further action unless:

  • the application was made within the two-year time limit (if exceeded, the Registrar will consider whether there are exceptional circumstances that support a review)
  • the decision to close the case could have been materially flawed (in full or in part)
  • there is any new information which could have led to a different decision being made
  • a review is necessary to protect the public, prevent injustice to the dental professional, or would otherwise be necessary in the public interest.

Where the Registrar decides to conduct a review, the person who requested the review and other relevant people (e.g. employers) will be informed and asked if they would like to provide any comments. The Registrar may also request other relevant information.

As part of any review, the Registrar will ask if:

  • the decision was, for any reason, materially flawed (in full or in part)
  • there is any new information which probably would have led to a different decision (in full or in part)
  • a fresh determination is necessary for the protection of the public, to protect the interests of the respondent, or is otherwise necessary in the public interest.

The Registrar will then decide to:

  • uphold the original decision and take no further action, or 
  • order a fresh determination.

Applying for a review

Before making an application for review you should read:

If you still want to apply for a review, complete the application for a review (Rule 9).

Send your completed application by email to: [email protected].

Or by post to: GDC, 37 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8DQ

If you do not agree with the review decision

If the Registrar has decided not to conduct a review or the review is completed without further action, you can only challenge that decision through a legal process known as judicial review.

Judicial review involves starting a court claim. You may wish to seek legal advice if you decide to pursue this option, as there are stringent rules governing the process, including strict time limits.

We are not able reopen a case once the review process has completed.