Facing a concern
This page covers what you need to do, and what to expect, if a concern has been raised about you.
As the UK regulator for dental professionals, we have a legal duty to review concerns we receive about a registrant’s clinical performance/ability, behaviour/conduct or health.
If you receive a letter from us letting you know that a concern has been raised about you, it is important to remember:
- We have not taken any action other than sending you this letter.
- You are still able to continue working in your current role.
- Once we have received and considered the relevant information, around four in every ten concerns are closed with no further action.
The letter will set out the reasons for us looking into the concerns, and we will probably ask you for more information to help us fully consider it. We expect any information requested to be provided by the deadline given as delays can cause undue stress, and we want to examine, and make our decisions in a timely manner.
You may wish to contact your indemnity provider, and we have also provided a list of other support available.
Rule 4 observations
We are piloting changes to the Rule 4 stage of the fitness to practise process from the end of January 2020. The pilot will run for nine months, ending on 30 October 2020.
The Rule 4 stage allows for dental professionals to submit their comments or observations in response to the concern that has been raised. Dental professionals subject to investigations do not have to provide observations, but most do.
What happens next?
When we have all the information we need, we will decide what to do next. If the concern relates to clinical care, we will take advice from our clinical advisers before reaching a decision.
Once we have received all the relevant information, we aim to tell you our decision as soon as possible.
We will either:
- Take no further action.
- Signpost the matter to another relevant organisation.
- Decide it needs further consideration. We will then ask you for comments on the concern.
If you would like further information on the full fitness to practise process, you can find out more about the four stages of our procedure.
Guidance for registrants
If you are represented, your indemnity provider/solicitor may assist you with making the relevant arrangements.
If you are not represented, you may find the Information guide for unrepresented registrants useful. This guide is for dental professionals involved in fitness to practise proceedings who intend to represent themselves. It explains the fitness to practise process step-by-step.
It includes information about the IOC, the activities of different parties, things for you to do before, during and after a hearing, along with the outcomes from this type of hearing to ensure you know what to expect.
You can also download our Commitee decision making guide which outlines the stages our commitees go through.