Registration – why it’s important and the advantages for you

The GDC is the UK-wide statutory regulator of just over 114,000 members of the dental team and the Dentists Act 1984 provides the legislative framework for our work.

While our primary purpose is to protect patient safety and maintain public confidence in the dental professions, there are inherent advantages that come with registration in a regulated profession. These are largely in relation to the intrinsic trust and confidence that goes hand-in-hand with working in one of those professions.

Registration demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge to practise in your profession safely and effectively

We quality assure the education and training that leads to registration, using the Standards for Education, to ensure education providers graduate students who can demonstrate the particular learning outcomes required of them by the time they have finished their studies. Because of this, patients and colleagues can have confidence that all of the necessary skills and knowledge have been gained before practice commences.

Beyond first registration, the Standards for the Dental Team sets out the principles of conduct, performance and ethics that dental professionals must meet and uphold. This in turn helps to build a shared understanding of what is expected of dental professionals.

Registration provides confidence that your skills and knowledge are up to date

As continuing professional development (CPD) is a requirement of ongoing registration, you can clearly demonstrate that your skills and knowledge are being kept up-to-date and that you are able to practise safely and effectively.

Registration renewal means you can legally practise your profession in the UK for a year

Professionals are required to renew their registration each year. In addition to the annual retention fee that is paid, professionals declare they have (or will have) appropriate indemnity to practise and that they have met the CPD requirements for continuing registration. This provides the right to practice dentistry for 12 months.

Fitness to practise – maintaining confidence in the professions

Although fitness to practise concerns are rare, they represent an important part of protecting patient safety, and equally in maintaining public confidence in the professions. When there are serious concerns about an individual dental professional, it is important that these can be raised with us and investigated and progressed as appropriate. Our legal duty to review every concern provides this public assurance and in turn provides the public with confidence in the registered professions.

Registration means you can contribute to the work of the GDC in a professional capacity

The GDC works with independent and employed dental professionals in a number of areas of its work, including education quality assurance, registration and fitness to practise, to ensure key decisions are taken with the benefit of professional experience and expertise.

All GDC-registered dental professionals are eligible to apply for these roles when they become available.