We present here an example of an alternative framework that we have developed based on evidence and research. This example framework seeks to bring together standards, guidance and professionalism in a new way.
We are presenting this model to generate discussion and engagement about the best way to set standards and provide guidance to dental professionals.
We believe it will be easier to have these conversations if there’s an example of an alternative model to discuss. However, we also want to hear alternative ideas and suggestions for the best way to provide standards and guidance in a way that’s useful to dental professionals and continues to reflect professional practice and what patients expect.
The priority is that standards and guidance are set and provided in a way that enables professionals to use their professional judgement to deliver the right care for patients in every circumstance and conduct themselves in a way that ensures public confidence in dentistry.
We believe any new model should achieve the following goals:
- The standards and guidance continue to reflect professional practice and what patients expect.
- The standards and guidance are provided in a way that is useful to dental professionals and meets their needs.
- The standards and guidance are set and provided in a way that enables professionals to use their professional judgement to deliver the right care for patients in every circumstance and conduct themselves in a way that ensures public confidence in dentistry.
A model grounded in principles represents a different approach to setting standards and guidance that we think could better support dental professionals to use their professional judgement, by providing the flexibility to allow them to take into account the context of situations they encounter in practice.
The model described below may not be the final model, and this engagement exercise is vital to ensure that, should we decide to change the way we set the standards and guidance for dental professionals, any future model is as robust and supportive as possible.
Developing a model framework for professional decision-making and standards
We have used research and engagement to develop this model. It supports our ambition to move away from a prescriptive, ‘rules-based’ approach, and instead focuses on principles of professionalism, which provide a framework for professional decision making. To ensure that dental professionals are supported to apply these principles to their practice, and to ensure that their professional obligations are clear, these principles are situated within a framework that includes a limited suite of guidance, alongside illustrative examples and supporting materials.
Details of each of these four elements are provided in the pages linked below.