Indemnity

Indemnity requirement

 

This year, to be able to renew your registration with the GDC, you will be required to declare that you have the necessary indemnity or insurance in place to cover you in your work.

This is not a new requirement - dental professionals have always been required to have appropriate indemnity arrangements in place so that patients can claim any compensation to which they may be entitled. This requirement is part of the Standards.

We are doing this as in July 2014 a law was passed meaning all registered healthcare professionals are now legally required to have indemnity cover.

In November 2015 we changed our registration rules so that dentists and dental care professionals applying for registration or restoration, and those renewing their registration each year, will need to tell us that they have indemnity cover in place - or will have by the time they start practising.

This means you won't be able to register or renew your registration unless you confirm that you have, or will have appropriate indemnity cover in place.

DCPs will have to make this declaration during their annual renewal period in June/July.

Dentist will have to make this declaration during their annual renewal period in  November/December. 

If you do not have your own indemnity cover, for example you are covered under your employer’s policy, you will need to make sure you have, or can access, the details of the policy.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have appropriate cover for your scope of practice. If you are an employing dentist with DCPs covered under your policy, you will need to make the appropriate information available to them should they require it.

Please remember – making a false declaration to the GDC is a serious issue. If you declare to the GDC that you have appropriate indemnity in place and this is found to be false, this may be considered as a fitness to practise matter.​​

Indemnity update.docxIndemnity update.docx

 

 Q&As on the changes to the indemnity requirement

 
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  • What has changed?

    Dental professionals have always been required to have appropriate indemnity or insurance.

    However, in November 2015 it became a condition of registration for all dental professionals to have indemnity cover.

    This means that you will now need to declare to the GDC that you have appropriate indemnity cover (or will have by the time you start practising) when you register and when you renew your registration with the GDC each year. You may have to provide information to the GDC about your indemnity cover if we ask you for it.
     
  • Why was the change made?
     
    The Government decided to make this change for all registered healthcare professionals.
     
    At the moment, we only find out that someone does not have appropriate indemnity in place when a patient has already been harmed, or a complaint has been made.
     
    The idea behind the change is that you will not be able to register or renew your registration unless you can confirm to us that you have cover in place. It is hoped that this will help to reduce the number of people working without cover.
     
  • Who does this apply to?

    This requirement applies to all those on the GDC register and to those wishing to apply for registration or restoration.

  • What do I need to do?
     
    If you are applying for registration or restoration, you will have to declare that you have appropriate indemnity or insurance in place (or will have in place if you are not currently practising) as part of the application process.
     
    If you are already on the register, you will need to declare each year that you have appropriate indemnity cover (or will have when you start practising) during the annual renewal process. If you don't confirm this, you will not be able to renew your registration.
     
  • Who will have to make the declaration?
    • All those applying for registration or restoration with the GDC; and
    • All registrants who are renewing their registration.

    If you do not have your own cover (for example you are covered under your employer's arrangements) you will need to check that you are covered for all of the tasks that you do and in all of the places that you work. Once you have checked you will need to make your own declaration.

  • How and when will I have to submit a declaration?

    Anyone wishing to join the Register for the first time, or restoring, will need to declare that they have (or will have) indemnity in place during the application process.

    DCPs will make their indemnity declaration during the annual renewal period (deadline 31 July). The easiest way to do this is through eGDC.

    Dentists will make their indemnity declaration during the annual renewal period (deadline 31 December). The easiest way to do this is through eGDC.

  • I am applying for registration for the first time and I do not have indemnity cover yet. What should I do?
     
    That’s ok. We understand that those who have not yet registered will not yet have indemnity cover in place.
     
    What you will need to do is declare during the registration application process that you will have appropriate indemnity cover in place by the time you start to practise.
     
    If we ask you to provide further information about your expected indemnity arrangements, we may ask you whether you will be covered by your employer’s indemnity, or whether you will be covered by Crown indemnity (for example if working in a hospital). Or, if you will have your own policy, we may ask you for the details of the indemnity organisation you may have already talked to about organising cover.
     
  • I consider myself to be working in a non-clinical role, what is appropriate cover in this scenario?
    Dental professionals must have indemnity cover which is appropriate to the work they are doing.
     
    Only a very small number of dental professionals do not require any indemnity or insurance. This may include those who are not working and those who work in completely non-clinical roles such as teaching (and whose employers do not require them to have indemnity or insurance). If you are not working, you need to be sure that patients can claim if a problem arises from when you were working.

    If you are completely sure that you do not need indemnity for your role, you  must still submit a declaration each year when you are renewing your registration.
     
    If, however, your circumstances change, and you resume clinical interaction with patients, you would of course need to be appropriately indemnified.  You would be required to update your indemnity declaration through eGDC to state you now have indemnity cover in place.
     
    This does not apply to dental technicians who are working in laboratory and who are signing off work. Dental technicians in such roles currently do, and will continue to, require indemnity or insurance for the work that they are doing.
     
    If you are unsure whether your role requires you to have indemnity cover, please contact us to check. 
  • What if I do not have my own indemnity cover?

    If you don’t have your own individual policy, and are covered under your employer’s indemnity cover, that’s ok.

    However, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are appropriately indemnified under your employer’s cover for all of the tasks that you do and all of the places where you work. If you are unsure, you need to check.

    You may be asked to provide details of your indemnity cover to the GDC. In this case, you will need to ask your employer for the details of the policy so that you can submit this to the GDC within the 28 day time limit, along with a confirmation letter from the policy holder to confirm that you are covered by the policy.

  • I employ DCPs who are covered under my policy. Do I need to provide their details to the GDC too?

    ​If you are asked to provide further information regarding your indemnity cover when you are renewing your registration, then you will only need to provide information regarding your own cover.

    However, if one of your employees who is covered under your policy is asked to provide further information to the GDC, you will need to ensure that they have the appropriate information, along with a letter to confirm they are covered by the policy so that they can submit this to the GDC within the 28 day time limit.

  • Will I have to provide my indemnity certificate to you, or will a scanned copy be ok?

    You will not have to provide your indemnity certificate unless we specifically ask you to. We will provide full information about what you would need to send us if we contact you for further information.

    We will accept copies of certificates, scanned copies of certificates or, if you are employed in an NHS role for example in a dental hospital we will accept a letter from the NHS Human Resources department confirming your employment status and the fact that you are therefore covered by crown indemnity.

  • I’m a Dental Technician and don’t see patients, do I still have to have indemnity?

    ​Dental technicians must ensure that they are covered for all the tasks that they do.

    In some cases, all of a technician’s tasks may be covered by their workplace’s insurance policies.

    However, dental technicians who are relying on their workplace’s policy must assure themselves that they are appropriately covered for all of the tasks that they are doing.

    Dental technicians should be aware that their workplace's insurance policies mat not protect you if you do something which leads to a fitness to practise allegation or a disciplinary process.

  • I am working overseas. Do I still need indemnity?

    As is already the case, you will need to make sure you comply with the local requirements. For example those set by the regulator or legislation in that country.

    You should be covered for all the tasks that you do in that country as there is still a possibility that a patient could make a claim against you.

    The indemnity/cover does not need to be provided by a UK-based provider, but by a provider based in the country where you are working.

  • Are there advantages to having my own cover

    ​Yes. Whilst it is ok to be covered under your employer's policy (maybe as a dental nurse, a technician covered by your workplace's policy or NHS/Crown indemnity) you may wish to think about having your own policy.

    Your own policy may provide additional support such as:

    • Provide you with support and advice if you have any queries or questions;
    • Provide cover for your legal costs inan FtP hearing if this were ever needed.

    However, it would be up to you to decide whether or not you want this additional cover. The GDC does not require it - we only require you to have arrangements in place should a patient make a claim for compensation.

     

  • Do I need to have indenity if I have sufficient savings/investments to cover a patient claim?

    Self-funded arrangements - such as relying on your own personal savings or investments to cover a patient claim - are not permitted. You still need to have indemnity or insurance arrangements in place. ​

  • My employer has employers' liability insurance. Is this sufficient?

    No. Employers' liability insurance covers your employer against the cost of compensation claims arising from an injury you (the employee) might sustain at work.

    This is not the same as professional indemnity which can pay out compensation to a patient should they need to make a claim against you.