Shifting the balance: The GDC’s response to your views and next steps

​Shifting the balance was published to encourage debate and invite views on the GDC's proposals for reforming dental regulation, which did not rely on legislative change.

Over the three-month consultation period, the GDC held roundtables in each of the UK's nations, discussed the issues at conferences, in face-to-face meetings and via the trade press and social media.

Shifting the balance received 86 responses from organisations such as the Professional Standards Authority, NHS England, British Dental Association, British Association of Dental Nurses and Society of British Dental Nurses and from individual dental professionals.

Taken together, this engagement has provided valuable input to our proposals

Our next steps

  • To help develop a model of upstream regulation, we are improving how we engage with patients, dental professionals, students and our partners. We intend to increase and improve our face-to-face engagement across the four nations.  We also intend to ensure that those we don't meet face-to-face can better engage with the content we produce, such as the standards and any learning from fitness to practise by improving our digital channels. 

  • We intend to share and promote learning in the dental sector through resources such as 'a state of the nation' report, which for the first time will bring together and share insight about dentistry that the GDC holds. We will also review the Standards for the Dental Team.

  • We will develop a risk-based approach to a quality assurance process for dental education, which we will implement in 2018-2019.

  • We are exploring the development of a CPD model based on quality rather than on the number of hours of learning, allowing professionals to determine their own development needs, with the GDC providing intelligence to suggest possible areas of focus.

  • We have established a profession-wide approach to complaints handling, which involves a range of stakeholders discussing what good practice in complaints handling should look like, and how the profession, supported by the GDC can best share, disseminate and embed these practices. 

  • We will examine the concept of 'seriousness' and how it is used across professional regulation. We will then use what we learn to inform a review our guidance material for fitness to practise decision makers to ensure that 'seriousness' is properly and fully embedded within it.

  • We are currently conducting a comprehensive end to end review of our fitness to practise process, involving all our stakeholders and partners to help ensure efficiency and effectiveness through every stage of the fitness to practise process.

Leadership network

Several respondents felt the proposals in Shifting the balance were ambitious. We agree. For this ambition to work in practice, close collaboration with dental professionals and wider stakeholders across the sector will be needed. Which is why we are establishing a network of leaders from across the dental sector to help us implement the vision of dental regulation that we have set out.

If you want to find out more or are interested in taking part in our network of leaders, please email shiftingthebalance@gdc-uk.org

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