The Interim Orders Committee (IOC), a statutory committee of the Council, considers whether it is necessary to make an order affecting an individual's registration for the protection of the public or otherwise in the public interest or in the interest of the individual concerned pending the outcome of an inquiry by one of the Practice Committees. The IOC does not investigate the allegations or conduct a fact finding exercise. These functions are reserved for the Practice Committees.
Impose a suspension (up to 18 months with six monthly reviews);
Impose conditions (up to 18 months with six monthly reviews); or
Decide that no order is necessary.
A case may be referred to the IOC at any stage.
In the interests of public accountability, hearings before the IOC are generally open to the public. They may, however, be heard in private where the interests of the parties or the protection of the personal life of the registrant so requires, or if the Committee considers that publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
All interim orders must be reviewed by the IOC at a hearing. The GDC recognises that attending can be stressful to registrants and aims to avoid this potential stress when the need for a registrant to be present at an interim order review is not completely necessary.
The GDC has introduced the process of carrying out all interim order reviews based on the documents submitted by both parties "on the papers" without the need for the registrant or defence to attend the hearing day unless an oral hearing is requested.
Membership of the IOC is drawn from the fitness to practise panellists who are both dental professionals and lay members. If a panellist sits on an inquiry for the IOC they will not sit on the same inquiry when it is heard at a Practice Committee.
The rules governing the procedure of the IOC are the General Dental Council (Fitness to Practice) Rules Order of Council 2006.