GDC: consultation proposing changes to the way it quality assures education and training 

A consultation, launched yesterday by the General Dental Council (GDC), is proposing changes to the way it quality assures education and training leading to registration for dental professionals. The dental regulator is seeking to use its resources more efficiently, supporting education and training providers to drive improvements in dental education.

The proposals seek to replace a ‘one size fits all’ approach, instead utilising several factors to shape the scope and frequency of activity. Among these factors will be an assessment of a future professional’s scope of practice; an education provider’s past performance; management of issues and challenges they are facing; and an annual self-assessment.

Ross Scales, Acting Head of Education Policy and Quality Assurance, said: “This consultation upholds the commitments made in Shifting the balance – we want to channel our resources efficiently and effectively into those areas that will bring the greatest benefit, while working closely with training and education providers.”

Another proposed change to inspection activity is the introduction of an enhanced annual self-assessment submission. This will require training and education providers to feedback on an array of topics, including: successes, challenges and a progress report against actions required.

To find out more about the consultation, or to respond, visit:






The General Dental Council (GDC) is the UK-wide statutory regulator of just over 100,000 members of the dental team, including approximately 40,000 dentists and 60,000 dental care professionals. Our primary purpose is to protect patient safety and maintain public confidence in dental services. To achieve this, we register qualified dental professionals, set standards for dental professionals, investigate complaints about dental professionals' fitness to practise, and work to ensure the quality of dental education. The Dentists Act 1984 provides the legislative framework for our work. For more information visit

  • The GDC is responsible for quality assuring training and education providers leading to registration.
  • Shifting the balance: a better, fairer system of dental regulation outlined some specific areas of focus for the GDC’s education activity. The first of these was to undertake a review of the quality assurance processes currently in place, with the intention to make greater use of risk indicators to determine the methods, frequency and scope of quality assurance activity for individual programmes. The second was to make sure that the learning outcomes for dentists and dental care professionals are enabling providers to best prepare new professionals who are ready for current and future practice.
  • The consultation will last for 12 weeks. The closing date for responses is Wednesday 23 May 2018.

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