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Authority publishes its latest performance review of the General Dental Council

The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) has published its annual performance review of the General Dental Council. We review each of the statutory health and social care regulators each year to assess whether they are meeting our Standards of Good Regulation. At the time of assessment, the GDC’s register covers over 114,000 dental professionals practising in the UK.

We have assessed the GDC’s performance against our Standards of Good Regulation. For this review period, the GDC has met 16 out of 18 of the Standards. The judgements we make against each Standard incorporate a range of evidence to form an overall picture of performance. Meeting a Standard means that, based on the information we have reviewed, we are satisfied that a regulator is performing well in that area. The Standards that have not been met are both in respect of the GDC’s performance in its fitness to practise function.

The first Standard that has not been met (Standard 15 for Fitness to Practise) includes the timeliness of dealing with fitness to practise cases. Whilst the GDC has made some improvements in this area, its performance has been mixed and its overall timeframe for concluding cases remains at the high end of the regulators that we oversee.

The second (Standard 17 for Fitness to Practise) is in respect of risk assessments and interim orders. This is important because interim orders enable regulators to limit the practice of registrants who may pose a danger to the public before a full hearing takes place. The information available to us did not provide assurance that high risk cases were being identified and referred to the Interim Order Committee at the early stages of the fitness to practise process.

More information about how we reached our decision is set out in our Performance Review - GDC 2019/20 and through a summary in our snapshot.

You can also read the GDC's statement on the publication of its performance review here.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. The General Dental Council (the GDC) regulates the dental professions (dentists, dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental technicians, dental therapists, orthodontic therapists and clinical dental technicians) in the United Kingdom. Its work includes: setting and maintaining standards of practice and conduct; maintaining a register of qualified professionals (only those appropriately registered with the GDC may practise dentistry in the UK); assuring the quality of dental pre-registration education and training; requiring dental professionals to keep up their skills up to date through continuing professional development; and taking action to restrict or remove from practice registrants who are not considered to be fit to practise. As at 30 June 2020, the GDC was responsible for a register of 114,406 dental professionals. Its Annual Retention Fee for registrants is £690 for dentists and £114 for dental care professionals.
  7. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  8. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at