COVID-19: GDC’s position on registration

On 23 March 2020 the GDC issued a joint statement on arrangements for dental and dental care professional students and recent graduates whilst there are restrictions in place to control the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The GDC acknowledge that teaching and assessments have been severely disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The restrictions which are currently in place mean that clinical teaching, lectures, tutorials and final exams for students cannot take place in the usual way. Despite the ongoing issues, the GDC’s overall aim is to “ensure that those who are competent qualify and are able to enter the dental workforce without any unnecessary delay.” But it is important to note that this will be balanced with patient safety so anyone who wishes to register with the GDC needs to ensure that they have complied and met all the stages required.

Click the link here to see the GDC’s joint statement so that you can find the correct guidance which applies to you.

It is important to note that the joint statement is primarily for dental and dental care professional students and those in training posts in the UK. If you are an overseas dental professional who is hoping to register with the GDC there has been no guidance issued yet as to how these registration applications will be dealt with.

There are dental professionals who are no longer on the dental register but wish to return to work in order to assist in these troubling times. However, the GDC do not have powers like the GMC have which allow them to give temporary registration in emergencies. Therefore, at this moment in time the only avenue open to those dental professionals is to go through the normal individual restoration process. The GDC say that they have been corresponding with the Department of Health and Social Care in order to allow for them to have the same powers as the GMC but at the moment it does not look like this will be awarded.

With respect to maintaining your registration during the COVID-19 crisis and your obligations with CPD, the GDC have stated “to be absolutely clear: nobody will be removed from the register because of a lack of access to CPD curing the crisis period.” This should hopefully reassurance to dental professionals who are struggling to find CPD courses and therefore, are not currently meeting their required verifiable CPD hours.

Gordons Healthcare Regulatory Team assists dental professionals with any registration matters such as assistance with joining the dental register and advising in appealing registration decisions. If you would like to speak to one of our GDC lawyers about your case then you can contact either Richard Creamer or Iain Pickering from our Regulatory department on 01483 451900 or alternatively, email them at richard@gordonsols.co.uk or iain@gordonsols.co.uk.