We are committed to ensuring our quality assurance of dental education and training fulfils our primary purpose, to protect patients. How we run our inspections and how we judge whether a course is sufficient for GDC registration can be found in the following documents:

QA process for BDS (2015) (504KB, PDF)
QA process for DCP programmes (2015) (551KB, PDF)

We have developed a set of Standards that we expect courses that lead to registration to demonstrate. These Standards for education are the framework of our processes and can be found in the following document.  Revisions to these have been agreed by Council and the updated Standards can be found below.  Programmes quality assured from the 2015/2016 academic year onwards, will be assessed against this revised document:

 Standards for education (revised 2015)  (448KB, PDF)

The previous version of the Standards for education can be found below:

Standards for education (200KB, PDF)

We use the Standards for education to look at whether a course produces students who demonstrate a particular range of learning outcomes when they have completed their programme of studies. The learning outcomes for each of the professions that we register are contained in the document Preparing for practice. Minor revisions have been made to this document and the revised version can be found below. The amendments to Preparing for practice will apply to all quality assurance activity from the 2015/2016 academic year.

Preparing for practice (revised 2015)   (1.25MB, PDF)

The previous version of Preparing for practice can be found below:

Preparing for practice (565KB, PDF)

In 2015, Council approved the guidance Standards for Specialty Education, which will be used when quality assuring specialty education in the UK.  This document and further information about the specialist lists can be found here.   ​

Student Professionalism

We have developed a suite of resources on student professionalism and fitness to practise.  The suite can be found in the Student Professionalism​ section of the website and comprises

Student Professionalism web resource area (which will continue to be developed over time), Introduction for students, Full guidance for students, Guidance for training Providers, Information for patients receiving care and treatment from student dental professionals

This replaces the GDC Student Fitness to Practise guidance 2010 ​

Student professionalism is an important part of:

managing the risks to patient safety and 

laying the foundations for good dental professionals

These materials aim to help students and providers with the promotion of professional behaviour and dealing with student fitness to practise issues.  

2010-04-07 FINAL Student Fitness to Practise guidance.pdfStudent fitness to practise guidance (157KB, PDF) 

Annual review

The annual review of education is designed to provide an overview of dental professionals’ education. The review also serves to stimulate wider debate about what is working well and those areas where providers find it more challenging to fully meet our requirements. 

Annual Review of Education 2014.pdfAnnual review of education 2013/14 (819KB, PDF)

Annual review of education 2012/13 (255KB, PDF)

Each year the annual review is presented to Council and circulated to providers and bodies concerned with the education of dental professionals.

Course providers and awarding bodies

If a course provider intends to deliver a new programme that will lead to registration, they are required to demonstrate how the programme will meet the Standards for education. To achieve this, we ask providers to complete a mapping document that describes how the course will meet the Standards for education and what evidence is, or will be, available to prove this.

Course providers must also complete a curriculum mapping table. A curriculum mapping table contains all the learning outcomes for a registered profession. These are contained in the publication Preparing for practice. The mapping table requires the education provider to specify where and how each outcome will be assessed in the programme.

Guidance for providers of education programmes can be found at the top of this page.

Recent inspections

We quality assure existing and new courses leading to registration for both dentists and DCPs. We do this through an annual monitoring exercise and inspections. When we carry out an inspection, our inspectors produce reports on their findings. You can find these reports on the programme and qualification pages for each profession:

Concerns or complaints about an education or training provider

The GDC has a legal responsibility under the Dentists Act 1984 (as amended) to check the quality of all UK dental and dental care professional (DCP) education and training programmes which lead to registration.
If there are concerns that an approved dental or DCP programme is failing to meet the Standards for Education, then we may be able to investigate. You can make a complaint or raise concerns about an education or training provider directly with the GDC.