Parliamentary briefings

The General Dental Council (Fitness to Practise etc.) Order 2015

New powers enabling important improvements to the way the GDC carries out its fitness to practise proceedings are being considered by Westminster after earlier consideration and approval by Holyrood.

We have provided parliamentarians considering the draft legislation with a briefing setting out the important benefits these changes will enable.

Read our briefing for parliamentarians below

The new powers are designed to improve the efficiency of our fitness to practise processes, enabling swifter investigation of complaints which will improve the system for both patients and dental professionals.

Under the new arrangements, due to come into effect in August 2016, the GDC will be able to appoint case examiners with powers to decide cases at an earlier stage than at present.  

Case examiners will also be able to agree undertakings – effectively setting conditions on practice – with dental professionals under investigation where that is both proportionate and consistent with public protection.

Other measures include a power to review a closed case where it is in the public interest, where the decision may be flawed or where new information comes to light, making the system fairer and more transparent.

In February 2016 we will launch a four-week public consultation to help develop guidance for case examiners and the delegated powers they will be exercising on behalf of investigating committees to support these changes.

This follows earlier consultations carried out by the Department of Health and the GDC ​when these new powers and draft legislation were initially proposed.