Dental regulator gets thumbs up from health watchdog

The General Dental Council (GDC) is an outward-looking regulator with a real focus on customer service, a clear commitment to continuous improvement, and a willingness to innovate.

That’s according to the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), the watchdog for healthcare regulators. 

In its review of the GDC, it said the council has demonstrated ‘excellence and good practice’ by encouraging dental patients to expect better standards through a process of educating and empowering them.


‘We are impressed with the GDC’s approach and would encourage others to consider such a customer-focused strategy,’ adds the watchdog.


Other ‘excellent’ initiatives have included:
• measures to inform stakeholders
• an increase in public involvement
• a boost for customer service


GDC chief executive and registrar Duncan Rudkin said: ‘We welcome the rigour and scrutiny of the review and the opportunity for us to show that we’re accountable. But we’re not complacent. We are keen to do all we can to stay focused on continual improvement.’


The CHRE said it would follow ‘with interest’ the GDC’s progress on revalidation, appraising and assessing fitness to practise panellists, a new risk-based approach to education and training, and how it measures and manages its own performance.


It commended the GDC’s new continuous improvement team and new role of head of customer service.


The GDC will be the first regulator to pilot its revalidation process and the CHRE welcomed the GDC’s stated intent to share the learning from its pilot with other regulators.


The GDC is currently undertaking a major review of its Fitness to Practise work, including a comprehensive and challenging review of how the function is managed and governed. A strategic review is also planned.

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