New focus for dental education unveiled by GDC

The General Dental Council (GDC) wants to hear views on a fresh approach to dental education.

It is currently developing new learning outcomes for qualifications which lead to registration with the GDC.

The focus is on creating a new, up-to-date publication aimed at delivering better results for patients and the dental team.

It’s proposed that this combined publication will replace both the dentists’ curriculum ‘The First Five Years’ and the dental care professional curricula ‘Developing the Dental Team’.

The GDC is now launching a consultation on the publication called ’Learning Outcomes’.

Chair of the Education Committee Kevin O’Brien says: ‘It’s very important we hear from people involved in all areas of dentistry. The outcomes that have been produced are intended to reflect the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours the registrant must have to practise safely, effectively and professionally in the relevant registration category.

‘The aim is to develop a rounded professional who, in addition to being a competent clinician or technician, will have the range of professional skills required to begin working as part of a dental team and be well prepared for independent practice.’
In writing ‘Learning Outcomes’, the GDC has been guided by the priorities of the government White Paper, Trust Assurance and Safety as follows:
·      safety and quality of care for patients
·      sustaining, improving and assuring professional standards
·      no unnecessary burdens
·      UK standards with country-specific flexibility

Four areas have been identified as key to delivering these – clinical, communication, professionalism and management and leadership.

‘Learning Outcomes’ sets out the GDC’s expectations for each different registrant group. 
The GDC is specifically seeking the views of:
* those involved in the training, education and employment of all dental professionals;
* registrants, both experienced and recently qualified;
* dentist and DCP students;
* employers;
* organisations;
* professional associations;
* dental indemnifiers;
* public and patients;
* other regulatory bodies;
Kevin O’Brien adds: ‘We are keen to have as much feedback as possible. This system has to work for patients, registrants and those involved in teaching and training. The information you give us will make a difference and will help us create something which will shape dental education in the future.’
The consultation went live on Monday 13 September 2010 and will close on Friday 3 December 2010. It can be found on

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