GDC updates guidance for students on professionalism and patient safety

The GDC has updated its ‘Student professionalism and fitness to practise’ guidelines

The General Dental Council (GDC) has updated its guidance to help students better understand their role in patient safety.

Entitled Student professionalism and fitness to practise, the updated resource offers students, patients and education and training providers guidance on the standards required from dental students, which the GDC claims will help them to ‘achieve the level of professionalism expected once they join the dental register’.

‘The GDC wants to help student dental professionals understand their responsibilities in relation to patient safety and patients’ interests as well as preparing them to be registered dental professionals,’ Ian Brack, chief executive of the GDC, said.

‘Students of the different dental professions are expected to take responsibility for meeting certain standards, demonstrate appropriate attitudes and behaviour and when something goes wrong, a recognition of the issue and responding in the right way to put it right.

‘The work we are doing with students forms part of a wider plan to reform dental regulation.

‘By focusing on dental students, ensuring that the standards we expect from all registered dental professionals are truly embedded, we aim to prevent fitness to practise cases arising in the future.’

Changes in dentistry

This is the first change to the guidance since 2010, which the GDC feels reflects the changes in the profession.

The document also aims to help those patients who receive treatment from dental students by outlining what is expected from them and explaining the quality and standard of care.

The GDC believes these documents will complement Standards for the Dental team – which are the core set of expected behaviours and attitudes for all dental professionals.

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