Open for business – the College of General Dentistry to open its doors
The wait is over: the time has come for the College of General Dentistry to open its doors, says Nairn Wilson.
Within days of the publication of this update, the College of General Dentistry will be fully activated. At long last, dentistry will have its own, independent, UK-wide college for all members of the dental team. This realises a long-held ambition. Stemming from the vision of those who set out to form the College of General Dental Practitioners (CGDP) in 1990.
The Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK) in formed in 1991. They incorporated the CGDP. One of the founding ambitions was the faculty forming an independent college. This ambition is about to be realised.
The challenge to make this happen has been substantial. Thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer time, support from many individuals and organisations, generous donations and unswerving perseverance and determination, the college is primed and ready to go.
Why so important?
The formation of the college is so important because, at long last, dentistry will no longer be the exception amongst key healthcare professions in not having its own college, with all the associated benefits.
The college will provide much-needed career pathways for all members of the dental team. It will set standards and provide guidance, encourage and recognise continuing professional development. Very importantly, it will provide a unified collegiate voice for all oral healthcare professionals.
Other activities of the college, with its faculties, schools and forums, will include contributing to equality, diversity and inclusivity in the dental team, encouraging modern, light-touch regulation, supporting the development of academic general dental practice, creating a national centre of excellence for dental practice-based innovation and research, helping to realise the goal of carbon-neutral dentistry and much more.
In seeking to address this challenging agenda, the college will complement the work of the professional organisations in dentistry. Also, the dental faculties in the Royal Surgical Colleges, specialist societies and other bodies.
In these and other ways, the college intends to raise the standing and status of dentistry as an important, integral, never-to-be-forgotten element of health and social care. The college considers oral health to be fundamental to general health and wellbeing at all ages.
One for all, all for one
The college, with a membership open to all GDC registrants, past and present, together with suitably qualified colleagues from across the rest of the world, is for all members of the dental team to benefit and contribute to a new, rewarding future for dentistry.
By joining the college, you will help yourself and help the profession. In the process, you will benefit patients through a collective effort to achieve and maintain excellence in general dentistry. Join the college – you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, including a growing number of attractive member benefits. And if you wish to ‘go the extra mile’, which many colleagues have generously done, you may donate to the college to expedite its further development. For as little as £100, you can have your name added to the college’s roll of honour – an historic window of opportunity which will cease to exist come the formal launch of the college later this year.
Your support as a member and possibly donor will strengthen the case to be made to the privy council for the award of a royal charter. This prestigious ‘stamp of approval’ will further cement the future of the college as the collegiate home for all oral healthcare professionals, including those in hospital and specialist practice, who underpin their important contributions to oral healthcare services with excellence in general dentistry.
Now is the time to act
The college needs you; you, and all other members of the dental team, need the college. And the patients the profession serves deserves the excellence in oral health that the college exists to achieve. Don’t be a bystander, don’t hesitate: join and possibly donate now. The sooner in, the better for you, the college, the profession and the patients you serve.
If you have already joined and possibly donated, congratulations on your affiliation to the college. Please encourage as many dental friends, acquaintances and colleagues as possible. This includes the members of your dental team, to follow your good example.
The strength of the college will be its members. The strength of the membership, individually and collectively, will be enhanced by the college.
Benefits and collective legacy
Notwithstanding what the college will do for you and your dental team, generations of oral healthcare professionals to come will look back and thank you for the part you played in forming their royal college.
A win-win for you and all those who cease the opportunity to be part of one of the most significant and important developments in dentistry in recent times.
Your college; new opportunities and benefits; helping to shape the future and changing attitudes to dentistry – an historic, should-be-part-of-it, world-first for the dental team. Act now.
Join the College by visiting the website: cgdent.uk/join-or-upgrade.
For more information on the benefits, visit cgdent.uk/benefits.