Overseas registration in dentistry to be made easier

Following a public consultation, the government is in the process of improving the efficiency of international GDC registration.

Following a public consultation, the government is in the process of improving the efficiency of international GDC registration.

The government is set to take forward proposals to enable the GDC to improve international registration.

Some of these proposed changes will affect the assessment system, including Overseas Registration Exams (ORE), speed up the process of international registration and give more flexibility to the GDC.

This comes after the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) carried out a public consultation on proposed changes to the legislative framework governing the GDC and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The document, which had 1,634 responses, sought views on a number of changes to the efficiency of international registration for both regulators.

As a result, the government is now in the process of reforming the legislation governing international registration.

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Consultation outcomes

In 2021, more than one third of new GDC dentist registrants qualified outside of the UK.

Some of the outcomes of the public consultation included:

  • ‘The requirement that an assessment for overseas dentists, such as the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE), must be provided by dental authorities, or a group of dental authorities, is removed’
  • ‘The GDC will have flexibility to apply a range of assessment options in determining whether international dentist and DCP applicants have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience for practice in the UK’
  • ‘The GDC will be able to charge fees for the purpose of meeting expenses incurred, or to be incurred, by the council in relation to international registration for dentists and DCPs. This will allow the GDC to cover the costs of recognising individual international qualifications which reflect UK standards. This may reduce the number of dentists required to sit an ‘ORE’ style assessment in future’
  • ‘The saved provisions of the 2015 Order are amended to ensure that ORE candidates who were affected by the suspension of the exam due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic are provided with extra time to sit the exam’
  • ‘The relevant qualification relied upon by an applicant to satisfy the registrar that they have the requisite knowledge, skills and experience to be registered under a particular title in the dental care professionals register can no longer be a diploma in dentistry’.

You can read the full consultation outcomes here.

Modernising our processes

A spokesperson for the GDC said: ‘For some time, we have been working with the DHSC to make changes to our outdated and rigid legislation governing those arrangements. This week, DHSC published the outcome of the public consultation it held earlier this year on its proposed changes to the legislation.

‘We very much welcome this package of reform, as the proposed changes mean we will be able to modernise our processes while continuing to apply our standards for registration, which protect patients and promote public confidence.

‘Some of the proposed changes, such as restoring the time that was lost to Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) candidates as a result of the Covid-19 exams suspension, will take effect as soon as the reforms come into force.

‘This change will, once again, provide the opportunity to sit the exam to candidates who have been unable to progress through no fault of their own.’

You can find out more here.

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