Changes have been made to the General Dental Council’s (GDC) legislation governing international routes to registration.
The new reforms, announced yesterday, replace rules that set out the process for overseas registration.
Those who qualify outside the UK represent a significant proportion of professionals on the UK register and make an important contribution to the provision of dental services.
The updated legislation brings immediate changes affecting those who have been unable to sit the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE). The exam was suspended during the pandemic.
Those taking the exam will now have more time to sit it.
The changes will also mean that only those who hold a relevant qualification as a dental care professional (DCP) can apply for registration as a DCP.
The reforms, say the GDC, provide the flexible framework and powers needed to update and modernise processes for the registration of those who qualify outside of the UK.
The GDC plans to consult on proposed ORE rules in the coming months.
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Stefan Czerniawski, GDC executive director, strategy, said: ‘This updated and more flexible legislation finally provides us with the framework we need to update our approach to international registration for those who qualify overseas and who meet our high standards for safe and effective care.
‘It also aligns our overseas qualification requirements for dental care professionals with those for UK applicants.
‘The priority is to propose and consult on new rules for the ORE, because the current arrangements are not efficient or effective for the current number of applicants.
‘Removing the overly prescriptive constraints is an important first step to creating a more effective system.
‘But the longer-term challenge will then be to develop new approaches which maintain the rigour of our standards while ensuring that there is sufficient capacity to meet demand.’
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