GDC calls for suppliers to provide overseas registration exam

Overseas registration exam tender process opens

Tendering has opened for the provision of the overseas registration exam (ORE) Part 1 and Part 2 for the next five years.

The General Dental Council (GDC) is inviting potential suppliers to tender for ORE provision as it looks ‘to improve flexibility and availability’.

The process formally opened on 1 May.

The GDC is looking for two new contracts for the ORE Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 is a computer-based assessment of knowledge and Part 2 is a practical test of clinical skills.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate the learning outcomes of a UK qualified dentist, the regulator says. 

This will be the first procurement for the ORE since legislative changes removed financial and supplier constraints. The GDC says these have limited the capacity improvements that it has been able to deliver over the last year.

It adds that it is working to ensure contracts are in place for 2025 sittings.  

Theresa Thorp, executive director of regulation at the GDC, said: ‘We are very pleased to have launched the tender process for ORE provision. We are moving at pace so more dentists from overseas can come and work in the UK.

‘We want to work with our suppliers to deliver improvements to capacity while maintaining patient safety and public confidence in the dental profession as our top priority.’

Provisional registration plans

This follows the announcement in February that the government is considering ‘provisional registration’ to allow dentists from abroad to work in the UK without taking the ORE.

The proposed plan – which is subject to a three-month consultation – comes amidst the growing shortage of NHS dental provision.

It would enable overseas-qualified dentists who have not yet achieved full GDC registration to be able to work in the UK more quickly through the introduction of a system of provisional registration.

Provisional registration would allow an overseas-qualified dentist to practise in any dental setting, including high street dental practices. They must be under the supervision of a dentist who has full registration on GDC’s dentists register.

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