British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) and British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) representatives attended a meeting with the GDC on November 2 at the GDC offices in London, to discuss overseas dentists registering as dental hygienists and dental therapists without any form of practical assessment. This follows up our original meeting with the GDC in February 2020, where we raised our concerns about this process.
In contrast to our first meeting, the GDC representatives now accept there is an issue with this process and expressed surprise at the growth in numbers registering in this way.
The GDC were impressed with both the level and the amount of evidence we had and although previously they had said they were unable do anything without solid proof of harm coming to patients, they now accept there is enough concern about the process to warrant a rethink. In the interim between the two meetings, many emails expressing serious concerns and citing instances of worrying practices were submitted to the GDC.
The GDC are reforming all their registration process for overseas applicants in the light of Brexit, and therefore this will now be included in this reform work. They have a timeline of the end of 2022 for this work to be completed to comply with the Brexit requirements. We were assured that both organisations will be included in the reform process and our voice will be heard.
To be clear, this is ensuring parity of assessment across the dental team and bringing the GDC into line with other regulators who require a practical skills assessment for all overseas registrants.
We will continue to work on this issue and will of course keep you all updated.