The General Dental Council is reportedly working on New Standards – outlined in its “Silver Book” for dentists.

It is reported that changes to the GDC rulebook will soon be made that may profoundly alter the very nature of regulation and guidance. GDPUK reported that the changes “… are likely to have a significant influence on Fitness to Practice proceedings, legal claims, and day to day practice.”

The most recent set of GDC standards, known as the “silver book” are now ten years old. The world and dentistry have changed, besides any corporate need within the GDC to demonstrate its activity. The proposed changes will be more than an update. A key aspect is that there will be a move from what is described as a ‘rules based’ document, to new standards that are driven by principles.

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On its website, the GDC wrote:

“We believe any review of the guidance should seek to identify the most effective approach to set out the standards expected that allows dental professionals to interact with them in a meaningful and helpful way, so that patient protection and public confidence in dentistry is maintained.”

Part of this process is a series of online sessions billed as “exploring new ways of setting standards and guidance.” In their words, “at this event we will be exploring:

  • The goals that any model of guidance should achieve
  • The benefits and challenges of the current Standards of the Dental Team
  • A potential new model of guidance centred around principles of professionalism
  • Any other potential alternative models to consider

The GDC said:

“This approach reflects the ambition we set out in Shifting the balance (published in 2017) to change the way we regulate by moving towards a more supportive model of regulation that focuses on preventing harm to patients and supporting public confidence in the dental profession, rather than responding to the consequences of when things go wrong.”

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