The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a consultation on its plans to amend the legislation governing routes to registration for dental professionals with qualifications gained outside the UK.
In 2021, the government announced plans to overhaul the framework under which all UK healthcare regulators operate. This, however, came with no clear timetable for dentistry and there are a number of pressing issues relating to international routes to registration which just cannot wait for the broader programme of reform.
Driving this urgency are the approaching end of the system of recognition of EU qualifications, and the need to address the long-standing capacity issues with the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
If the proposals go through, the Dentists Act will be amended to prevent dentists who qualified overseas, from practising as dental therapists without facing any examination of their practical skills.
Through our work with DHSC over the last 18 months, the General Dental Council have sought a system which provides:
- protection for patients
- fairness for professionals
- mechanisms to ensure costs can be recovered from where they are generated
- scalability, avoiding unnecessary bottlenecks to entry to UK dental professions.
“We welcome these proposals which we believe will ensure a proportionate, clear and robust route to registration for those who have qualified outside the UK. As proposed, these reforms will provide us with more flexibility to create new rules for international routes to registration, and allow us to make the changes needed to ensure professionals who meet our high standards are able to register without unnecessary delay.”
The proposed changes will affect only new applicants to our registers. The closing date for responses to the consultation is 6 May 2022.