The General Dental Council is the regulatory body for dental professionals in the UK responsible for ensuring dental professionals remain fit to practise.
When a concern about a dental professional’s fitness to practise is raised, it may be referred to one of the General Dental Council’s Practice Committees.
Hearings are held once a concern about a dental professional has been looked into and the Case Examiners have decided there is a case. The case is then referred to one of the Practice Committees depending on the type of case, and a hearing is held. Practice Committee hearings form the third and last stage of our concerns handling procedure.
General Dental Council Practice Committees
The Professional Conduct Committee
Is charged with determining whether or not a dental professional’s fitness to practise is impaired on the basis of the facts found proved. Where a registrant’s fitness to practise is found to be impaired the PCC decides whether to impose a sanction including:
- conclude that the registrant’s fitness to practise is not impaired and close the case
- issue a reprimand
- impose conditions for up to 36 months (with a review) (immediate conditions can be applied if required)
- suspend the registrant for up to 12 months (with or without a review) (immediate suspension can be applied if required)
- erase the registrant from the Register.
The Professional Performance Committee
Considers allegation(s) where it appears that a dental professional’s performance is deficient and if this deficiency amounts to an impairment of their fitness to practise.
The Professional Performance Committee can refer a fitness to practise case back to the case examiners, any other Practice Committee or to the Interim Orders Committee.
If this committee decides that a registrant’s ability to practise is impaired by reason of a deficient professional performance it must cancel any interim order in place.
Hearings before the Professional Performance Committee are generally open to the public unless:
- where it is in the interests of the parties
- the protection of the personal life of the registrant
- the Committee considers that publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
The Health Committee
Deals with cases where the dental professional’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of ill health.
If a dental professional’s fitness to practise is found to be impaired as a result of ill health, this committee can:
- issue a reprimand
- impose conditions for up to 36 months (with a review) (immediate conditions can be applied if required), or
- suspend the registrant for up to 12 months (with or without a review) (immediate suspension can be applied if required).
Similar to the Professional Performance Committee, the Heath Committee can refer cases back to case examiners or any other Practice Committee and hearing are held in public.
The Interim Orders Committee
Can, as an interim measure, suspend or place conditions upon a dental professional before a full hearing by one of the Practice Committees.
A case can be referred to the Interim Orders Committee at any time during a fitness to practise investigation. It is important to remember however that any referral to and sanction by the Interim Orders Committee does not amount to any finding of impaired fitness to practise.
The Interim Orders Committee can:
- impose a suspension (up to 18 months with six monthly reviews)
- impose conditions (up to 18 months with six monthly reviews), or
- decide that no order is necessary.
Hearings of this committee is also generally held in public.
Kings View Chambers
Specialist healthcare and medical regulation defence barristers dealing with all fitness to practise matters before:
- General Medical Council
- General Pharmaceutical Council
- General Dental Council
- Nursing & Midwifery Council
- Health and Care Professions Council
- Social Work England
Are you a healthcare professional with a fitness to practise issue?
Speak to a expert defence barrister today for a free, no obligation case assessment.