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What we investigate

The GDC usually considers the following types of cases:

  • Criminal offences.
  • Professional misconduct.
  • Health.
  • Performance.

If your concern is about employment issues, please contact us using this form.

For more information about our fitness to practise procedures, please get in touch.

Criminal offences

The police tell us if a registrant has been convicted or cautioned in the United Kingdom. Under our Standards for the Dental Team, a registrant must also tell the GDC directly if they have been cautioned or convicted of any criminal offence. A registrant must, within reason, tell us as soon as they have been cautioned or charged. We also consider convictions and cautions imposed abroad which, if committed in England and Wales, would be a criminal offence.

Criminal convictions can include offences not directly connected with a registrant's professional practice. We can also look at convictions which happened while the registrant was not registered. For example, we would consider convictions for fraud whether it was related to dentistry or not. We would also consider drink driving offences, sexual or physical assault or dishonesty offences.

Please note: the Convictions and Cautions Guidance has been updated to reflect that where a registrant faces charges relating to non-disclosure of cautions/convictions, even if they become protected (during the lifetime of GDC FTP Proceedings) under Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013, the charges may still be prosecuted at a final Practice Committee hearing.

Professional Misconduct

Examples of misconduct issues may include:

  • Serious or repeated mistakes in patient care.
  • Failure to respond reasonably to a patient's needs.
  • Inappropriate or unprofessional behaviour, or activities that may endanger the safety of patients or the public.
  • Discrimination against patients, colleagues and others.
  • Serious breaches of a patient's confidentiality. 

Conduct procedures allow us to deal with cases where a registrant's behaviour may put patients at risk.

We have powers under the 1984 Dentists Act (as amended) to take action when an allegation is made that a registrant's ability to carry out their job is effected because of their misconduct.

Health issues

Health procedures allow us to deal with cases where a registrant's health problems may put patients at risk.

We have powers under the 1984 Dentists Act to take action when an allegation is made that a dentist's ability to carry out their job is affected because of a physical or mental health condition.

A registrant suffering from any form of health problem which might risk the wellbeing of patients should seek medical advice. If the health issue is serious, it may be necessary to restrict the scope of the registrant's dental practice. If a registrant continues to practise as a dentist despite having a health issue which could affect the safety of patients, then we may regard this as misconduct.

Performance

Performance procedures allow us to deal with cases where a registrant's professional performance may put patients at risk.

We have powers under the 1984 Dentists Act (as amended) to take action when an allegation is made that a registrant's ability to carry out their job is being affected because of their professional performance issues.

In situations where a registrant's professional performance may be affected, we will request that they undergo a full assessment of their performance. The assessment is carried out to see if and where any issues may arise. The case may then be referred to the Professional Performance Committee.