GDC launches ‘Student Fitness to Practise’ Guidance
 

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GDC launches ‘Student Fitness to Practise’ Guidance

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GDC launches ‘Student Fitness to Practise’ Guidance

 

GDC launches ‘Student Fitness to Practise’ Guidance

When students pass their exams and apply to join the General Dental Council's (GDC) registers it expects them to understand and live up to the same high standards required of the dental professionals already registered.

The GDC, and all other health regulators, were asked by the Government in its 2007 White Paper ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety' to think about how to ensure the safety of patients who are being treated by students.

The GDC believes patients can best be protected through creating detailed guidance. Most other healthcare regulators have done the same.

With this in mind, and after a full public consultation, the GDC has produced published guidance to help promote a positive approach to professional behaviour among students and to help education providers deal with issues which call into question whether a student is fit to practise.

The guidance covers:
• The types of professional behaviour and health standards expected of dental students
• How fitness to practise can affect registration with us
• When and how to make decisions about fitness to practise
• The key elements of student fitness to practise procedures

The guidance includes a table of the areas of concern which most commonly arise.

However, it's not possible to produce an exhaustive list of all examples so issues must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by appropriate investigators and panels.

Students' behaviour should be measured against the principles set out in the GDC's guidance document ‘Standards for dental professionals' as well as against the training provider's own regulations.

If a student's behaviour falls below these expected standards, the education provider should consider if this amounts to a fitness to practise concern, and therefore warrants consideration through its formal procedures.

The guidance offers advice on how these procedures might be carried out by providing an example of what formal procedures might look like in practice.

There is also useful information about the kinds of action which might be taken in the event of issues being identified. These include giving warnings or imposing conditions.

Chair of the General Dental Council, Alison Lockyer says: ‘Professionalism is such an important part of dentistry and anyone joining our registers needs to meet and maintain certain standards.

'It makes sense to get students thinking about these standards, and the expectations the public have of them, while they are still learning. We hope the Student Fitness to Practise guidance helps both students and education providers with that.'

Copies of the guidance are being sent to education providers and the guidance is already available through the GDC website.

 Posted on : Thu 15th - Apr - 2010

 

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