Item 10 Council 3 and 4 September 2008

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Item 10


3 and 4 September 2008

GDC Regulations Governing the Specialist Lists

Purpose of paper

For action

Mission statement/business plan

To assure the quality of specialist dental education


To ensure that GDC regulations governing the administration of our specialist lists reflect recent changes in European legislation and include the new specialty of Special Care Dentistry


Paragraph 14

Authorship and origins of paper

Amanda Little, Quality Assurance Policy Manager and the GDC’s legal services team

Presentation to Council

Ewen MacLeod, Quality Assurance Development Manager

Further information

Amanda Little
T: +44 (0)20 7887 3812


  1. The GDC holds lists of registered dentists who are entitled to call themselves specialists in a particular field of dentistry. The purpose of these lists – accessible to the public – is to reassure patients that any dentist using the title ‘Specialist in [a dental specialty] has shown that he / she has met the required standard in that specialty.

  2. The Dentists Act empowers the Council to make regulations on the specialist lists. In order for these to come into force, the regulations only require approval from Council and need not then be put to Privy Council. Formerly, the regulations on the specialist lists were known as The Distinctive Branches of Dentistry Regulations. With developments in European legislation, the planned introduction of a new specialty (Special Care Dentistry) and a need to consolidate previous amendments to the regulations, a new set of regulations (The Specialist List Regulations) have been drafted to replace the previous regulations.

  3. The outcomes of the GDC’s Strategic Review of Education and the possible need to introduce new specialties in the future may have an impact on these regulations further down the line. Any substantial amendments to the regulations would only be put to Council following consultation with our stakeholders. As mentioned in the paragraph above, there are significant reasons for implementing changes to the regulations in the meantime.


Inclusion of a new specialty, Special Care Dentistry

  1. Following a public consultation, the Specialist Lists Review Group recommended that a new specialty in Special Care Dentistry be established to help meet the oral health needs of a particular group of patients. This recommendation was endorsed by Council along with other recommendations that the Specialist Dental Education Board have already begun to take forward. Provision has been made in these regulations to enable dentists, for a transitional period of two years, to apply to join the specialist list in Special Care Dentistry on grounds other than completion of a specific qualification (namely the Certificate in Completion of Specialist Training). These same terms for transition were applied to the existing dental specialties when the specialist lists were first introduced. Full details on the transitional arrangements are set out at paragraph 7 of the new Regulations.

Complying with changes in European legislation

  1. Since the Distinctive Branches of Dentistry Regulations were last amended in 2004, there have been two relevant developments in European legislation.1 In order to be compliant with European legislation – and to be clear and transparent in the documentation we provide – the GDC must update its own regulations accordingly.

Additional changes

  1. In order to comply with best practice, we have eliminated duplication from the regulations. We have also removed mention of the list in Surgical Dentistry (this list was migrated to the Oral Surgery list further to a recommendation made by the Specialist Lists Review Group). Oral Pathology has been renamed Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology following a suggestion from the specialists themselves. Key stakeholders were consulted on, and agreed to, this change, which was approved by the Education Committee as a better description of the scope of the specialty.

  2. The new regulations are below in Annex A.

Equality and Diversity Implications

  1. Under the transitional arrangements, the GDC must ensure that all applications from individual dentists to join the Special Care Dentistry list are treated in a fair and consistent manner.

  2. Since this paper does not recommend a change in policy, there are no new Equality and Diversity implications.

Communications Implications

  1. The GDC must make certain that all those dentists who may be interested in applying to join the Special Care Dentistry list under transitional arrangements are aware of this provision and the length of time for which it will be valid.

  2. The Regulations will be made available on our web-site and will be more accessible to our stakeholders in their shortened form.

Standards Implications

  1. The establishment of Special Care Dentistry as a specialty will promote high standards in this particular field of dentistry.

Resource Implications

  1. The Registration team has factored into its work plan operational processes for the opening of the new list in Special Care Dentistry.


  1. Council is invited to approve the regulations.

Annex A


The General Dental Council makes the following regulations in exercise of its powers conferred under section 26(3) and (4) and 52(1A) and (1B) of the Dentists Act 1984.

Citation, Commencement and Interpretation

1. (1) These regulations may be cited as "The General Dental Council (Specialist List) Regulations 2008" and shall come into force on 3 September 2008.

(2) In these regulations unless the context otherwise requires:

"the Act" means the Dentists Act 1984;

"CCST" means a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in a specialist branch of dentistry awarded by the Council in accordance with the provisions of the European Qualifications Regulations and of these regulations;

"specialty" means a branch of dentistry referred to in regulation 2 for which a title is prescribed under these regulations; and

“General Systems Regulations” means the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007;

"European Qualifications Regulations" means the European Primary and Specialist Dental Qualifications Regulations 1998 as amended.

Prescribed Titles

2. The following titles are prescribed for the purposes of section 26(3) of the Act -

Specialist in Orthodontics

Specialist in Oral Surgery

Specialist in Endodontics

Specialist in Periodontics

Specialist in Prosthodontics

Specialist in Restorative Dentistry

Specialist in Dental Public Health

Specialist in Paediatric Dentistry

Specialist in Oral Medicine

Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

Specialist in Oral Microbiology

Specialist in Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology

Specialist in Special Care Dentistry

Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training

3. (1) Subject to the paragraphs (2), (3) and (4), the Council shall award a CCST to any person who applies to the Council for that purpose (and pays any fee determined by the Council) if the Council is satisfied that the person has satisfactorily completed specialist dental training in a specialty approved by the Council pursuant to regulation 4.

(2) A CCST may only be awarded to a registered dentist.

(3) A CCST shall not be awarded to a person registered under section 17 of the Act (temporary registration).

(4) A period of dental training in a specialty counts towards completion of the training required for another specialty if it is common to both.

(5) A CCST shall state -

(a) the date on which it was awarded;

(b) the specialty in which it was awarded;

(c) the name of its holder;

(d) the holder's primary dental qualification; and

  1. the registration number allocated to the holder by the registrar.

(6) A CCST shall state where the holder’s primary dental qualification was awarded and, in the case of a registered dentist whose primary qualification in the United Kingdom was awarded following the completion of a degree, licence or other dental diploma overseas, the CCST shall also state this qualification and the place where it was awarded.

Conditions for Use of Prescribed Titles

4. (1) In order to qualify to use one of the titles prescribed in regulation 2 a registered dentist shall comply with the conditions prescribed for that title in these regulations.
(2) (a) Specialist dental training intended to lead to the award of a CCST shall not be approved by the Council unless that training meets the conditions specified in article 35 of the Directive (specialist dental training), or under article 22(a) of the Directive (part-time training) is to be treated as meeting those conditions.
(b) The Council may withdraw any such approval if it is satisfied that the training no longer meets, or under article 22(a) of the Directive can no longer be treated as meeting, the conditions specified in article 35 of the Directive;

5. A registered dentist shall be entitled to use the title "Specialist in Orthodontics" or

(as the case may be) “Specialist in Oral Surgery” if the registered dentist –

  1. holds a CCST awarded by the Council under regulation 3 of the European Qualifications Directive in the specialty in question;

(b) is an eligible specialist as specified in regulation 9 of the European Qualifications Regulations in the specialty in question;

(c) is an exempt person –
(i) whose case falls within regulation 3(9)(a) or (e) of the General Systems Regulations,
(ii) to whom regulation 20 to 26 of those Regulations apply by reason of the operation of regulation 3(4) of those Regulations, and
(iii) who is permitted to practise orthodontics or oral surgery in the United Kingdom by virtue of Part 3 of those Regulations (having, in particular, successfully completed any adaptation period, or passed any aptitude test, that he may be required to undertake pursuant to that Part of those Regulations);
(d) is an existing specialist as specified in regulation 12 of the European Qualifications Regulations in the specialty in question; or
(e) is an exempt person –
(i) who is registered in the list of visiting dentists from relevant European States mentioned in section 14(1A)(c) of the Act, and
(ii) who is providing services in the United Kingdom as a specialist dentist in orthodontics or oral surgery on a temporary and occasional basis, in exercise of entitlement under Schedule 4 (visiting dentists from relevant European States) to the Act.

6. (1) A registered dentist shall be entitled to use the title "Specialist in Endodontics” or (as the case may be) "Specialist in Periodontics” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Prosthodontics" or (as the case may be “Specialist in Restorative Dentistry” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Dental Public Health” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Paediatric Dentistry” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Oral Medicine” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Oral Microbiology” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology” or (as the case may be) “Specialist in Special Care Dentistry” if the registered dentist -

(a) holds a CCST awarded by the Council under regulation 3 in the specialty in question;

(b) holds specialist dental qualifications awarded outside the United Kingdom and satisfies the Council that those qualifications are equivalent to those required for the award of a CCST in the specialty in question;

(c) has knowledge and experience derived from academic or research work in the specialty in question and satisfies the Council that this knowledge and experience is equivalent to the knowledge and experience which the dentist might reasonably be expected to have acquired if the dentist had undertaken the training required for the award of a CCST in that specialty.

(2) In the case of an exempt person, in deciding that person’s entitlement to use the title in relation to a particular specialty, the Council shall take into account -

(a) all their dental qualifications, knowledge or experience, wherever acquired, which are relevant to its decision; and

(b) where the person has a specialist qualification in relation to a particular specialty to which this regulation applies which –

(i) was granted otherwise than in a relevant European State, but

(ii) has been accepted by a relevant European State, other than the United Kingdom, as qualifying the dentist to practise as a specialist in that State,

that acceptance.

Transitional Provisions

7. (1) A registered dentist shall be entitled to use a prescribed title if –

(a) they did not apply for their name to be listed in a list of specialists before the expiry of the period of two years beginning with the specified date; and

(b) they satisfy the Registrar that there was good reason for not applying by then.

(2) A person falls within paragraph (1) if -

(a) the person is, or has been, a Consultant in the National Health

Service in Restorative Dentistry, Dental Public Health, Paediatric

Dentistry, Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral

Microbiology, Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology or Special Care


(b) the person has been accredited in the specialty mentioned in

subparagraph (a) before the specified date or;

(c) the person has satisfied the Council that they –

(i) have been trained in the United Kingdom in the appropriate specialty and that training complied with the requirements relating to training in that specialty current in the UK at the time they undertook it;

(ii) have qualifications awarded in the UK in such a specialty that are equivalent to a CCST in that specialty; or

(iii) have acquired experience in that specialty which has given them a level of expertise equivalent to the level of expertise they might reasonably be expected to have attained if they had a CCST in that specialty.

(3) The specified date in this regulation in relation to a particular specialty is –

(a) in the case of Restorative Dentistry and Dental Public Health, 16

April 1998;

(b) in the case of Endodontics, Periodontics and Prosthodontics, 1

June 1998;

(c) in the case of Paediatric Dentistry, 1 July 1998;

(d) in the case of Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and
Oral Microbiology, 1 July 1999;

(e) in the case of Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology, 1 June 2000; and

(f) in the case of Special Care Dentistry, 1 October 2008.

Keeping of Lists

8. (1) The Registrar shall

(a) keep a list in respect of each title prescribed under regulation 2; and

(b) subject to paragraph (2) enter in each such list the name of any registered dentist qualified under these regulations to use the title for which the list is kept and who applies to be entered in such list.

(2) The list shall contain, in respect of each registered dentist qualified to use a prescribed title –

(a) the person’s name;

(b) the person’s registered qualifications;

(c) the person’s registered address;

(d) the date on which the dentist’s name was entered in the list; and

(e) the dentist’s original registration number.

(3) Except where a name has been erased or suspended from a list in accordance with paragraphs (2), (4), (5), or (6) of regulation 9 the Registrar shall retain in the appropriate list of registered dentists qualified to use the prescribed title the name of any registered dentist in respect of whom an application for retention of the name in the list has been received before the prescribed date accompanied by any prescribed fee, until the prescribed date in the next following year.

9. (1) Any registered dentist who is qualified to use a title prescribed in regulation 2 and who complies with the conditions set out in these regulations shall be eligible to be entered in the list relating to that title.

(2) Where the Registrar on the date determined by the Council in any year shall not have received from any registered dentist whose name is entered in a list any fee determined by the Council for retention of the name of the registered dentist in a list for the ensuing year, the Registrar shall remove that name from the list concerned.

(3) The Registrar may restore to the list a name removed under paragraph(s) (2) or (4) of this regulation upon receipt of an application in the form provided by the Council for the purpose accompanied by any fee determined by the Council for restoration to and retention in a list held under these regulations.

(4) Where it comes to the notice of the Registrar that a person (other than one to whom paragraph (6) of this regulation applies) whose name is included in a list held under these regulations is no longer a registered dentist, the Registrar shall remove that person's name from the list.

(5) Where information is received that an entry in a list is incorrect or that the application was made in error or application is made for an entry in a list to be altered, the Registrar, when satisfied by means of a statutory declaration or otherwise, that the information or the grounds of the application is true and sufficient, shall make the required correction, deletion or alteration provided that, where a change of name is entered in the register, the name previously registered shall be entered with the new or altered name for a period of not less than one year or such longer period as the Council may specify in a particular case.

(6) Any person whose name is erased from the register under sections 23, 24 or 27B of the Act or whose registration is suspended under section 27B or 27C of the Act shall forthwith have their entry in any list erased or suspended.

(7) When the registration of a person whose registration has been suspended from any list under paragraph (6) is no longer subject to suspension, the Registrar shall once again include that person's name in the list concerned (unless their name has been erased from the register for any other reason).


10. The General Dental Council (Distinctive Branches of Dentistry) Regulations 1998

are hereby revoked.

The Common Seal of the General Dental Council was hereto affixed in the presence of

Hew Byrne Mathewson


Duncan Hugh Rudkin


1 These changes are implemented in UK legislation by The European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007 and the European Primary and Specialist Dental Qualifications Regulations 1998 (as amended).

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