GDC—Fitness to practice process—Case Examiners and Investigating Committee
Produced in partnership with Kingsley Napley LLP
GDC—Fitness to practice process—Case Examiners and Investigating Committee

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Kingsley Napley LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • GDC—Fitness to practice process—Case Examiners and Investigating Committee
  • Fitness to practise process
  • Initial assessment
  • Case Examiners' consideration
  • Investigating Committee meeting
  • Undertakings
  • Warnings
  • Review of previous decisions
  • Review by the registrar
  • Further action following a referral to a Practice Committee

Fitness to practise process

When a concern is raised in relation to a registrant, the General Dental Council (GDC) will consider whether it is the correct organisation to deal with the concern (rather than the NHS, Dental Complaints Service, Health and Safety Executive etc). In general terms, the GDC will consider any concerns which may have a bearing upon a registrant's fitness to practise.

After this initial filtering process, a matter may progress through three main stages:

  1. an assessment as to whether the concerns amount to an allegation (initial assessment)

  2. a determination by the Case Examiners (CEs) as to whether to adjourn consideration of the allegation, close the case, agree undertakings with the registrant, issue a warning or advice or refer the allegation for consideration by a Practice Committee (CEs consideration)

  3. a hearing of the allegation before a Practice Committee, which makes findings of facts and considers whether the registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired (Practice Committee hearing)

See Practice Note: GDC—disciplinary process.

The concern may be closed at either of the first two stages above. It will only be considered by a Practice Committee if it is referred on at both of these stages. If the CEs cannot reach a unanimous decision at the second stage, the allegation must be referred to the Investigating Committee (IC) (the IC stage).