GDC—Fitness to practise hearings—sanctions and mitigation
Produced in partnership with Kingsley Napley LLP
GDC—Fitness to practise hearings—sanctions and mitigation

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 practise hearings—sanctions and mitigation
  • Sanctions available
  • Erasure
  • Mitigation

Sanctions available

If a Practice Committee determines that a registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired, it will then go on to consider whether to impose a sanction.

For information on fitness to practise hearings conducted by the Practise Committees, see Practice Note: GDC—Fitness to practise hearings conducted by the practice committees.

The sanctions available are as follows:

  1. erasure from the register (not available in health cases)

  2. suspension for a period not exceeding twelve months

  3. conditional registration for a period not exceeding three years

  4. reprimand

The purpose of sanctions imposed by a regulatory body like the General Dental Council (GDC) is to protect the public, not to punish the registrant. Protecting the public interest includes:

  1. protecting patients, colleagues and the wider public from the risk of harm

  2. maintaining public confidence in the profession

  3. upholding the reputation of the profession

  4. declaring and upholding the appropriate standards of conduct and competence among the profession

Even if a Practice Committee determines that a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired, it is not mandatory to impose a sanction. When considering possible sanctions the GDC Practice Committee should consider directing the least serious sanction first. The Committee should give reasons for discounting the sanctions it rejects. See GDC: Guidance for the Practice Committees including indicative sanctions guidance—October 2015, which also suggests that the Committee consider the next most