Good Practice terms and conditions
BDA Good Practice exists to help dentists observing BDA Good Practice in patient care to communicate this to patients, and help the public to identify dental services observing BDA Good Practice in patient care.
- BDA Good Practice is open to all outpatient dental services in the UK.
- BDA Good Practice is for dental teams, not individual dentists. All members of the dental team in a practice or clinic must support an application to join BDA Good Practice and accept its principles. For the purposes of BDA Good Practice and to aid public understanding, a 'team' is taken to mean a group of people working together behind a common entrance. Dentists sharing practice facilities but otherwise working independently may also apply to join provided that notices about BDA Good Practice membership are not displayed misleadingly. In cases of uncertainty, patient understanding should be the guide to team definition and use of BDA Good Practice.
Relationship with other practice quality schemes
- Since the requirements of BDA Good Practice do not match any existing practice quality schemes, all teams applying for recognition must follow the BDA Good Practice joining process.
- The requirements are specific and, where possible, evidence-based. BDA Good Practice recognises that patients want to be reassured not just about the physical facilities of the practice and patient care but also about clinical procedures. Where published clinical standards and guidelines are available, practices should adopt these as appropriate.
- The requirements for membership will be kept under review to ensure that they are up to date. Teams joining BDA Good Practice commit to adhere to the requirements as they are at the time of joining and might be within the duration of their membership. BDA Good Practice offers reassurance about many of the key processes necessary to deliver dental care of consistent quality. It does not offer a guarantee of satisfactory treatment outcomes as this is not possible in healthcare.
- The requirements are set to have broad support within the profession, are evidence-based (where possible), realistic and achievable, and avoid arbitrary judgements of practice performance or facilities. They may go beyond requirements set by other organisations. The value of BDA Good Practice depends on the clarity of its requirements to both dentists and the public.
- BDA Good Practice requires a commitment to audit on topics appropriate to the individual practice. Evidence of audit activity is sought at entry and on renewal of membership.
- Practices can download the current requirements in the form of a practice self-assessment.
- The BDA Good Practice self-assessment and practice development programme sets out the requirements and advises on how to meet them. Information is available in BDA advice publications and, for BDA members in the Expert and Extra tiers of membership, via the BDA's advisors.
- An applicant team designates a lead applicant to be responsible for communications with BDA Good Practice and accountable for team compliance with its requirements.
- When the team is satisfied that it meets the requirements of BDA Good Practice and has compiled the required evidence to demonstrate compliance, it can submit an application for membership. By submitting an application, the practice confirms that the requirements have been met and the supporting evidence is available for examination.
- The application form and additional required information required at application are available on the BDA Good Practice pages of the BDA website at bda.org/goodpractice. The additional information includes a professional conduct declaration and practice profile at the time of application.
- The application should be sent, with the appropriate fees, to BDA Good Practice, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS. The Good Practice administrator will inform the lead contact by email that the application has been received and how the application will be assessed.
- Suitability for membership of BDA Good Practice is assessed by a practice visit and/or a request for evidence of compliance. The practice will be notified of the assessor appointed to undertake the practice visit; the visit should take place within 30 days of this notification. A dentist with responsibilities for decision-making at the practice (usually the practice owner) and the lead applicant should be present at the time of the practice visit and be available for interview.
- Where an assessor judges a practice to not be fully compliant with the requirements, the practice will be required to address the areas of non-compliance within 30 days of notification. If the areas of non-compliance are not addressed within this period, the application fails.
- Where evidence of compliance is requested in addition to, or as an alternative to, a practice visit, the lead applicant must ensure that the evidence is received by the BDA within seven working days of the request being made. If the requested evidence is not received within seven days, the application fails.
- If the practice visit and/or evidence is judged satisfactory, the application for membership is accepted. Any original documents submitted in support of the application will be returned to the practice by recorded delivery.
- If the application is unsuccessful, the practice is provided with feedback on those aspects where the practice was assessed as falling short of the standard required by BDA Good Practice. The practice can submit a new application no sooner than six months from the date the application was deemed to be unsuccessful. The BDA will confirm this date at the time of notifying the practice about their application.
- In applying for membership of BDA Good Practice, the practice agrees to abide by these terms and conditions of membership. These terms and conditions will be reviewed and updated periodically and published on the BDA website at bda.org/goodpractice. It is the responsibility of the practice to be aware of changes to these terms and conditions.
- Membership lasts for a fixed three-year period and can start at any point in the year.
- To continue membership beyond three years, the practice will need to re-apply for membership following procedures similar to those for joining. The BDA will provide information on the process in advance of the reapplication date.
- For a practice (defined by ownership) operating at more than one site, the self-assessment and application process must be carried out at each site and a separate application for membership submitted. There is no automatic membership for branch practices.
- A change of dentist within a member practice should be notified to the BDA Good Practice administrator within 60 days and an updated practice profile submitted.
- Throughout the period of membership, at least one dentist at the practice with responsibilities for decision-making will hold BDA membership. The dentist will usually be a practice owner or similar.
- Erasure of a team member from the Dentists Register or the DCP Register or suspension of any team member from practice must be notified to BDA Good Practice within 30 days of the erasure or suspension being imposed.
- If any member of the practice team is subject to an investigation by the police or a criminal sanction (excluding minor driving offences), BDA Good Practice must be notified within 30 days of the investigation or sanction.
- On application, the practice pays a non-refundable application fee.
- If the application is successful, the practice pays a membership fee to cover the first year of membership. A renewal fee is payable in the second and third year of membership, due on or before the anniversary of membership being granted.
- The lead applicant is responsible for payment; any cost-sharing between team members being an internal matter and not the concern of the BDA.
- The application and membership fees are reviewed annually. The current fees are published on the BDA website.
- Experienced assessors will visit practices at random to ensure day-to-day compliance with the Good Practice requirements. The assessors are trained so that their judgements are consistent. It is a condition of BDA Good Practice membership that a practice can be visited by an assessor. In exceptional circumstances, this may be without notice.
- An assessor finding non-compliance with the requirements will inform the Head of BDA Good Practice who will liaise with the practice about the action necessary to achieve compliance and agree timescales. If compliance with the requirements is not achieved, the BDA may terminate membership of BDA Good Practice.
- Any matter that calls into question the continued membership of BDA Good Practice shall be referred to a panel of advisers for consideration. The panel shall include a member of the Education, Ethics and the Dental Team Committee; others members of the panel shall be appointed, as appropriate, and depending on the matter in question. The decision of the panel shall be final.
- The BDA undertakes public information work about BDA Good Practice, aimed at explaining membership requirements to the public and explaining how members can be identified. It is important to explain that BDA Good Practice is not a guarantee of successful clinical outcomes but that the requirements are nevertheless specific and important for the delivery of dental care of consistent quality.
- A BDA Good Practice membership plaque bearing the name of the practice and the membership start date is provided for display throughout the duration of membership. The plaque remains the property of the BDA and the practice undertakes not to alter or adapt the plaque in any way.
- Member practices are required to display and have available the explanatory patient leaflet 'BDA Good Practice – what it means for patients'. The leaflets are available for purchase from the BDA.
- Member practices may use the 'BDA Good Practice member' logo on practice stationery and other practice promotion in accordance with the BDA Good Practice promotional code to ensure that the public and patients are not misled about the scope and meaning of BDA Good Practice. Where the logo is used on external signage, it should be proportionate and not mislead patients; approval by the Head of BDA Good Practice must be sought at an early stage to ensure any required modifications can be made prior to display.
- The use of the 'BDA Good Practice member' logo alongside a logo indicating membership of a private scheme is accepted under the Good Practice code.
- BDA Good Practice will investigate complaints that a member practice is not meeting the requirements. BDA Good Practice does not operate a general complaints scheme and General Dental Council and other statutory responsibilities remain.
- Membership can be withdrawn if an investigation reveals problems that the practice is not willing or able to rectify within a specified time period.
- If a member practice relocates, the BDA should be informed at the earliest opportunity and no longer than one month following the relocation date.
- Relocation brings BDA Good Practice membership to an end unless the practice can demonstrate that there are no significant changes to the team structure and the lead contact confirms that practices processes and systems continue as before the relocation. If membership ends, the practice will not be eligible to receive a refund (in full or in part) of any fees paid.
- If membership continues without interruption, three months following the relocation date, the BDA will contact the practice to arrange a practice visit by a BDA Good Practice Assessor to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements.
Change of ownership
- If a member practice has a change in ownership, the BDA should be informed at the earliest opportunity and no longer than one month following the change in ownership date.
- A change in ownership brings BDA Good Practice membership to an end unless the practice can demonstrate that there are no significant changes to the team structure and the lead contact confirms that practices processes and systems continue as before the change in ownership. If membership ends, the practice will not be eligible to receive a refund (in full or in part) of any fees paid.
- If membership continues without interruption, three months following the change in ownership date, the BDA will contact the practice to arrange a practice visit by a BDA Good Practice Assessor to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements.
- The practice can withdraw from BDA Good Practice by giving the BDA one month's notice. Where notice to terminate is given part-way through a membership year, no refund of fees paid by the practice will be made.
- Membership of BDA Good Practice ends automatically if the practice fails to renew its membership by the renewal date or, at the end of the three-year membership cycle, fails to reapply for membership.
- Where a practice visit reveals non-compliance with Good Practice requirements and the practice fails to take the action necessary to achieve compliance, membership will be withdrawn. Where membership is terminated by the BDA as a result of non-compliance, the practice can reapply for membership no sooner than six months following the date that membership ended.
- On termination of BDA Good Practice membership, for whatever reason, the practice undertakes to remove the BDA Good Practice member logo from all practice stationery and practice promotion and to return the BDA Good Practice membership plaque within seven days of being requested. The BDA will seek to recover from the practice all costs incurred in retrieving a plaque that it has failed to return when requested.
- Once membership has ended, a practice must complete the application process to re-join BDA Good Practice.