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​BDA elections: key terms explained​

As a democratic organisation, the BDA uses a number of terms and acronyms that might not be familiar to all of our dentists.

 

Below is an explanation of some of the key words we use, organised in alphabetical order, which we hope will be helpful, especially for those considering standing for election for the first time.

 

If you have any questions, please get in touch​

 

Armed forces dentistry​

Dentists with a military rank, or contracted civilian dental practitioners are represented by the BDA’s Armed Forces Committee. 

 

Ballots

These happen when we close the nominations, and if the seat you have self-nominated for has other people standing for the same seat.

 

Ballot materials will be sent to members who we believe are eligible to vote for the relevant seats. This is determined by the data we hold for you.

 

You will typically be invited to vote in one committee ballot as we hold one primary field of practice for you and one location. If you work in two or more fields of practice or places, you are able to request a vote in the second ballot.


Committee and Country Councils will be done via an online process.


Principal Executive Committee ballots will be done via paper voting. 


If the seat is not contested by anyone else, then you will automatically be elected.​


Clinical academia

University employees who provide under or postgraduate teaching and/or research often holding an honorary NHS contract.

 

Clinical director

We define ‘clinical director’ as a holder of a band C managerial contract in the Community Dental Service.​

 

Civilian dental practitioner

The holder of a contract to provide direct care to HM forces in the UK.


Committee

Committees are how the BDA tries to understand the everyday issues of all dentists. We take these issues, and work to draw up policies, and negotiate on things like terms and contracts.​

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Committees generally use fields of practice and job roles to filter their membership. Most committees are open to BDA members and non-members.


Community Dental Service

Community Dental Service is the provision of NHS treatment to patients who are unable to access treatment in a general setting. Community dentists are employed directly by the NHS.​


Constituency 

All BDA representative bodies comprise of constituencies. 


These are usually either the location in which you work (Committees) or live (Board/Council) or the type of dentistry/role you have (Committees).


For example, community dental service committees generally have separate seats for clinicians and clinical managers whereas general dental service committees simply require practitioners who work in that area. 


Consultant

We define ‘consultant’ as a holder of a dental or OMFS CST, employed on a substantive contract by a hospital.​


Country Council

Country Councils are how the BDA listens to members about what sort of Association they want. 

They are organised by the UK geographical locations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales. 

Country Councils use the primary address you have indicated to us on your MyBDA record to determine which seat you are eligible for, and are only open to those who are BDA members.​


Dental academic

​Someone who holds a substantive clinical academic contract in a dental school/institute. Job titles include: professor, reader, senior lecturer, lecturer, academic clinical fellow/lecturer.


Dental core trainee (DCT)

A dental core trainee is someone who is employed in a substantive DCT post by a hospital. ​

Dental officer

The holder of a contract in the Community Dental Service.


Dental public health

Dentists employed in providing dental public health through public health bodies or higher education ​institutes. These dentists are represented by the BDA’s Dental Public Health Committee.

 

English Country Council

​The English Council focuses on issues relating to those working in dentistry in England. It brings together representatives from all fields of practice, to find areas of common interest and strategic issues that can be worked on to benefit all dentists working in the country.


There are 15 seats, one from each of the 15 BDA branches. 


Field of practice

This is the ‘type’ of dentistry that dentists do. General practice, community dentistry and hospital dental services, clinical academia, dental public health and the armed forces are the six we use. 

The committees we have are set up to look after each of these fields of practice.

 

Foundation dentist 

Dentists undertaking dental foundation training. Sometimes also known and vocational dental practitioners.​


General dental service

NHS, mixed or purely private practice/practitioners who are not employed, but contracted to provide services, either to the NHS, or to a contract holder/principal.​


Location

For committees this means where you work. 


This is to ensure that committee members are able to speak about local events and effects of policy.

 

For Councils and the Principal Executive Committee​, location is where you have indicated on your MyBDA record where you want to receive your BDJ.


Hospital dental services

Hospital dental services provide secondary specialist care and some in-patient treatments. Hospital dentists are employed by the NHS on hospital medical contracts.​


Honorary contracts

Honorary contracts are a means for employees of one organisation to be given responsibilities in another. 


The most common is the relationship between the NHS and universities where university staff are provided with an honorary contract appropriate to their skills and experience, which enables them to treat NHS patients, as well as undertaking their academic work. 


For our elections, honorary statuses are not used so, for instance, honorary consultants cannot stand for elections to seats restricted to substantive consultants. ​


Nominations

Our elections process is started with self-nominations. This means you put yourself forward for a particular seat on our Committees, Country Councils or PEC. 


This year, the process is now fully online and can be done via our elections website.​


The Committee/Country Council/PEC you can nominate yourself to is related to your membership status, field of practice, job role, and postcode.


Northern Ireland Country Council

The Northern Ireland Country Council focuses on issues relating to those working in dentistry in Northern Ireland. 


It brings together representatives from all fields of practice, to find areas of common interest and strategic issues that can be worked on to benefit all dentists working in the country.


There are three seats, one from each of the three BDA branches.​


Primary job role

This is the main ‘job’ that you do: things like associate, professor, dental officer, are a few examples. 

Job roles are used by committees to filter their memberships, to ensure that those representing seats have relevant knowledge and experience of all the issues that may come before the committee.​


Principal Executive Committee

The Principal Executive Committee is the BDA’s board. 


It balances what is right for the Association with what is right for individual members and what is right for the profession.


There are 12 seats on the PEC that have specific geographic boundaries, and there are three UK-wide seats.


Our board uses the primary address you have indicated to us on your MyBDA record to filter representative seats, and are only open to those who are BDA members.​


Professor

We define a professor as someone who holds a substantive clinical academic contract in a dental school/institute.​


Scottish Country Council

The Scottish Country Council focuses on issues relating to those working in dentistry in Scotland. 


It brings together representatives from all fields of practice, to find areas of common interest and strategic issues that can be worked on to benefit all dentists working in the country.​


There are six seats, two from each of the three BDA Branches in Scotland. 


Senior dental officer

The holder of a senior contract in the Community Dental Service​


Specialty training registrar (StR)

A speciality training registrar is someone who is employed on a recognised substantive training contract leading to a Completion of Specialty Training (CST).​


Staff and associate specialist (SAS)

A staff and associate specialist is the holder of a substantive NHS associate specialist, staff grade or speciality doctor contract.​


Welsh Country Council

The Welsh Country Council focuses on issues relating to those working in dentistry in Wales. 


It brings together representatives from all fields of practice, to find areas of common interest and strategic issues that can be worked on to benefit all dentists working in the country.​​


There are three seats, one from each of the three BDA Sections.