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BDA Research Strategy

1 Overview

The BDA Research Strategy seeks to provide a strategic framework for research and evidence gathering activities to support BDA decision making. It sets out the principles underpinning these activities, and defines the BDA’s long-term research priorities for the next three-year period (2013-16). How these goals will be delivered is set out in the BDA’s annual Operational Plan.

2 Rationale

The BDA exists to represent dentists and improve the oral health of the nation. The Principal Executive Committee has a three-year strategy that sets out the BDA’s priorities. In order to meet these priorities, the right evidence base needs to be in place. The BDA needs to engage in a wide range of evidence-gathering, research and evaluation activities.

3 Principles

A successful strategy to underpin research and evidence-gathering activities at the BDA should:

  • provide the necessary evidence base to support decision-making at the BDA and inform the BDA’s negotiating position

  • be aligned with other BDA strategies and core BDA values

  • receive support from across the BDA

  • consider the resource implications of future research and evidence-gathering activities

4 Goals

Over the next years (2013-16), research and evidence-gathering activities at the BDA will focus on the following goals:


Goal 1 - To undertake research on dentistry in order to understand the state of the dental profession, its needs and what it requires from government

This refers to research activities that seek to develop or inform the BDA’s negotiating position. For example, this includes: market studies; policy evaluation and impact studies; labour-market research on the dental workforce; and research on dental health care in the UK.


Goal 2 - To undertake research on dentists’ perceptions, service and policy needs and attitudes towards the wider dental industry


Goal 3 - To undertake membership research to understand the views, perceptions and priorities of dentists

This includes evidence gathering to learn more about BDA members and their concerns - for example, consultative research to find out more about members’ views, perceptions and priorities on issues that affect them. This includes: membership surveys; focus groups; deliberative research; and polling of members on specific issues.

The BDA’s specific research objectives that relate to Goals 1-3 change from year to year and these are set out in each year’s Operational Plan although new activities can be required during the year according to circumstances.


Goal 4 - To ensure the right conditions are in place to enable research and evidence-gathering activities

For example, this includes: research governance; IT, training and capacity building; methodological development; and systems to ensure research and evidence-gathering is carried out efficiently and to a high standard.

Objectives under this goal:

  • To ensure that the human resources, IT and data systems, and other resources exist to enable research and evidence-gathering activities.

  • To ensure that the skills, knowledge and experience are available to undertake high quality primary research and evaluation activities, and to assess and apply evidence in policy and practice.

  • To build partnerships and to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders to support or enable BDA research and evidence-gathering activities.


Goal 5 - To communicate findings and learning from BDA research activities and to promote evidence-based decision-making at the BDA

Objectives under this goal:

  • To promote the value of research/knowledge generation and awareness of the principles of evidence-based decision making across the BDA.

  • To ensure that research findings and evidence are effectively disseminated to relevant audiences (including BDA members and the UK wider dental care community where appropriate) and using a variety of media and communication channels.

  • To provide advice and support on research and evidence issues to BDA officers and committees.


The BDA Research Strategy can be downloaded in PDF format below:

BDA Research Strategy (386.96 KB)