The Principal Executive Committee (PEC) has overall responsibility for the control and direction of the policy and affairs of the Association. In its role the PEC will draw on a range of policy forums to inform its direction and decision making. These will include the craft and cohort based committees that focus on the interests of constituent parts of the profession, such as the General Dental Practice Committee, Salaried Dentists Committee, and Students Committee. There are also issue specific forums too such as the Health and Science Committee, and the Education, Ethics, Education and the Dental Team Working Group. The Articles of Association empower the PEC to open and close other standing committees to help it in its work.
Central to the structure of policy determining forums are the country councils established for each country of the United Kingdom. Their job is to consider and advise the PEC on all matters relating to dentistry in the country concerned, and to liaise with branches and sections. The full remit of the councils as set out in the Articles of Association is as follows:
• to consider and advise the Principal Executive Committee on all matters relating to dentistry within the country concerned
• to advise the Principal Executive Committee on all aspects of policy within the country concerned, facilitating external expert and member input to policy formation where required
• to receive regular reports from the Principal Executive Committee, to enable each country council to debate and comment on the activities of the Principal Executive Committee without prejudice to the rights of the membership as a whole
• to liaise with branches and sections.
Representatives from the country councils come together in a United Kingdom Council that focuses on UK wide issues. The UK Council has a significant role through the appointment of a Scrutiny Committee that undertakes an annual performance review with senior staff and PEC members.
The governance and representative structure of the BDA is illustrated below.