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Legislation changes for international registration routes

The legislation will formally come into force on 8 March 2023.

Changes to the Dentists Act have been confirmed this week which will, over time, provide the General Dental Council (GDC) with more flexibility with regard to its processes for the recognition of non-UK dental qualifications.

There are a number of immediate and longer-term changes deriving from this legislation.

The two most imminent changes are:

  • The end of the route that allowed overseas-qualified dentists to register as dental care professionals on the basis of their qualification; this route will close on the 8 March 2023
  • The reinstatement of Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) candidates who had missed out on sitting part 2 of the Overseas Registration Exam within the stipulated five-year period due to the exam's unavailability during the pandemic; this will also start on the 8 March 2023. Individuals affected by this situation should look out for communication from the GDC or contact the regulator directly for further information to ensure they take up this opportunity in a timely way.

Beyond this, the GDC is expected to consult on its ideas for making the processes that define the ORE more flexible while not compromising assessment standards. The regulator has one year from 8 March 2023 to consult on new Rules for the exam. In the longer term, the legislation also provides powers to the GDC to look at a variety of mechanisms for the assessment of non-UK qualifications.

There is no immediate change to the ORE or the ongoing continuation of recognition of European dental qualification at this moment in time, although the government is expected to review the latter this year.