Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to amend the five-year time limit in the General Dental Council’s Overseas Registration Exam to take account of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic and to support candidates who have reached or are approaching that five year limit.
The Dentists Act 1984 requires overseas applicants to the General Dental Council’s (GDC) register to undertake its Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) to confirm they have the requisite skills and knowledge to practise dentistry in the United Kingdom.
In April 2020, the GDC suspended Parts 1 and 2 of the ORE due to the restrictions in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 2 December 2021, the GDC announced a planned sitting of the Part 2 exam in January 2022.
The legislation restricts the GDC from offering Part 2 ORE places to candidates where five or more years have passed since they first attempted Part 1 of the exam. Therefore, the GDC has not been able to offer places on the January 2022 exam sitting to any candidates whose five-year period has expired. Officials have worked with the GDC to develop proposals which will provide these candidates with additional time to take the Part 2 assessment in the future. We plan to consult on this proposed legislative change in early 2022.