Professor Emeritus Nairn Wilson CBE FCGDent, Honorary Founding President of the College, encourages former members and fellows of the FGDP, together with colleagues who have recently joined CGDent, to update their postnominals.
While honours and university degree postnominals may normally be used throughout life, the use of postnominals linked to membership and fellowship of colleges, academies and other bodies, including memberships and fellowships earned by examination and assessment, is more complex.
The College has previously issued guidance on the continuing use of postnominals awarded by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP). This guidance states that, while postnominals relating to diplomas awarded by FGDP(UK) and the Royal College of Surgeons of England – i.e. Dip. MFGDP(UK), Dip. FFGDP(UK), Dip. MJDF, DGDP (RCS Eng.), Dip. MGDS (RCS Eng.), Dip. Imp. Dent. (RCS Eng.) and Dip. Rest. Dent. (RCS Eng.) – were not affected by the transfer of FGDP(UK) into CGDent, postnominals which conveyed ongoing membership or fellowship of FGDP(UK) – i.e. MFGDP(UK) and FFGDP(UK) – should no longer be used, as the FGDP(UK) no longer exists.
The only exceptions to these arrangements are honorary memberships and fellowships of FGDP(UK), i.e. Hon. MFGDP(UK) and Hon FFGDP(UK), which are honours rather than denoting ongoing, substantive membership.
Continuing use of the redundant, membership-specific Faculty postnominals MFGDP(UK) and FFGDP(UK) could be considered misleading, specifically to patients, and therefore to contravene the GDC’s guidance on advertising.
Equally, failure to use recently acquired CGDent postnominals – MCGDent, AssocFCGDent or FCGDent – contributes to the unhelpful misunderstanding that dentistry continues to lack its own independent standards setting body.
In addition, it fails to convey our professional standing, and our commitment to the CGDent Code of Conduct and, in turn, the standards established and promoted by the College, to other healthcare professions, and more importantly to patients.
In updating their postnominals, former members and fellows of FGDP(UK) who have not yet joined CGDent may replace their redundant FGDP(UK) postnominals with CGDent ones by doing so – former members and fellows of FGDP(UK) being eligible, respectively, for MCGDent and FCGDent.
In this process, there is opportunity for former members of FGDP(UK) who have obtained experience and postgraduate qualifications since obtaining their FGDP(UK)/RCS Eng. diploma to apply for Associate Fellowship (AssocFCGDent) or even Fellowship (FCGDent) of the College ‘by experience’ or ‘by equivalence’.
Also, all retired oral healthcare professionals (i.e. colleagues who are no longer GDC registrants) who wish to maintain a link with their chosen profession, are most welcome to join the College through its ‘by experience’ or ‘by equivalence’ processes, with opportunity for those who become Fellows (FCGDent) in retirement to join the College’s recently established 1992 Circle.
The College’s online register of current members can be used to confirm the membership status of any individuals using CGDent postnominals.
The College will be most pleased to assist former members and fellows
of FGDP(UK) in updating and possibly upgrading their postnominals, together with all other oral healthcare professionals, both in the UK and elsewhere, wishing to join CGDent, which is increasingly gaining recognition and standing as a ground-breaking, world-first for the dental team – just get in touch with us here
This blog is adapted from a Letter to the Editor published in the British Dental Journal on 10 February 2023.