The College is expanding its elected national representation to encompass the whole dental team.

Elections are held each year for a number of seats on the College’s Council, and this year, for the first time, four role-based seats will be elected: one each representing dentists; dental hygienists and dental therapists; dental nurses and orthodontic therapists; and dental technicians and clinical dental technicians.

Those elected will serve three-year terms starting in June 2024, during which they will help to shape the College’s development, have the opportunity to be involved in areas such as careers, policy and standards, and be eligible to vote and stand in the annual election of two Vice Presidents of the College.

The elections, which are the latest step in a journey to build a Royal College for the general dental team, are taking place twenty years after the College’s predecessor organisation, the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP), began admitting Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) into Affiliate Membership.

However Affiliate Members – a category distinct from the Associate Membership and higher grades of membership then available only to dentists – could not progress in membership, nor stand for elected office or vote in elections, and their board representative did not carry a vote.

When the FGDP transferred into the College, CGDent became the first organisation of its type to allow all qualifying dental professionals into substantive membership, with Full Membership and Associate Fellowship opened to all team roles in 2021, followed by Fellowship in 2022.

For those without postgraduate qualifications, Associate Membership of the College is also now available equally to all registered dental professionals, with Affiliate Membership open to non-clinical team members such as practice managers.

At the same time as these changes were made, three additional seats were created on the College Council, all with voting rights, to ensure fuller representation of all registrant roles. These seats have been appointed during the early years of the College’s existence, but in becoming elected will further improve the standing of DCPs.

The franchise for the role-based seats has also been expanded to include Associate Members, enabling a greater number of DCPs and younger dentists to participate in Council elections, many for the first time.

And in addition to the role-based seats, dental professionals from across the clinical team who are Full Members may stand in any of the eight regional seats for which elections are also being held this year: Central London; Mersey and North West; North East and North West Thames; South West; Trent and East Anglia; Wales; West Midlands; and Yorkshire and Northern.

Nominations open on Friday 15 March and close on Monday 15 April, and dental professionals wishing to stand for election will need to be a member of the College to submit their nomination. Those not already a member are advised to apply for membership by the end of March in order to allow the process to complete in time.

Further information on the role and nominations process is available via the button below.

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