Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP UK) joins the College of General Dentistry

31 Jul 2021

The Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FGDP UK) has today completed its separation from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS England) to join the new College of General Dentistry, realising the ultimate ambition of its founding members to establish an independent college for general dental practice. 

At the start of its 25th anniversary year in 2017, the Faculty announced that it would begin preparing for independence. Today’s separation sees FGDP UK’s charitable functions transferred to the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) which was formally launched earlier this month (1July 2021).

RCS England has long supported dental surgeons, and is proud of its role in providing an academic home for general dental professionals for over 40 years. The Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS), which remains at RCS England, first held an examination for general dental practitioners, the Membership in General Dental Surgery, in 1979.  

Since its establishment in 1992, FGDP UK’s mission has been to positively influence oral health through the education of the general dental professions and the provision of evidence-based guidance. The CGDent will now assume these responsibilities, and is grateful to RCS England for its role in establishing the FGDP, and for enabling it to grow and thrive in preparation for its eventual independence.  

FGDP UK and FDS have frequently collaborated, perhaps most notably in the delivery of the MJDF (Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties) examination, and the RCS England and CGDent are committed to continuing to work together going forward in the interests of the dental professions and the patients they serve. 

Commenting on the separation, Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: 

“We wish our colleagues from FGDP very well as they embark on the exciting task of establishing the College of General Dentistry. Together, over the last 29 years, we have provided a professional home for general dental practitioners, and the FGDP been a positive force for improving the care provided to patients. I am left in no doubt that we will continue to work together in the future to build on this very important work.” 

Abhi Pal FCGDent, Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK, said: 

“Today sees the realisation of the vision of our founders to develop the FGDP towards the ultimate goal of independence, and I thank the Royal College of Surgeons of England for supporting our profession by hosting us for the last 30 years. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the thousands of colleagues without whose participation none of the Faculty’s achievements would have been possible. We are extremely grateful for the hundreds of thousands of hours given by so many over the years to running our regional divisions, supporting study groups, marking examinations, organising CPD days, drafting standards, developing curricula, serving on our boards and committees, peer reviewing papers and all our many other activities which ultimately benefit the general dental professions and our patients. I would also like to thank all our members for their support, and I look forward to continuing to serve you as President of CGDent.” 

Janet Clarke MBE FCGDent, Chair of the College of General Dentistry, said: 

“The transfer of the Faculty of General Dental Practice into the College of General Dentistry is a hugely significant moment, and I would like to welcome all transferring FGDP members to the UK’s first and long-awaited independent college for dentistry. We have already launched an enhanced set of membership benefits in preparation for your arrival, and look forward to engaging you as we seek to build on the work of the FGDP to develop guidance and career pathways for the whole dental team.”

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College of General Dentistry makes commitment to building careers for all dental professionals

The College of General Dentistry, in partnership with Colgate Palmolive UK,
announces an important programme to build career pathways for all those working in
a professional capacity in primary care and general dentistry, which will be rolled out
in the coming months following the opening of the College to membership on 1 July
2021.

The Career Pathways initiative brings together all roles in the dental team to create life-long career structures: to enhance professional standing, and to engage the confidence of patients in the skills and care they receive.

At a time when there has never been a greater need to retain and nurture a motivated workforce in dentistry, this programme aims to provide purpose and direction for careers across the whole team. It is an initiative developed for the dental professions, by the dental professions, but has attracted much wider attention at a time of special concern about oral healthcare across the UK and access to services.

The College will be structuring its membership to reflect important career stages for each and every member of the dental team. Membership is open to all registered dental professionals, and Faculties of the College will support each team member with their own career development and aspirations.

The Career Pathways programme is led by Janet Clarke MBE FCGDent, Chair of Trustees, and Abhi Pal FCGDent, its new President, together with Roshni Karia MCGDent, Vice President, and Simon Thornton-Wood PhD, Lead Executive for the College.

An authoritative group of dental professionals have been brought together for the programme, in working groups led by Debbie Reed (Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy), Emma Pacey (Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy), Michael Brindle & Darren Ware (Dental Technology & Clinical Dental Technology), and Philip Dawson (Dental Practitioners).

More details of the programme can be found on the College’s website.

Janet Clarke said:

The College of General Dentistry is now open, welcoming all members of the dental team. Our driving passion is to enhance the careers of dental professionals in the patient interest: there is an acute need for direction and support in primary care and general dentistry careers today. Together with Colgate, we are excited to be bringing forward new and accessible ways to develop skills and enhance the team, over the coming months.

Dr Emanuele Cotroneo, Scientific Affairs Project Manager for Colgate in Northern
Europe, said:

Colgate is most proud of this exclusive partnership with the newly launched College of General Dentistry, which enables the development of the College Career Pathways. This important partnership further supports Colgate’s continuing mission in becoming a valuable partner in dental education and professional development. The Career Pathways will provide a structured guide for dental professionals to pursue their clinical interests as well as enhancing their skills.

Dr Heather Mitchell, Dentist and HEE Clinical Fellow engaged in the programme,
said:

The College’s commitment to prioritise a patient-centred approach to oral health care, as well as provide a much-needed structure for skills and career development, will serve to improve professionalism in dentistry. In turn, this will hopefully strengthen patient trust in their oral healthcare, benefitting the oral health of the nation. From my involvement in the programme, I can really appreciate what a great opportunity this has been to work on such an innovative project so early on in my career, I feel proud of what we have managed to achieve and am looking forward to sharing it more widely.

Andrea Johnson, Dental Technician and a member of the Career Pathways
Programme Reference Group, said:

I am very excited t o work with the College and with like-minded professionals from across dentistry to help define the dental college of the future that we all want and most definitely need. I urge all members of the team in oral healthcare, in the strongest possible way, to join the College and be proud to be part of something amazing.

A new future opens for dentistry

Today, 1st July, marks a momentous day in the history of dentistry in the UK as the College of General Dentistry officially opened in a ceremony at the Barber Surgeons Hall. Dentistry now has its own, independent College. The new College of General Dentistry embraces the whole dental team, recognising the invaluable contribution made by every member of the dental profession in delivering high quality oral health care for patients and the wider community.

(L to R:) Ian Mills, Immediate Past Dean, FGDP(UK); Janet Clarke MBE, Chair of Trustees of the College; Abhi Pal, President; Prof Nairn Wilson CBE, Honorary Founding President; Simon Thornton-Wood, Lead Executive.
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