New GDC Chair joins CGDent in celebrating launch

The new Chair of the General Dental Council (GDC) will make his first public address to the profession this week at an event celebrating the launch of the College of General Dentistry.

Lord Toby Harris, new GDC Chair

Lord Toby Harris, Baron Harris of Haringey, was appointed GDC Chair in July and took up office on 1 October, succeeding Dr William Moyes.

During his period of preparation for office, the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP) completed its long-planned separation from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, transferring into the new College of General Dentistry (CGDent).

Lord Harris will be the keynote speaker on Thursday evening (21st October) at a reception marking the birth of CGDent, the formation of which has realised the ultimate ambition of the FGDP’s founding members to establish an independent college for general dental practice.

The College assumed the Faculty’s remit on 1 August, and as well as publishing its guidance and standards, has already launched two postgraduate qualifications, offers membership benefits which promote and reward professional development, and has announced that it is developing a professional framework and career pathways for the whole dental team.

Speaking ahead of the event, Lord Harris said:

“The creation of a dedicated College – for the whole dental team – is a significant moment and I am really pleased to join in celebrating this. The College of General Dentistry is an important partner for the GDC in supporting our role assuring education standards and ensuring patient safety and confidence in the professions.”

His keynote speech on Thursday, following an address by CGDent President Abhi Pal, will be broadcast live online from 6.45pm at:

No prior registration is required.

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Realising the potential

President Emeritus, Professor Nairn Wilson FCGDent, welcomes members to the College of General Dentistry and reflects on the impact of the new College for the general dental profession.

Congratulations on your membership of the College. Please use your new postnominals -FCGDent for Fellows, AssocFCGDent for Associate Fellows and MCGDent for members, to help raise awareness of the College. Also, please encourage the members of your dental team, together with your friends, acquaintances and colleagues in dentistry to follow your good example and join the College. The more members, the sooner the College is going to be able to make application for a Royal Charter, establish faculties and schools and much more besides.

If only dentistry had had its own independent Royal College in years gone by, the standing and status of the profession, the importance of oral health to general health and wellbeing and the impact of dentistry, both NHS and private in healthcare provision would be in a much better place. The College, which is going from strength to strength, intends, amongst many other things, to address these issues and while it is at it, work on transforming public attitude to oral health and the value of lifelong, longitudinal dental care. I see the introduction of the College being akin to a tethered boxer suddenly having full use of both hands. The activation of the College changes the odds which, despite the commendable, ongoing work of the professional associations, have plagued dentistry for longer than anyone cares to remember.

When the College is firmly established as a Royal College of high national and international standing, oral healthcare professionals will look back and wonder how dentistry managed prior to 2021 – no unified voice for the whole profession, a mishmash of career arrangements, exclusion from critical, high level considerations of healthcare, and, most importantly dentistry being undervalued and poorly understood. Our successors, in looking back, will recognise and thank all those who got behind the formation of the College, specifically those listed in the College’s Roll of Honour. As a pioneer in the membership of the College, you too could be included in the Roll, if you are not already listed – a once in a lifetime opportunity to be immortalised in the early history of the College. All you have to do is contact me ( and I will be delighted to guide you through the process.

In encouraging you to help fuel the College fire, and get behind our elected President, Abhi Pal, and the recently constituted College Council, the only way forward must be seen to be ‘up’. The College needs more than being timely, unique and forward thinking; it needs its members to be committed to its purpose and vision. Knowing many of the founding members of the College, hopefully including yourself, the College can be confident in going forward. No problem however difficult, no barrier however high, no disagreement however polarised should stop the College realising its transformational potential.

The future of the College and, in turn, dentistry, which I believe to be full of exciting opportunity, is in your hands, as members of the College. Get engaged, help recruit more members and together change things for the better – your College, your future, your call!

Faculty of General Dental Practice (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.”


A new future opens for dentistry – historic CGDent launch

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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College of General Dentistry webinar

Thursday 27 May 2021, webinar recording available.

Speakers explore the purposes and benefits of the new College of General Dentistry (CGDent), covering:

  • Why there is a need for a (Royal) College for Dentistry
  • Background & history of the FGDP(UK)
  • The challenges facing dentistry today – four perspectives
  • How a new College can address these challenges
  • Why dental professionals should join the College of General Dentistry
  • How to join the College of General Dentistry
Continue reading “College of General Dentistry webinar”

The College recruits for an Advisory Strategy Group to guide its development

The College of General Dentistry is recruiting an Advisory Strategy Group, seeking contributions from across the dental team. This is an important opportunity for people across the Registrant community to make an active contribution, guiding the future direction of the College. 

The Group will play a crucial role in advising the Board of Trustees as they make plans to launch the College. The Group’s 15 members, who will have first-hand experience working across the dental team, will provide much-needed insight into the ideas, perspectives and priorities of people working in dentistry. 

Chair of Trustees, Prof Nairn Wilson, said:  “This is an exciting moment for the College, a step closer to its formal launch, and a mark of our commitment to embrace the interests and contributions of the whole dental team. We believe that a lack of diversity in leadership and influence in dentistry is a barrier to effectiveness – and we want our Advisory Strategy Group to draw upon strengths across the many communities that have such an important role to play for the future.”

Applications close on August 21st, with interviews planned in early September. Details can be found at