ADG welcomes long overdue moves to tackle international registration delays

The Association of Dental Groups has welcomed the announcement by the General Dental Council today to increase the number of Part 2 sittings of the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) for dentists from three to four next year, and an increase in the size of the GDC registration casework team to tackle the backlog in overseas applications.

Passing the ORE is a requirement for overseas dentists from countries outside the EEA to register and practice in the United Kingdom. With a backlog of over 1500 applicants and many thousands waiting for their applications to be processed it has been a significant “bottleneck” in the recruitment of overseas dentists who could ease the current access crisis in NHS dentistry.

The ORE has been recognised by many, including the General Dental Council as “no longer fit for purpose.”

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG said;

“Reform of the ORE to enable more clinicians to pass the examination in a timely manner has been one of the key policy recommendations of the ADG’s “Six to Fix” to increase the dental workforce and solve the current crisis in access to dentistry in the UK. We are pleased that the GDC recognises our concerns and are now taking practical steps by expanding capacity to bring this about.”

 “Clearing the backlog of ORE applicants waiting to take the examination is a big step in the right direction – and recruiting additional caseworkers is welcome, as too many applicants are still waiting for their applications just to be processed..  However we need to recognise that sustaining the UK dental workforce is dependent on recruitment of overseas clinicians and the ORE urgently needs much more expansion and reform to ensure the smooth flow of registrations in the future.