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The General Dental Council

The Fitness to Practise Committee

1. The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC)

The PCC considers whether an allegation referred to it amounts to misconduct and if this is so then whether the misconduct amounts to an impairment of the registrant’s fitness to practise.

After consideration of the allegations referred to it the PCC may:

• Conclude that the registrant’s Fitness to Practise is not impaired and close the case,

• Issue a reprimand;

• Impose conditions for up to 36 months (immediate conditions can be applied if required);

• Suspend the registrant for up to 12 months (with or without a review and effective immediately if required);

• Remove the registrant from the Register, i.e. for them to be ‘struck off’.

The PCC can also decide to refer the case back to the Investigating Committee, any other practice committees or an Interim Orders Committee.

If the PCC finds that a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct it must revoke any interim order currently in place. For reasons of accountability, hearings of PCCs are usually open to the public but can be heard in private in certain circumstances. These circumstances are that it is in the interests of the parties for a private hearing of the PCC to be held, the protection of the personal life of the respondent requires that it is heard in private, or the committee considers that publicity would prejudice the interests of justice. There may be witnesses at the hearing.

PCC members are drawn from the fitness to practise panellists who consist of both dental professionals and lay members.

2. The Health Committee

The Health Committee considers cases where it appears that a dental professional’s fitness to practise is affected by a physical or mental condition.

After consideration of the allegations referred to it the Health Committee may:

• Conclude that the registrant’s fitness to practise is not impaired and close the case;

• Issue a reprimand;

• Impose conditions for up to 36 months (immediate conditions can be applied if required);

• Suspend the registrant for up to 12 months (with or without a review and effective immediately if required).

The Health Committee can refer the case back to the Investigating Committee, to either of the other two practice committees (the Professional Practice Committee or the Professional Performance Committee) or to the Interim Orders Committee.

For reasons of accountability, these hearings are usually open to the public but can be heard in private in certain circumstances. These circumstances are that it is in the interests of the parties for a private hearing of the Health Committee to be held, the protection of the personal life of the respondent requires that it is heard in private, or the committee considers that publicity would prejudice the interests of justice. There may be witnesses at the hearing.

Members are drawn from the fitness to practise panellists who consist of both dental professionals and lay members.

3. Professional Performance Committee (PPC)

The PPC is one of three practice committees and it considers allegations where it appears that a dental professional’s performance is deficient and they decide whether this deficiency amounts to an impairment of the professional’s fitness to practise.

After consideration of the allegations referred to it the PPC may:

• Conclude that the registrant’s fitness to practise is not impaired  and close the case;

• Issue a reprimand;

• Impose conditions for up to 36 months (immediate conditions can be applied if required)

• Suspend the registrant for up to 12 months (with or without a review and effective immediately if required);

• Remove the registrant from the Register, i.e. for them to be ‘struck off’.

The PPC may also refer the case back to the Investigating Committee, to any other practice committee (the Professional Conduct Committee or the Health Committee) or to the Interim Orders Committee.

If the PPC finds that a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of deficient professional performance it must revoke any interim order currently in place.

For reasons of accountability, these hearings are usually open to the public but can be heard in private in certain circumstances. These circumstances are that it is in the interests of the parties for a private hearing of the PPC to be held, for the protection of the personal life of the respondent requires that it is heard in private, or the committee considers that publicity would prejudice the interests of justice. There may be witnesses at the hearing.

Members are drawn from the fitness to practise panellists who consist of both dental professionals and lay members.

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