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The European Primary and Specialist Dental Qualifications Regulations 1998

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations make provision about training for specialist dental qualifications and the recognition in the United Kingdom of specialist dental qualifications awarded elsewhere. They also make provision in respect of primary dental qualifications and registration by virtue of those qualifications. The Regulations implement European obligations relating to the training of dentists and specialist dentists, contained in Council Directive 78/687/EEC (OJ No. L 233, 24.8.1978, p.10) (“the Dental Training Directive”) and mutual recognition of dentists' qualifications, contained in Council Directive 78/686/EEC (OJ No. L 233, 24.8.1978, p.1) (“the Recognition Directive”). They include provision relating to a person who is not a national of a member State of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), but who is entitled to be treated no less favourably than an EEA national by virtue of a right conferred by article 11 of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1612/68 (OJ No. L 257, 19.10.1968, p.1) or any other enforceable Community right (such as those derived from articles 48 and 52 of the Treaty of Rome).

Part I of the Regulations provides for the coming into force of the Regulations and for the interpretation of certain terms. It empowers the Secretary of State to give directions to the General Dental Council (“the GDC”), which is the supervisory body for the dental profession by virtue of the Dentists Act 1984, as regards matters of administration relating to certain obligations arising under European Community law.

Part II deals with specialist dental qualifications. Regulation 4 designates the GDC as the competent authority for the United Kingdom in relation to specified functions under the Recognition Directive and the Dental Training Directive. The GDC is empowered, under regulation 5, to charge fees to cover the cost of providing services in relation to its functions under Part II of the Regulations. Regulation 6 provides for the issue by the GDC of Certificates of Completion of Specialist Training to those who complete approved specialist training, and regulation 7 imposes minimum requirements which training must satisfy before it can be approved for this purpose.

Regulation 8 provides that if the GDC makes regulations concerning the use of a distinctive title by orthodontists or oral surgeons and the establishment of a list of specialists in either of these branches of dentistry, those regulations must provide that a person is only entitled to use a prescribed title, or to have his name entered in a specialist list, if he meets certain requirements. It requires the GDC to tell anyone who asks it whether a person’s name is entered in a specialist list.

Regulations 9 and 10 define the persons who will be entitled to automatic inclusion in a specialist list and the specialist dental qualifications which are entitled to automatic recognition for that purpose. Regulation 12 makes transitional provision for entry in a specialist list for a person who is already a consultant or is otherwise an existing specialist within the meaning of the regulation. Regulation 11 imposes certain requirements for appointment as a consultant in the National Health Service. Regulation 13 makes provision which is to apply if the GDC makes regulations recognising dental specialties other than orthodontics and oral surgery.

Regulation 14 requires the GDC to establish an appeal mechanism against its decisions and to determine and publish the procedure governing its selection of the members of appeal panels and the conduct of appeals. Regulation 15 revokes, with savings, the Dental Qualifications (EEC Recognition) Order1980.

Part III of the Regulations concerns primary dental qualifications. Regulation 16 prescribes the GDC as the competent authority for the United Kingdom in respect of certain functions under the Recognition Directive; regulation 17 empowers it to charge fees in respect of certain of those functions. Regulation 18 and Schedule 2 set out the minimum requirements for primary dental training in the United Kingdom.

Regulations 19, 20 and 21 amend the provisions of the Dentists Act 1984. They make provision relating to evidence of good character and good health; holders of overseas diplomas; and notification of the reasons for refusal of an application for registration.

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