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Principle One

Put patient's interests first


Principle Two

Communicate effectively with patients


Principle Three

Obtain valid consent


Principle Four

Maintain and protect patients' information


Principle Five

Have a clear and effective complaints procedure


Principle Six

Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests


Principle Seven

Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills


Principle Eight

Raise concerns if patients are at risk


Principle Nine

Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients' confidence in you and the dental profession


Patients expect:

  • That all members of the dental team will maintain appropriate personal and professional behaviour
  • That they can trust and have confidence in you as a dental professional
  • That they can trust and have confidence in the dental profession

Standards & their guidance

  • 9.1.1 You must treat all team members, other colleagues and members of the public fairly, with dignity and in line with the law.
  • 9.1.2 You must not make disparaging remarks about another member of the dental team in front of patients. Any concerns you may have about a colleague should be raised through the proper channels.
  • 9.1.3 You should not publish anything that could affect patients’ and the public’s confidence in you, or the dental profession, in any public media, unless this is done as part of raising a concern. Public media includes social networking sites, blogs and other social media. In particular, you must not make personal, inaccurate or derogatory comments about patients or colleagues. See our guidance on social networking for more information.
  • 9.1.4 You must maintain appropriate boundaries in the relationships you have with patients. You must not take advantage of your position as a dental professional in your relationships with patients.
  • 9.2.1 If you know, or suspect, that patients may be at risk because of your health, behaviour or professional performance, you must consult a suitably qualified colleague immediately and follow advice on how to put the interests of patients first.
  • 9.2.2 You must not rely on your own assessment of the risk you pose to patients. You should seek occupational health advice or other appropriate advice as soon as possible.
  • 9.3.1 You must inform the GDC immediately if you are subject to any criminal proceedings anywhere in the world. See our guidance on reporting criminal proceedings for more information.
  • 9.3.2 You must inform the GDC immediately if you are subject to the fitness to practise procedures of another healthcare regulator, either in the United Kingdom or abroad.
  • 9.3.3 You must inform the GDC immediately if a finding has been made against your registration by another healthcare regulator, either in the United Kingdom or abroad.
  • 9.3.4 You must inform the GDC immediately if you are placed on a barred list held by either the Disclosure and Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland.
  • 9.4.1 If you receive a letter from the GDC in connection with concerns about your fitness to practise, you must respond fully within the time specified in the letter. You should also seek advice from your indemnity provider or professional association.
  • 9.4.2 You must co-operate with:
    • Commissioners of health;
    • other healthcare regulators;
    • Hospital Trusts carrying out any investigation;
    • the coroner or Procurator Fiscal acting to investigate a death;
    • any other regulatory body;
    • the Health and Safety Executive; and
    • any solicitor, barrister or advocate representing patients or colleagues.

Learning Material & case studies