Hearing committee members and their role
Our hearing committees are made up of three people (sometimes called panel members or panellists), drawn from a pool of dental professionals and lay people.
Panellists are recruited to bring a wide range of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives to the hearings. This helps to ensure balanced discussion and fair decisions at hearings.
All panellists are independent and are not employees of the General Dental Council (GDC).
Each committee is made up of at least one lay person and one dentist. If the hearing is about a dental care professional, one of the committee members will also be a dental care professional.
The committee’s role is to hear evidence from relevant parties, ask questions, consider the evidence presented, discuss and decide on the outcome.
In the case of fitness to practise hearings, they decide whether any of the charges have been proven. If so, they also decide what, if any, sanctions should be imposed. In the case of registration appeal hearings, after the committee has considered the evidence before it, they will either dismiss the appeal or allow the appeal against the decision of the Registrar to remove or refuse registration.
Quality assurance of the recruitment and development of panellists and the appointment, re-appointment and management of any performance matters arising is undertaken by the Appointments Committee (also known as the Statutory Panellist Assurance Committee), an independent Committee of the General Dental Council (GDC). This Committee has delegated powers as set out under the General Dental Council Constitution of Committee Rules 2009 and consist of lay members and dental professionals. Like the panellists, members of this committee are not employees of the GDC.