Visits to Local Education Providers (LEPs) and to training programmes are a key element of the Dental Directorate Quality Management Framework.
These visits allow assessment of the quality of the training environment within a LEP or training programme which informs us about whether training meets the General Dental Council’s relevant standards.
The Dental Directorate aim to undertake Visits to all LEPs and training programmes once every three years, as a minimum. These are called scheduled visits and take place even if there is no evidence of risk or concern. We also have a range of visit categories which are risk-based and allow us to conduct a visit outside of this three-year schedule. More detail about each type of visit is included below and information on the evidence DDQMG uses to identify the need for risk-based visits can be found in the monitoring section of this framework. Prior to conducting a visit, panel members have access to an information pack that includes all relevant data, information and intelligence. Content of the pack includes data that has been submitted via our Pre-Visit Questionnaire (PVQ). This is conducted two - six weeks prior to the visit and only trainees who are currently in the unit or programme are asked to participate.
All visits look for areas of good practice as well as identifying actions which are required to meet the GDC standards. Good practice which is identified at a visit and that could be used in other training environments may be shared.
All visits are conducted using a series of staff focus groups and structured question sets mapped to the relevant GDC standards. For the majority of Visits these will be the Standards for Specialty education published by the GDC in January 2019. In some instances there may be a need to include or refer to other formal GDC publications or standards and requirements and such scenarios will be decided upon by the Directorate Quality Manager and the Visit Lead.
There are three main types of Dental Directorate QM visits, which are most commonly arranged as LEP visits but have the potential to be adapted to a whole regional or national training programme focus and include all trainees within the programme, regardless of site.
The Directorate also has provision to undertake other forms of visiting if the circumstances indicate that they might be appropriate - details are contained within the Dental Directorate Visits Operating procedure document.
Further details of how we conduct visits can be found in our standard operating procedure.