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Scotland Deanery

Home of medical and dental excellence


Dental School, Hospital and Programme Visits

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.

  1. Scheduled visit - Scotland Deanery Dental Directorate is committed to undertaking a cycle of routine or scheduled visits whereby all posts within LEPs that deliver dental specialty training will be visited, to assess the quality of training they deliver, at least once per 3 years. The DDQMG is responsible for determining the schedule for these visits with input from the Directorate Quality Manager, outcomes from the Quality Review Panels and any other relevant sources of information.
  2. Triggered visit - The DDQMG will consider various sources of data and intelligence throughout the annual quality cycle. When potential concerns around the quality of training that is provided have been signalled by any of the sources of data, the DDQMG may decide to undertake a “triggered” visit. Most of these decisions will be made at the QRP, but the need to undertake triggered visits can arise at any time in the training year at the discretion of the DDQMG in response to emerging concerns.
  3. Immediate Triggered visit – like a triggered visit but conducted at shorter notice, usually in response to information that suggests there may be an emergent significant patient or trainee safety concern.

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.



This page was last updated on: 27.01.2021 at 11.40