Following a legal change, the GDC changed its rules in November 2015, meaning all dental professionals applying to register or renew their registration will need to tell the GDC they have indemnity arrangements in place for their scope of practise, or will have by the time they start practising.
This has led to a number of queries from dental care professionals (DCPs), who should check with their employer in the first instance if they are not sure about their indemnity arrangements. Registrants will not routinely have to provide an indemnity certificate when they renew their GDC annual retention fee, only if they are specifically asked to do so.
DCPs must pay their annual retention fee by the end of July or risk having their name removed from the Register.
John Makin, head of the DDU, explained:
'The GDC says all members of the dental team, 'must have appropriate arrangements in place for patients to seek compensation if they suffer harm' (paragraph 1.8, Standards for the Dental Team).
'DCPs are responsible for ensuring they have access to indemnity in their own right or that appropriate arrangements are in place through their employer.
'We have received a number of queries, particularly from dental nurses, about whether the indemnity they have in place meets the GDC's new requirements. Our advice is to check with your employer if you are not sure about what indemnity arrangements you have in place in the first instance.
'The GDC recognises dental defence organisation membership, either in the DCPs' own right or provided through an employer's membership, professional indemnity held by the DCP's employer and NHS indemnity.
'However, our message to dental nurses relying on their employer's professional indemnity arrangements for claims, is it is worth considering whether it is better to be a member of a dental defence organisation in your own right for access to dento-legal advice and support.'
The GDC has published FAQs on the indemnity requirements. If the GDC asks for an indemnity certificate, DDU members can print off a confirmation of membership certificate via our website.
The DDU has produced detailed advice about dental nurse indemnity on its website.
This guidance was correct at publication 27/05/2016. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.