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GDC statement on professional indemnity

November 2013

General Dental Council statement on indemnity

To coincide with the implementation of the new Standards for the Dental Team which came into effect on 30 September 2013, the General Dental Council (GDC) also revised the supplementary guidance issued to registrants, including the Guidance on Indemnity. The revised guidance reflects the ‘must and should’ style of the new Standards to ensure consistency with the entire suite of guidance and it makes clear that registrants are not required to have their own policy and/or defence organisation membership. In addition, if all the registrants’ work is carried out at their employers’ workplace, then their employer should have made arrangements which covers all the relevant risks, although the onus is on the registrant to ensure that this is case. There are no new requirements, nor have any requirements changed.

The ‘old’ Guidance on Indemnity included the following question “Do I have to have my own cover” and the following response; “We do not require you to have your own policy and/or defence organisation membership, but you might decide it is a good idea to do so. As well as providing cover against patient claims, the defence organisations also offer advice and support; particularly during GDC proceedings. If you have your own cover through your professional association, this might also offer support if you have a problem. Each registrant has a professional responsibility to evaluate the risks they may face and ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place.”

The GDCs’ priority is to ensure that patients who suffer damage should be able to recover any money they might be entitled to through compensation, in the event of a successful claim.  It is for the individual registrant to decide which method of cover would be most appropriate to suit their needs.

Please contact the Standards Team, standards@gdc-uk.org if there are any further queries regarding this subject.