The General Dental Council is an organisation which regulates all practicing dental professionals within the United Kingdom, protecting patients and members of the public. All dental professionals, including dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs) are required to be registered with the GDC to practice and agree to adhere to a set of professional Standards set by the GDC which aim to protect both patients and dental professionals. A new version of these Standards came into effect in September 2013.
Enventure Research was commissioned to conduct an online survey of registrants to explore awareness and usage of the new Standards and how registrants think they should be communicated to dental professionals.
A questionnaire was designed by the GDC and Enventure Research which aimed to ascertain levels of awareness and usage of the Standards, with questions covering awareness of the new Standards, methods of accessing, frequency of use, reasons for use, usefulness of the Standards and suggestions for increasing awareness and usage.
The survey was issued via email to a sample of 3,500 GDC registrants drawn from a list of registrants who had previously opted in to take part in future research with the GDC and Enventure Research and from the overall GDC registrant database. The sample chosen was broadly representative of the GDC register in terms of the split between dentists and DCPs and gender. Personalised email invitations were sent to all potential respondents which included a unique link to take part in the survey, followed up by reminder emails to those yet to respond, to encourage maximum participation.
Results and Benefits to the Client
A total of 843 GDC registrants participated in the Standards Awareness Survey, providing a robust sample size. Taking into account the number of invalid email addresses, this equates to an overall response rate of 25%.
Valuable information about how dental professionals perceive and use the Standards was gathered via the survey. Enventure provided detailed reporting on the findings. The results presented a positive picture for the GDC, with all survey participants indicating awareness of the GDC Standards and 93% aware of the new revised Standards document. Some useful suggestions were made by respondents about how awareness of the new Standards could be increased.
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