For this review, the GDC met 16 out of 18 of our Standards of Good Regulation. These Standards provide the benchmark against which we review performance. Meeting or not meeting a Standard is not the full story about how a regulator is performing. Our report provides more detail about the GDC’s performance this year.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
This year the GDC has improved the level of EDI data it holds on its registrants. It has also started to record basic EDI data for panellists and has carried out an analysis of the fitness to practise data it holds. However, it has not increased the proportion of EDI data held for Council members and we encourage the GDC to address this issue.
The GDC recognised significant concerns in its plan to implement its EDI Strategy this year and revised the framework to address them. We will monitor the GDC’s activities under this new implementation plan.
In this review period we saw an increase in the time the GDC is taking to process registration applications from both UK and international graduates and appeals. Some factors which have contributed to that increase are outside the GDC’s direct control and the GDC has put in place measures to improve its performance. However, the GDC is still taking too long to process registration applications and so Standard 11 is not met. We will monitor the GDC’s work to improve its performance in this area.
Fitness to practise timeliness
We have had concerns about the time it takes the GDC to deal with fitness to practise cases in recent years. The position has not improved this year. Although the GDC is taking steps to improve its performance, it is still taking too long to progress cases through the system, and the number of open older cases has increased. Due to the serious and ongoing delays we have concluded that Standard 15 is not met. As this is the fifth year in a row that the GDC has not met our Standard for timeliness in fitness to practise, we have taken action under our escalation policy. We have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to raise our concerns and we will monitor the GDC’s work to improve its performance in this area.
The quality of the GDC’s decision-making
This year we reviewed a sample of the GDC’s fitness to practise cases to evaluate the effectiveness of its quality assurance mechanisms. Our review showed a high level of compliance with decision-making guidance, and we found no concerns with the decisions to close those cases we looked at. Our review gave us assurance about the quality of the GDC’s decision-making and associated controls at the early stages of its fitness to practise process.