What is GDC compliant content?
GDC compliant content refers to content that meets the standards set by the General Dental Council (GDC), a regulatory body for dentists in the UK. The GDC provides guidelines for dental professionals to ensure that their written communication is clear, accurate, and in line with the GDC's standards for professional conduct and ethics. This includes content such as patient information leaflets, advertisements, and website copy. The purpose of GDC compliance is to maintain high standards of patient care and to protect the public from false or misleading information.
Introduction to GDC Compliant Content
If dental content is not GDC (General Dental Council) compliant, it may not meet the standards and guidelines set by the regulatory body responsible for dentistry in the UK.
This could result in disciplinary action, including fines or suspension of a dental professional’s registration, if the content is deemed to be misleading, inappropriate, or in violation of ethical and professional standards.
When you hire an agency or freelancer to develop a website for your practice, it’s important they have a water-tight understanding of the GDC’s standards and experience with writing approved GDC compliant content, like our very own in-house copywriter, Nina does!
How do i know if my website's content is GDC compliant?
There are several ways.
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning our in-house copywriter, Nina has written over 1,000,000 words for dental website projects and still utilises the GDC’s guidelines handbook to cross-check.
Secondly, their guidelines are available via their website in the form of PDF handbooks.
Finally, an experienced dental agency should have a solid understanding of what the GDC tolerates and what they don’t.
Remember: When hiring a website team to build your website, you are putting your reputation and GDC registration in their hands (to a certain degree).
Defining GDC compliant content and what they expect.
An example of non-compliant GDC content would be written communication that makes exaggerated or false claims about treatments, products, or services offered by a dental professional. For example, if a website claims that a certain dental treatment can cure a serious medical condition without providing credible evidence, it would be considered non-compliant with the GDC’s standards for professional conduct and ethics.
Other examples of non-compliant content might include testimonials that are not representative of the typical experience of patients, or images or descriptions of treatments or procedures that are misleading or inaccurate.
The GDC requires dental professionals to ensure that their written communication is honest, accurate, and in line with the principles of informed consent, so any content that does not meet these standards would be considered non-compliant.
The most common mistake people make in their dental website copy that violates the GDC's policies.
The General Dental Council (GDC) has specific rules regarding calling oneself a specialist and the use of specialist titles in written content. According to the GDC, a dental professional can only call themselves a specialist if they have:
- Undergone formal postgraduate training recognised by the GDC
- Passed relevant exams to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
- Been accepted onto the GDC’s specialist list for their chosen specialty
If a dental professional does not meet these criteria, they cannot use the title of specialist in any written communication, including their website, advertisements, or patient information materials. This is to ensure that patients receive accurate and trustworthy information about the qualifications and expertise of dental professionals.
In addition to the rules around specialist titles, the GDC also has guidelines for written content that apply to all dental professionals. This includes requirements for clear, accurate, and honest information about treatments, products, and services offered, and the need to maintain patient confidentiality. Any written content that does not meet these standards would be considered non-compliant with the GDC’s regulations.
As we both know, the GDC isn’t to be messed with, and the last thing you or your web developer wants is to be called upon providing misleading content on your website during a dreaded inspection.
We have heard a few horror stories from new clients and we don’t want you to make the same mistake.
Whether you choose Evolve or not to build your practice’s website, be sure to quiz whoever you do go with on their GDC-compliant content experience and knowledge.