Helping the General Dental Council shape its strategy and policy towards Brexit

Responses from European qualified dental professionals registered with the GDC


Response rate

In depth interviews with European qualified dental professionals


The General Dental Council (GDC) 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 practise.

As part of its commitment to using research to build a strong evidence base to inform the organisation’s policy and strategy, the GDC wished to carry out research with EU nationals on the register who practised in the UK in order to gather evidence and understand the impact of the UK leaving the EU on dentistry. Enventure Research was commissioned to undertake this research.


A mixed quantitative and qualitative approach was taken to this research in the form of an online survey and in depth telephone interviews

Enventure Research and the GDC co-designed a questionnaire to be used in the survey. The online survey was issued to all European qualified dental professionals on the GDC register (approximately 6,300 registrants). Over a four-week fieldwork period, 2,464 registrants completed the survey (a response rate of 39%), providing a robust sample size for analysis.

An interview guide was designed to form the basis of discussion during the in depth interviews, based around the results of the online survey to stimulate discussion and provide greater understanding of the results. In total 10 in depth interviews were facilitated by researchers from Enventure Research to supplement the quantitative research findings.


Enventure Research analysed the qualitative feedback and the survey results and provided the GDC with a comprehensive report which included detailed subgroup analysis, key findings and evidence-based conclusions. A series of infographics was also designed, illustrating key findings from the research to be shared on social media.

The research found that around a third of European qualified dental professionals were considering leaving the UK in the next few years with many citing Brexit and the uncertainty around it as a key factor. In addition, around half felt that Brexit had had a negative impact on UK dentistry and eight in ten felt that Brexit had led to shortages of healthcare workers in the UK. The research has given the GDC valuable insight to help inform its future strategy and policy towards Brexit.

“This was a fascinating piece of research to work on. The findings clearly showed that many European qualified dental professionals worried about the effect of Brexit on the dental profession and healthcare more widely and that some are considering the UK in the next few years. We are pleased that the research findings will be useful to the GDC when setting their policy and strategy around Brexit.”

Andrew Cameron

Associate Research Director, Enventure Research