The Roles and Responsibilities of a SAC Lead Dean

1    Introduction
COPDEND is a UK wide forum for Postgraduate Dental Deans to discuss and share important information and best practice relating to postgraduate dental education and training for dentists and DCPs. COPDEND has close working relationships with a number of key stakeholders; however a particularly close co operation between Postgraduate Dental Deans and the Dental Faculties of the UK Surgical Royal Colleges is required for the effective planning and implementation of specialty training programmes and the continuing development of specialty training curricula and related assessment frameworks.
The introduction of national recruitment to postgraduate dental specialty training posts and emerging NHS structures and processes for workforce planning has required a review of Lead Dean responsibilities and the revised remit is described below. Further review may be needed following the anticipated publication and implementation of quality assurance standards for specialty training by the GDC.
2     Roles and Responsibilities
2.1  The role of the Lead Dean in relation to Dental Faculties of Royal Colleges and SACs
  • Attend SAC meetings (normally 2 or 3 times a year).  (Opportunities for tele and video conferencing should be explored with the relevant SAC Chair and Secretariat to improve efficiency.)
  • Provide general strategic and operational advice to the SAC regarding issues and functions relating to Postgraduate Dental Dean regional areas / NHSE WT&E, both at meetings and via on-going correspondence and communications.
  • Liaise with individual Postgraduate Dental Deans over particular issues or concerns related to training in the specialty in their local area, which have been highlighted by the SAC.
  • Report to the SAC the COPDEND position on education and training issues, recognising that COPDEND is not a statutory body and that the Lead Dean can only provide general advice.
  • Liaise with the SAC in relation to GDC Quality Assurance processes (when introduced).
2.2    The role of the Lead Dean in Recruitment
The Lead Dean will be closely involved in the development of recruitment arrangements in individual specialties. The potential contribution will vary significantly, depending on the needs of the specialty. Most specialties are moving towards or already have national recruitment. The main role for the Lead Dean will be to:
  • Acquire knowledge and maintain an overview of the recruitment process in place or planned for the specialty
  • Provide general advice on the future development of the process, in particular regarding national (UK wide) recruitment
  • Most dental specialties are small and likely to be recruited via a single national (UK wide) process. Such arrangements are likely to be effective if concentrated in one Postgraduate Dental Dean’s regional area / NHSE WT&E 
  • National Recruitment may occasionally take place in multiple sites, which need not be in a Postgraduate Dental Dean’s regional area / NHSE WT&E. The lead Dean should be satisfied that these arrangements are appropriate.
  • The Lead Dean need not necessarily elect for their own regional area / NHSE WT&E to be the recruitment host, but if the two are different, the Lead Dean should work closely with the host regional area to ensure effective delivery of the process.
2.3    The role of the Lead Dean in Workforce Planning
The responsibility for decisions about workforce planning rests with the relevant UK Department of Health and its organization responsible for education. These arrangements vary in each country:
     England – NHS England (NHSE) and Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs)
     Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA)
     Scotland – NHS Education for Scotland (NES)
     Wales – Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)
The role of the Lead Dean is advisory. Nonetheless, advice and assistance to the specialty and the various national organizations is of a particular value and importance when a specialty is in a state of expansion or contraction.
2.4    The role of Lead Dean in COPDEND
  • Report back to COPDEND with updates on SAC meetings and developments.
  • Raise particular issues with COPDEND for guidance e.g. where there is a contentious issue, complex situations or matters of principle that may affect other specialties
  • Seek views from other Lead Deans and Deans generally in relation to issues that are likely to affect other training programmes
  • Feed back to COPDEND other strategic issues either at meetings or via a standard feedback form
3       Appointment as Lead Dean
  • Expressions of interest will be sought from COPDEND members for each Lead Dean role. Deans from either primary or secondary care backgrounds may become the Lead Dean.
  • For specialty training the Lead Dean will normally be appointed to an advisory committee that is out with their own specialty experience.
  • The potential Lead Dean should ensure that there will be sufficient time in their job plan to undertake the role.
  • The COPDEND Chair and Vice Chairs will identify the most appropriate candidate and subject to acceptance by the candidate, notify the relevant advisory committee or equivalent of the appointment.
  • The term of office should normally be no longer than 3 years* depending on the post holders’ job plan, commitments and availability of a replacement.
  • An up to date list of the Lead Dean appointments will be available on the COPDEND website.
*New Lead Deans will be appointed as current Lead Deans complete their terms of office