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SDCEP was established in 2004 under the direction of the National Dental Advisory Committee (NDAC) to give a structured approach to providing clinical guidance for the dental profession. Since then, SDCEP has become established within the Dental Directorate of NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and provides an important link between best practice guidance and dental education and training. A key aim of the Programme is to evaluate the best available information that is relevant to dentistry and to translate it into a form that members of the dental profession will be able to interpret easily and implement.

The increasing emphasis within healthcare on the adoption of an evidence-based approach to clinical care and treatment, and changes in the regulatory framework of healthcare provision can present challenges for dental teams. There is a need for user-friendly, evidence-based guidance to support dental teams’ clinical and organisational decision-making and to assist dental teams in meeting these challenges. SDCEP has close links with the Cochrane Oral Health which assists in identifying and appraising the most up-to-date, relevant evidence. SDCEP draws together representatives from all areas of dentistry, including general dental practitioners, community dentists, dental care professionals (DCPs) and academics to develop guidance that enables the dental team to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Further information on the SDCEP guidance development process is available.

To maximise the impact of the guidance produced, SDCEP employs various dissemination and implementation methods that are themselves based on research evidence. The programme’s position within NHS Education for Scotland and its links with the three Scottish dental institutions facilitate the integration of new guidance into education and training. Similarly, given the size and relative autonomy of the dental profession within Scotland, there is a realistic opportunity to implement guidance in a supportive manner and to evaluate its effectiveness to inform how best to facilitate changes in practice in the future. In collaboration with its partner programmes, TRiaDS (Translation Research in a Dental Setting) and SDPBRN (Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network), SDCEP undertakes research to understand the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of guidance recommendations and tests implementation strategies designed to improve the uptake of guidance.

Our partner programmes will show more information on the work carried out in collaboration with TRiaDS and SDPBRN.

Partner programmes