Where to go and what to do in GDC fitness to practise hearings
This guide is designed to prepare you for the practical aspects of the day of your hearing, preventing any uncertainty or unnecessary stress. We have listed the addresses and travel information for the most common hearing centres below, but make sure to check the details you’ve been given to see exactly where your hearing will be held.
Where to go for your hearing
The majority of GDC hearings are held at CCT Venues at Smithfield in London.
If traveling by public transport, the Smithfield venue is located a 5 minute walk from the Farringdon and Barbican tube stations, both of which are served by the Metropolitan, Circle, and Hammersmith & City lines.
Exit Farringdon station using the main exit onto Cowcross Street and turn left. Walk along Cowcross Street past multiple restaurants and shops until you reach see the Barclays Bank. Use the pedestrian crossing in front of Paul’s Patisserie and turn right onto Charterhouse Street. Walk until you reach East Poultry Avenue on the left-hand side. Head along East Poultry Avenue until you reach the second glass door on the left-hand side (opposite Gate 18). You should have now reached CCT Venues at Smithfield.
When exiting the station, turn right and immediately right again onto Long Lane. You should walk along this road for a few minutes, passing Smithfield Market on your right. When you see the covered road that is East Poultry Avenue, turn right into it and CCT Venues-Smithfield is the first door on the right.
CCT Venues can also be reached from St. Paul’s Station or Chancery Lane on the Central line, both of which are a 10 minute walk away.
If you plan on traveling to your hearing by car, your best option for parking is Smithfield Car Park, EC1A 7BE.
37 Wimpole Street
In some cases, hearings may instead be held at the GDC offices on Wimpole Street.
If using the London Underground tube system the offices can be reached with a 10 minute walk from Bond Street or Oxford Circus on the Central line, or Regent’s Park on the Bakerloo line.
From Bond Street
Turn right onto Oxford Street and walk past the large Debenhams, turning left onto Vere Street. Follow the road until you reach Henrietta place, then turn right followed by an immediate left onto Wimpole Street. Walk along Wimpole Street for quite a distance, passing the British Dental Association on the left and the London Eye Hospital on the right. You should see the GDC offices on your right.
From Regent’s Park
Turn left out of the tube station and walk along Marylebone Road towards Harley Street. Turn left onto Harley Street, then take the second right onto Weymouth Street. Walk along the road and take the second right onto Wimpole Street. Walk a short distance down this road and you should encounter the GDC offices on the left-hand side.
When you arrive
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the hearing venue. It’s worth leaving extra time in case you get held up. Once you arrive you should announce yourself at the front desk and you will be given details of your hearing room, plus details of any other rooms you may have been allocated.
Meeting with your barrister
Your barrister should arrange to meet you at the venue at least half an hour before your hearing is scheduled to begin. This will give you enough time to have a chat about what lies ahead and to ask last-minute questions.
You should be provided with a separate room to use with your barrister throughout the day. This is a private space for you to have discussions with your barrister.
What to expect in the GDC hearing
The hearing will be conducted in 3 separate stages; fact-finding, impairment, and sanction. The fact-finding stage is for the committee to decide whether the allegations against you are proven. If there is a dispute over whether they are proven or not, evidence will be heard from witnesses and then the committee will make a decision on if the allegations are proven or not. If the allegations are determined not to be proven, the hearing will end here. If not, it will proceed to the impairment stage.
The impairment stage hears representation from both sides as to whether your fitness to practise is deemed to be impaired. If it is decided that your fitness to practise is impaired, the hearing will progress to the sanction stage. The committee will then decide on an appropriate sanction to impose, following representation from both sides and accounting for any mitigation.
The possible sanctions you could receive are:
- Erasure – (unless the impairment is solely due to health reasons);
- Suspension (for a maximum of 12 months);
- Conditions (for a maximum of 3 years);
After the hearing
If you have any questions regarding the outcome of the hearing or if you are considering making an appeal, you can get in touch with us for further advice.