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Governance and representation

The BDA is owned by its members, who in turn elect those who make decisions on strategy and policy, and those who represent the views of colleagues across the profession.



The BDA has just one decision making body: the board, sometimes referred to as the Principal Executive Committee or PEC. The policy and strategic direction of the BDA is set by the board, and is directly elected by members.

The board receives advice and opinion from advisory committees to help it in its role. These committees will usually deal with detailed policy analysis and proposals. Some advisory committees (referred to as ‘craft committees’) are also elected to represent particular parts of the profession, as well as provide advice. Committees can therefore be purely advisory, or advisory and representative.



Representation of members is provided by Country Councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their job is to consider and advise the PEC on all matters relating to dentistry in the country concerned, and to liaise with branches and sections. Members of country councils are elected from the branches, and they are the ‘voice’ of members to the PEC.


The representatives in all the country councils meet together as the United Kingdom (UK) Council, to discuss matters of common concern. The UK Council also has an important role on behalf of members in holding the board to account on behalf of members.


As noted above, the Craft committees​ also play an important role in representing the interests and concerns of colleagues in constituent parts of the profession.


Read more on How governance and representation works in the BDA and Memorandum and Articles of Association of the British Dental Association with By Laws.