MDDUS is reminding dental care professionals (DCPs) to ensure they are aware of changes to the CPD cycle which now focuses on quality of CPD rather than quantity.
Under the new five-year enhanced continuing professional development (ECPD) cycle, DCPs will be required to complete a personal development plan (PDP). Dental nurses and dental technicians will also need to complete a minimum of 50 hours verifiable CPD, while dental therapists, dental hygienists, orthodontic therapists, clinical dental technicians will need to complete a minimum of 75 hours.
All DCPs will be moved on to the ECPD scheme and are required to submit their CPD statement for 2017 to the GDC by 28 August.
MDDUS dental adviser Stephen Henderson said: "DCPs should be aware of these important and significant changes in dental regulation. We welcome this move as the first step in a long-term reform programme that aims to focus on the quality of CPD rather than quantity. This will help identify and keep relevant skills up to date and therefore help improve patient safety.
"Registrants will identify their CPD needs using a PDP. This can be informed in a variety of ways such as employee appraisal, work with colleagues or via patient feedback, complaints, audit and significant event analysis. The registrant would then carry out CPD that best suits their development needs followed by a period of reflection to evaluate its impact. This reflection should be captured and documented in the event that the GDC asks for a copy of the PDP."
DCPs must also ensure they have declared their indemnity and paid their annual retention fee by the end of July. The GDC warns that late payment or not declaring indemnity will result in removal from the register and having to cease working as a DCP.
Mr Henderson said: "Any DCPs who are not registered with their regulatory body for whatever reason cannot carry out duties associated with their role. This could cause major disruptions to a practice with patient appointments being cancelled and principals may be forced to find temporary cover.
"MDDUS would advise all practices to check that everyone within the team is fully registered ahead of the deadline. From our experience, it is fairly common for DCPs to believe they have paid their ARF only to discover that the payment has failed.
"We regularly receive calls once the deadline has passed asking for advice on steps to take when a DCP is not registered and whether or not they can still carry out their duties. If they have failed to re-register then they will need to complete a form to apply for restoration to the DCP list. In the meantime they cannot carry out clinical work until they are re-registered."
Problems can also occur if a practitioner’s subscription to their dental defence organisation is not renewed, meaning no indemnity is in place if a claim is subsequently received for the period of the lapsed subscription. Practices are advised to have a system in place to check that staff subscriptions with bodies such as the GDC and defence organisations are renewed on time. The GDC website provides a secure web portal where registrants can manage their registration, pay fees and update personal information.
MDDUS senior risk adviser Liz Price added: "MDDUS members can log into our new website to access a wide range of risk management resources, including CPD-verifiable modules, video presentations, online learning tools and webinars. Our dental risk toolbox is a good place to start.
"Our training and CPD team also provide face-to-face training to help members reduce risk and improve patient safety in their daily practice.
“We help inform and educate our members on common areas of legal, regulatory and clinical risk. Members can achieve verifiable CPD with our online courses that focus on dento-legal risk areas including consent, record keeping and complaints handling.”
The MDDUS Training & CPD page can be found here.
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