Study examines CPD in dentistry

A NEW study examining the impact of Continuing Professional Development on dentistry has been published by the General Dental Council.

The regulator is currently reviewing its mandatory CPD requirements for all registrants and will take into account the study’s findings. The GDC plans to develop its CPD programme in time for the introduction of revalidation which is not expected to come into force before 2014.

A team from the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) analysed almost 100 relevant academic papers in a bid to assess the effectiveness of different forms of CPD and answer seven questions posed by the GDC. These questions were based around the models of CPD, its regulatory purposes, participation by healthcare professionals and the connection between CPD and professional performance.

The study found that reviewing the academic papers “produced few robust evidence-based answers”. But it did highlight some insights, including:

• Repeated learning is likely to be more effective

• Personal Development Plans and appraisal can support effective CPD decision-making and participation

• Reflection is a core aspect of making CPD effective

• CPD should be driven by individual needs

• The blending of different learning approaches is likely to have a positive impact.

Dean of the FDGP (UK) Russ Ladwa said: “We were pleased to lead this study which provides a basis from which other researchers can further develop understanding about CPD in dentistry. There is much yet to be discovered in this area.”

The full report is available here