Enhanced CPD for dentists

DENTISTS will be required to complete a personal development plan as part of a new enhanced continuing professional development scheme, the General Dental Council has announced.

The move is the first step in a long-term reform programme that aims to focus on the quality of CPD rather than quantity. It follows a pilot scheme last year involving more than 1,700 registrants across the UK.

The changes come into effect from January 2018 for dentists and August 2018 for dental care professionals.

Under the new five-year ECPD cycle, dentists will have to complete 100 hours of verifiable CPD, with 75 hours for hygienists, dental therapists, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists and 50 hours for dental nurses and dental technicians. Evidence of general (non-verifiable) CPD will no longer be required but annual activity should still be declared.

Previously, dentists were asked to complete 250 hours of CPD every five years, 75 hours of which had to be verifiable.

Registrants will identify their CPD needs using a personal development plan. 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.

GDC chief executive Ian Brack said the new ECPD system “contributes to patient care and protection” and supports lifelong learning and development for registrants – goals outlined in the regulator’s recent Shifting the balance report.

He said: “Having a better system for continuing professional development – with a much clearer emphasis on planning development, reflecting on learning and embedding that learning into current practice –  ties in with the prevention of patient harm element which was one of the principles set out in Shifting the balance.”

All dentists will move onto the scheme in January 2018. Arrangements will be made to transition those who are mid-cycle in the current scheme, with guidance due to be issued in the autumn.

Find out more on the GDC website