"Encouraging results" in dental CPD evaluation

  • Date: 23 June 2023

AN evaluation of the General Dental Council’s Enhanced CPD Scheme five years on from its introduction has found that most dental professionals do not find the requirements difficult to achieve and that compliance rates are high.

Research by Cardiff University commissioned by the GDC (including survey data) found that across the dental profession compliance with the five-year requirements of verifiable CPD hours was 94.6 per cent. Compliance was lowest among dental nurses or dental technicians at 93.1 per cent and highest among younger dentists (aged 22-30) at 99.7 per cent.

Most survey respondents indicated that they did not find it difficult to meet the requirements of the Enhanced CPD scheme. The report found that 64 per cent of dentists and 67 per cent of DCPs indicated that they found it easy or very easy to spread CPD across their five-year cycle (at least 10 hours every two years).

Similar proportions found it easy or very easy to find and complete verifiable CPD activities and make an annual or end of cycle statement through their eGDC account (65 per cent dentists; 69 per cent DCPs). The most common form of verifiable CPD undertaken in the last 12 months was hands-on clinical training or workshops (nearly 80 per cent of respondents), and attendance at some form of lecture (in-person or online) was also common.

Personal interest in a topic was shown to be a key driver, with 94 per cent of respondents indicating that it at least somewhat encouraged their participation in CPD.

Most respondents had little difficulty in obtaining the required documentary evidence (e.g. certificate) to confirm verifiable CPD, although 20 per cent of dentists and 14 per cent of DCPs did find it difficult or very difficult.

Researchers also found that further guidance could improve understanding of some key features introduced by the Enhanced CPD scheme, such as personal development plans (PDPs), grace periods at the end of a CPD cycle, and the application of recommended topics.

GDC Executive Director, Strategy, Stefan Czerniawski, said: “Lifelong learning and continuing improvement in knowledge and skills are central to what it means to be a professional. Our CPD requirements are intended to support dental professionals to develop their professionalism.

“The results of this research are encouraging and underline the importance of the CPD scheme in ensuring that the dental team is well-trained and delivering high standards of care. The research also offers us valuable insights into the motivations and priorities of dental professionals when it comes to CPD, which will help to inform updates to our support and guidance.”

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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