The General Dental Council (GDC) has published a series of guidance documents and templates for dental professionals, ahead of the launch of enhanced continued professional development (ECPD) next year.
The enhanced CPD scheme is starting on 1 January 2018 for dentists and 1 August 2018 for dental care professionals.
ECPD is the first step in a longer-term reform of CPD to move to a system based on quality of CPD activity rather than quantity. ECPD will empower professionals to embark on life-long learning, which can be embedded into their practice. Patients will also benefit from being treated by dental professionals with up to date knowledge and skills. The changes include the introduction of a personal development plan (PDP) for each member of the dental team. This is a tool that professionals can use to support their CPD and aid further development, whilst also recording the details of CPD activity with corresponding learning outcomes. There are also changes to the number of hours that dental professionals must complete during a cycle and a new requirement to make an annual declaration of the number of CPD hours completed each year. The changes will take place in January 2018 for dentists and in August 2018 for dental care professionals.
The main changes to the scheme are:
- The requirement for all dental professionals to have a personal development plan (PDP);
- An increase in the number of verifiable hours for most professional titles and the requirement to spread the hours more evenly across the five year cycle;
- Dental professionals no longer have to declare non-verifiable CPD to the GDC;
- The requirement to make an annual statement of CPD hours completed, even if zero hours have been completed for that year;
- The requirement to align CPD activity with specific development outcomes;
- The requirement for professionals to plan CPD activity according to their individual “field(s) of practice”.
The new support materials, which are available on the GDC website include:
- ECPD Guidance for Professionals – this publication outlines the new ECPD requirements and aims to answer any questions dental professionals may have about ECPD.
- ECPD Guidance for CPD Providers – this publication outlines the new requirements and any changes required by providers to ensure the standards for CPD to be met.
- PDP template – a blank PDP template is available for dental professionals to use, if they wish.
- Activity log template – a blank activity log template is available for dental professionals to use, if they wish.
- Activity log examples – there are three activity log examples available, which aim to ensure professionals understand what is required when recording their CPD. Please note the examples do not demonstrate a full activity log, but give examples of how professionals may record their activity and reflection.
Matthew Hill, Executive Director, Strategy, at the General Dental Council, said:
"This is the first step towards a much more meaningful approach to professional development, one that gives dentists and DCPs the responsibility they have told us they want. How far we go on this journey will depend on how well the professions seize the opportunity on offer. I encourage the whole profession to embrace this first step and work with us to take the next ones."
There is also an Enhanced CPD transition tool available online, which is designed to help dental professionals who are mid- CPD cycle to understand the requirements.
Click here to find out more on the GDC website