ECPDThe General Dental Council (GDC) has updated continuous professional development to ‘Enhanced CPD’ (ECPD), which will come into force in 2018.

Enhanced CPD

The new changes will include a personal development plan (PDP) for each member of the dental team.

It is hoped that the PDP will identify areas needed for further development and encourage lifelong learning.

There are also changes to the number of hours that dental professionals must complete during a cycle:

  • 100 verifiable hours for dentists
  • 75 hours for hygienists, dental therapists, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists
  • 50 hours for dental nurses and dental technicians.

Lifelong learning

‘The public has a right to expect that dental professionals will keep their knowledge and skills up to date,’ Ian Brack, chief executive of the General Dental Council, said.

‘The GDC listened to a range of views in developing ECPD, particularly those who took part in last summer’s pilot scheme, and worked with the profession, partners and other groups to really get under the skin so that the new scheme contributes to patient care and protection but is also a useful tool for registrants.

‘The introduction of a personal development plan helps to meet our aspirations of supporting lifelong learning and development.

‘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.’

Long-term CPD reform

The GDC claims these changes are the first step in longer-term reform of CPD to move to a system based on quality of CPD activity rather than quantity.

Dental professionals will no longer be required to submit evidence of general (non-verifiable) CPD.

Other changes include dental professionals making an annual declaration of the amount of activity they have completed.

All dentists will move onto the scheme in January 2018.

There will be arrangements for those who are mid-cycle in the current scheme to determine how much activity will be based on that scheme and how much on ECPD, with guidance expected to be issued in the autumn.