CPD and Enhanced CPD

What is Verifiable CPD?
As per GDC website, an activity must meet all four of the following:

The activity itself must have:

  • concise educational aims and objectives
  • clear anticipated outcomes
  • quality controls – you should have the chance to give feedback, with a view to improving quality.

Additionally, you must get and keep a certificate (or other type of documentary proof) proving you took part in the activity.  The certificate should come from the activity provider or organiser and should show the number of hours you spent on the activity.

Do I have to do verifiable CPD in any particular subjects?
The GDC have identified three areas of CPD that all dental professionals should do. These are:

  • Medical Emergencies (at least 10 hours in every CPD cycle)
  • Disinfection and De-contamination (at least 5 hours in every CPD cycle)
  • Radiography and Radiation Protection (at least 5 hours in every CPD cycle)

We also recommend that you keep up to date in areas such as legal and ethical issues, and handling complaints.

The General Dental Council (GDC) has confirmed that Oral Cancer: Improving Early Detection is to be included as a ‘recommended’ topic in its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme (May 2012).

Exception for Dental Technicians:

Instead of radiography and radiation protection, Dental Technicians can substitute radiography and radiation protection with materials and equipment (at least five hours in every cycle) as their CPD, as the application of radiography is not covered in the curriculum for Dental Technicians.  In all other cases, we recommend that Dental Technicians carry out CPD in the same core verifiable CPD subjects as other Dental Care Professionals.

What is General CPD?
If you are not satisfied that an activity meets all four of the conditions for verifiable CPD, but it still adds to your continuing professional development as a dental professional, you can count the time you spend on the activity as general CPD.  Your general CPD may include activities such as reading journals, background research and private study.

What records must I keep?
You must keep a personal record of all the CPD hours that you do – both verifiable CPD hours (for which you must also keep documentary proof from the activity provider) and general CPD hours.  The records that you keep (including documentary proof of verifiable CPD) will be your evidence that you have met the CPD requirements.  You can download a NIMDTA CPD record form below:

You can use a different recording method if you prefer.

Whatever method you use, you should keep a record of:

  • the date of the activity
  • the title or subject matter of the activity
  • the venue (if this applies)
  • the name of the organisation or person running the activity
  • whether you are counting the activity as verifiable or general CPD
  • the number of hours you spent doing the CPD activity.
How will the GDC check that I am meeting the CPD requirements?
After the end of each year of your five-year cycle, the GDC will ask you to fill in a CPD Annual Return Statement.  You must do this by law.  You will need to fill in the number of hours of verifiable CPD and general CPD that you have done the year before.  The GDC will keep a record of the CPD hours you send to them; at the end of each five-year cycle, you may be asked to send your full CPD records (including documentary proof of your verifiable CPD) to the GDC to check that you have met the requirements.
What happens if I do not meet the CPD requirements?
If you do not meet the requirements, the GDC may take you off the register.  If this happens, you will not be allowed back on the register until you can show that you have met the CPD requirements for rejoining the register.

If you are thinking of leaving the register, or you are removed from the register (for not carrying out CPD or for any other reason), you will need to show evidence that you have done a certain amount of CPD to be allowed back onto the register in the future.  This means that you must carry on doing and recording CPD while you are not on the register.

How much CPD will I have to show to be allowed to rejoin the register?
Your CPD cycles – which are fixed in law – carry on running whether or not you are on the register.  For example, if your first CPD cycle began on 1 August 2008, it will end on 31 July 2013.  Your second CPD cycle then begins on 1 August 2013 and ends on 31 July 2018, and so on.  To rejoin the register, you will have to show evidence that you have completed CPD from the beginning of the CPD cycle in which you left the register, until the date of your application to rejoin the register.

For example, a DCP who is two years into their first CPD cycle and take two years off the register to work abroad, will need to show that they have done four years’ worth of CPD – 120 hours (30 x 4) of which 40 (10 x 4) are verifiable CPD – before rejoining the register.

If you are off the register for one year or less you will not need to show any CPD evidence to rejoin the register, unless you come off the register in one CPD cycle and apply to rejoin it in the next.  If you do this, you will have to show that you have done the CPD needed for the whole of the CPD cycle in which you left the register.

What do you mean by ‘evidence’?
CPD records and documentary proof of any activity you want to count as verifiable CPD.  If you take time off the register, you should continue to keep records of CPD and certificates as proof of verifiable CPD in exactly the same way as you would if you were on the register.
What happens if I don’t show enough CPD evidence when I apply to rejoin the register?
If you don’t show enough CPD, you risk not being allowed to rejoin the register.  If this happens, you will be able to appeal against the decision made by the GDC.  Contact the GDC before you leave the register.  You should take account of the CPD rules before you make a decision to leave the register, and you will need to make sure that you know what you will have to do to rejoin the register in the future.
  • Use a personal development plan to help you decide how you will meet the minimum requirement.
  • Decide on a recording format for your CPD activity for example, NIMDTA CPD recording form.  Consider keeping separate records for verifiable CPD and general CPD.
Always ask yourself, ‘Does this activity contribute towards my Continuing Professional Development?’
  • For verifiable CPD, check that the verifiable CPD conditions have been met.
  • Make sure you are up to date in core areas, including; Medical Emergencies, Disinfection and Decontamination, and Radiography and Radiation Protection (or Materials and Equipment if you are a Dental Technician).  You should carry out a minimum number of hours in each of these areas as part of your verifiable CPD.
  • If you work in a clinical environment, also make sure that you carry out CPD (verifiable or general) in legal and ethical issues and handling complaints.
  • For all verifiable CPD, make sure that you have documentary proof of your involvement (for example, a certificate).
  • Remember to send the GDC a yearly statement of your CPD hours when you are asked for it.
  • If you are thinking of taking time off the register, remember that you will need to carry on doing CPD while you are off the register.
  • Carry on keeping records of the CPD that you do while you are off the register, including documentary proof of any CPD you want to count as verifiable CPD.
  • Contact the Continuing Education Department at NIMDTA at any time if you need advice on CPD.
CPD Review and Revalidation
Information regarding the CPD Review and Revalidation is available on the GDC website.

The GDC has not yet made any decision about the timing of the introduction of revalidation but continue to work to develop policy proposals. They are currenly working towards a scheme of enhanced CPD which they intend will be introduced in advance of any scheme of revalidation for dental professionals.

FAQs relating to CPD are also available on the GDC website.
FAQs relating to Enhanced CPD are also available on the GDC website.


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