A large number of dentists have until July 31st to get on top of their continued-professional development (CPD) to ensure they are broadening their expertise and skills. According to the General Dental Council (GDC), almost 40,000 dentists are expected to meet the CPD deadline within the next couple of months. For those undergoing the five-year process, there are a number of factors to keep in mind.
Registered dentists are expected to keep pace with changes in the profession to ensure patients receive the best dental care available. Although CPD is compulsory, it is an effective method to help keep dentists up-to-date with everything that is happening in the industry, whether that is the latest in oral cancer detection, or making patients aware of the importance of good dental hygiene.
The first issue to remember is that CPD is split into two categories: general and verifiable. General CPD refers to activities that help with improving you as dentist but they do not satisfy verifiable CPD criteria. This could include multimedia learning, for example, or background research. It might even include journal reading, private study, vocational training or general professional training study days. During the five-year process, dentists are expected to cover 250 hours of CPD - 75 of which must be verifiable.
There are four criteria that must be addressed as part of verifiable CPD. Each activity the dentist undertakes must adhere to each of the four, which are: concise educational aims and objectives; clear anticipated outcomes; quality controls; and, documentary proof. In essence, that means dentists not only have to know what the activity is about, but what they will learn, how it will benefit their patients and proof or documentation of their attendance or participation, such as a certificate.
The GDC recommends covering three core subjects as part of CPD. It advises devoting at least ten hours to medical emergencies, five hours to disinfection and decontamination and five hours to radiography and radiation protection per CPD cycle. In addition to these, dentists are also encouraged to keep up to date on legal and ethical issues, complaints handling and oral cancer (with a view to improving early detection).
Dentists are also reminded to hold onto their CPD records for at least five years after completing their last cycle. It is always a sensible idea to maintain your records and documentation of any training sessions you attended so you always have it to hand in case it is requested. Figures from the GDC show that of the 39,892 dentists in the current cycle, as many as 15,837 have completed all their hours, with 4,106 yet to declare theirs. Anyone struggling to meet their CPD hours still have over two months to complete the process. As such, you could attend courses or lectures to help increase the number of hours you have covered. All this will work to help establish you as a leading dentistry professional. If you are unsure of your CPD cycle, you are reminded it is determined by the your date of first registration.
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