When thinking of continuing professional development (CPD) many people consider those working in marketing, banking or other sectors where having that extra edge can be the difference between success and failure. However, people working in medical disciplines can benefit just as much, if not more so, than professionals in other fields.
Medical science is an area that is constantly changing, evolving and advancing towards new breakthroughs and better practices. This makes it imperative that medical professionals like dentists stay proactive about CPD, as this will keep them up to date with all the latest trends and movements in the industry.
Being a dentist is getting more competitive, especially if you are a locum worker. This makes CPD beneficial for individual professionals, as well as the wider sector or industry. Having a CV that boasts a number of skills and shows you take your career seriously enough to control your own learning, will set you above the crowd when looking for roles.
The General Dental Council (GDC) is reminding dental professionals about the importance of exactly this. However, it's also necessary to make sure that any CPD has adequate quality controls in place to ensure that they are getting themselves a legitimate qualification and not wasting their time.
In its advice sheet, the GDC guides all dental professionals, as well as those who are responsible for designing, delivering and commissioning CPD in dentistry.
What is CPD?
Dentists can get CPD in a number of ways from lectures to full-blown courses and even through their own individual studies. The term basically encompasses anything that is working to advance a person’s professional development as a dentist or dental care professional.
This is so important that there is a minimum amount of CPD required for every dentist during any five-year period. Currently, dental professionals must undertake a minimum of 75 hours of verifiable CPD and DCPs must undertake a minimum of 50 hours verifiable CPD.
Why is it important?
As well as being a legal obligation, embarking on CPD enables dentists to maintain and update their skills, knowledge and general practice during their career, which can span a number of years or even decades. During this time the landscape can change dramatically and learning new things keeps a dentist fresh and current.
It can also help ensure that the wider practice is able to deliver a high standard of patient care and compete with their rivals. This encourages public trust and good brand advocacy among people using the dentist.
Because of this, CPD works to improve professional knowledge and skills, as well as making sure personal attributes are up to the required standard.
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