CPD Requirements in the UK - Dental CE (2024)

Continuing Education Requirements

The dental continuing education (CE) requirements in the UK are managed by the General Dental Council (GDC). Here's a summary of the key points:

Enhanced CPD Scheme

Dentists and dental care professionals must participate in the Enhanced CPD scheme. This scheme ensures that professionals maintain their knowledge and skills, keeping up-to-date with advancements in the field. It helps uphold the integrity and reputation of certification and ensures high-quality patient care.

Minimum Hours

A minimum of 250 hours of verifiable CPD must be completed over a five-year cycle to maintain registration with the GDC. This includes activities like courses, lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, and online learning.

Verifiable CPD

Verifiable CPD includes activities like courses, lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, and online learning. It is essential to ensure that these activities meet the standards required for certification maintenance.

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

Dentists must create and maintain a PDP outlining their learning goals and how they plan to achieve them. This plan helps guide their professional growth and ensures they meet CPD requirements.

Recommended Topics

The GDC provides a list of recommended CPD topics, including medical emergencies, safeguarding, legal and ethical issues, and clinical topics relevant to each professional's scope of practice. These topics ensure that dental professionals stay informed about critical areas of their practice.

Reflective Practice

CPD activities should involve reflective practice, where professionals consider how their learning applies to their work and patient care. Reflective practice enhances the effectiveness of CPD by integrating new knowledge into daily practice.

Enhanced CPD Scheme Requirements

The Enhanced CPD scheme was introduced in 2018. It sets out CPD requirements for all registered dental professionals. To comply, you will need to:

  • Complete the minimum number of verifiable CPD hours for your professional title (the higher number for those with multiple titles) in each five-year cycle.
  • Spread CPD across your five-year cycle by completing a minimum of 10 hours of CPD in every two-year period, including when you end one CPD cycle and start a new one.
  • Make a CPD statement as part of your annual renewal of registration, by making either an annual or end of cycle statement, even if you have not completed any CPD during that year.
  • Ensure your CPD is relevant to your field(s) of practice.
  • Record your CPD by maintaining a personal development plan, linking activities to at least one development outcome, and keeping a certificate to evidence verifiable CPD.

You will start your first CPD cycle at the start of your first full year of registration with the GDC. CPD years are as follows:

  • For dentists: 1 January to 31 December
  • For dental care professionals (all titles): 1 August to 31 July
  • Temporary registrants: as per your directions

Number of Verifiable CPD Hours to Complete

The minimum number of verifiable CPD hours you'll need to complete during your five-year cycle depends on your registered title:

  • Dentists need to do a minimum of 100 hours
  • Dental therapists, dental hygienists, orthodontic therapists, and clinical dental technicians need to do 75 hours
  • Dental nurses and dental technicians need to do 50 hours
  • Temporary registrants (dentists) need to do 20 hours

If you are registered with more than one title, you must do the minimum amount of CPD for the title that requires the higher number of hours.

You can log in to your eGDC account at any time to find out how much CPD you need to complete during the year.

Development Outcomes

Development outcomes help you link your learning to the principles of professionalism and standards for the dental team. You will need to link each of your planned CPD activities to at least one development outcome.

The development outcomes are as follows:

  • A: Effective communication with patients, the dental team, and others across dentistry, including when obtaining consent, dealing with complaints, and raising concerns when patients are at risk.
  • B: Effective management of self and effective management of others or effective work with others in the dental team, in the interests of patients providing constructive leadership where appropriate.
  • C: Maintenance and development of your knowledge and skills within your field(s) of practice.
  • D: Maintenance of skills, behaviors, and attitudes which maintain patient confidence in you and the dental professions and put patients' interests first.

Recording and Submitting CPD

It is important for dental professionals to keep their CPD records up to date and safe. Those registered with the GDC need to:

  • Submit a CPD statement every year when renewing their registration
  • Keep a CPD record
  • Maintain a personal development plan (PDP)

Plan and record your CPD:

  • Design your own learning and development using your PDP
  • Use an activity log to record the CPD you complete
  • Keep your certificates to verify your CPD

These documents make up your CPD record. It must be retained for five years from the end of your five-year cycle. Remember to also reflect on the CPD you complete, and record reflections in your activity log.

Submit your CPD statement at Annual Renewal:

  • Submit a compliant annual CPD statement if you are mid-cycle.
  • Make a compliant end of cycle CPD statement if you have just finished a five-year cycle.
  • Ensure you’ve completed at least 10 hours of verifiable CPD in the last two-year period (unless in the first year of your first cycle).

Use eGDC to make your CPD statement. You can do this at any time during the year and make adjustments when needed, or you can wait for renewal to open (around six weeks before the year ends). When the CPD statement deadline has passed, you will not be able to amend your statement.

Grace Periods for More Time at the End of Your Cycle

If you’re coming to the end of your CPD cycle and find you cannot complete your minimum number of CPD hours, you can ask for more time. If approved, you will be given an additional 56 days to complete your CPD, known as a grace period.

Requests need to be submitted before the end of your CPD cycle, and no earlier than six months before it’s due to end. You’ll need to explain why you need a grace period, such as you are in exceptional circ*mstances, or there is another good reason why you need more time.

Temporary registrants cannot apply for more time.

Removal from the Register for Not Meeting Your CPD Requirements

Dental professionals who do not meet the minimum CPD requirements, or fail to complete an annual CPD statement, may be removed from the register by the GDC’s Registrar. If this happens, you will not be able to practise dentistry in the UK.

You will be notified if you have not met the minimum CPD requirements. This could be because you have not completed the total number of CPD hours in your five-year cycle, or not completed at least ten hours of CPD in any two-year period (including year one of a new cycle).

You will be given a final opportunity to show that you are compliant before removal. The GDC will consider any reasons provided for your shortfalls before deciding whether to remove you from the register. You can find out more in the GDC's guidance on the Registrar’s decision-making process.

CPD Requirements in the UK - Dental CE (2024)


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