ECPD launched by the General Dental Council

ecpdEnhanced continuous professional development (ECPD) has been launched today by the General Dental Council (GDC).

ECPD will involve introducing a personal development plan for each member of the dental team and the GDC hopes this change will help develop and encourage lifelong learning

The changes to CPD will come into force in January 2018 for dentists and August 2018 for dental professionals.

‘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 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.’


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

The number of hours for verifiable CPD include:

  • Dentists – 100 hours
  • Hygienists, therapists, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists – 75 hours
  • Nurses and dental technicians – 50 hours.

There will no longer be any requirement to submit evidence of non-verifiable CPD, however dental professionals will be required to declare the amount of activity they have completed annually.

Arrangements will be made for dentists and dental professionals who are mid-cycle when they move over to ECPD.

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