Looking back at 25 years of CPD

history of cpdIn celebration of dentistry.co.uk turning 25, Julian English shares a brief history of CPD over the last 25 years.

The lifespan of dentistry.co.uk runs almost parallel with that of the introduction of continuing professional development (CPD).

CPD was first introduced in around 2004. The profession had been without continuing education protocols for a few years after the gentle demise of section 63 courses – remember them?

At the time, only dentists were asked to complete 250 hours of CPD in a five-year cycle. There were no recommended topics.

The General Dental Council (GDC) required at least 75 of the 250 hours to be verifiable CPD. Unverifiable CPD literally involved a dentist making a note of articles read, courses attended, or webinars listened so that it made up the hours.

After a few years some recommended topics were introduced including:

  • Medical emergencies (at least 10 hours in every CPD cycle)
  • Disinfection and decontamination (at least five hours in every CPD cycle)
  • Radiography and radiation protection (at least five hours in every CPD cycle).

More and more were included until recommended topics maxed out at nine hours.

CPD could be done on any topic or subject related to dentistry or the business of dentistry.

In 2009, the GDC opened registration for dental care professionals. Nurses, hygienists and technicians were required to register and, of course, commit to CPD. They had a reduced burden of hours to complete.

Enhanced CPD

After criticism about confusion of verifiable and non-verifiable CPD, and a healthy and productive consultation period, the system was updated in 2018.

Called enhanced CPD, the update removed non-verifiable CPD and introduced specific CPD (not general) and asked participants to have a plan, do, and then reflect on what they have done. It all sounds lovely.

And speaking of lovely, there was a requirement for a personal development plan. While the law says you cannot force someone to plan, personal development plans (PDPs) are recommended to help you make good CPD decisions and review it regularly.

To count as verifiable CPD, an activity must have:

  • Concise educational aims and objectives
  • Clear anticipated outcomes
  • Quality controls
  • Documentary proof – usually a CPD certificate.

Present day

Today, CPD is still in a five-year cycle and a dentist must do 100 hours in a five-year cycle. Hours must be done annually (with a few exceptional circumstances).

Under the Enhanced CPD Scheme 2018, dental nurses and dental technicians need to complete a minimum of 50 hours of verifiable CPD every five years. Dental therapists, dental hygienists, orthodontic therapists and clinical dental technicians need to complete a minimum of 75 hours of verifiable CPD. You must also ensure that you complete at least 10 hours of verifiable CPD during any two-year period.

Additionally, four development outcomes encourage dental professionals to link their learning activity more closely to the standards for the dental team, and support you to embed the principles further in your working life. Each piece of CPD must be graded A, B, C or D and at least one of each must be done each year.

A is for communication, consent, complaints and safeguarding, and B is for business-type topics. C is for clinical-type topics and D is for legal, ethical, behaviour issues and equality.

Currently, there are no plans to change CPD.

For an easy and cost-efficient way to get your CPD, sign up to Dentistry CPD today at cpd.dentistry.co.uk

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