The Do’s and Don’ts of CPD – how to avoid erasure!
Continued Professional Development (CPD) is a requirement of all professions to ensure that practitioners keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
The GDC introduced the ‘Enhanced CPD Scheme’ in 2018. This created a 5-year CPD ‘cycle’, which requires a dental practitioner to obtain a number of CPD hours during each 5-year period.
The General Dental Council (Continuing Professional Development) (Dentists and Dental Care Professionals) Rules Order of Council 2017 sets out the minimum requirements for CPD during each 5-year cycle:
- Dentists: 100 hours
- Dental therapists, hygienists and Clinical dental technicians: 75 hours
- Dental nurses: 50 hours
The CPD cycle commences on the first full year of registration, and runs from 1 January to 31 December for dentists, and 1 August to 31 July for all DCPs.
Our team at JFH Law has recently dealt with a number of appeals against erasure, where registrants have been erased from the register due to their failure to record the correct CPD hours on the GDC e-portal.
How can this happen? Registering CPD hours online should be easy enough. However, registrants must take care to familiarise themselves with the detail of the regulatory requirements.
- While there is a minimum number of CPD hours to be completed in each cycle, it is also important to ensure that you are completing at least 10 hours in every 2-year period; including when you end one CPD cycle and start another.
- Be clear on what amounts to CPD. If you have completed a degree-level programme, even if a CPD certificate is not provided, the hours of study will probably meet the regulatory definition of CPD:
“…Continuing professional development through learning, training, or other developmental activities which:
(a) can reasonably be expected to maintain and develop a person’s practice as a dentist or dental care professional; and
(b) are relevant to the person’s field of practice;”
- The practitioner is responsible for ensuring that CPD providers meet the requirements for verifiable activities. Make sure providers can clearly identify the learning content, aims and objectives of the course.
- Ensure your CPD is relevant to your field of practice, but also make sure that the CPD you complete complies with the topics recommended by the GDC, details of which can be found here.
- Be accurate in your submission. Even if you are worried that you have not done enough CPD, do not be tempted to submit an inaccurate statement of compliance. If you are found to have been misleading or dishonest in your submission, this will almost certainly amount to professional misconduct, which could threaten your registration.
Crucially, if you are reaching the end of your cycle, or have not completed enough CPD in any 2-year period, make sure you approach the GDC before the deadline expires. You can seek an extension of 56 days to make up the missing CPD as long as you have a good reason for needing more time. An example of this could be ill health.
Remember: if you are taking an absence from work, but still wish to maintain your registration, you will still need to submit CPD for the relevant period.
If you have been notified by the GDC that your name is being erased from the Register as a result of failing to meet your CPD requirements, contact our expert lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.