Following public consultation, the GDC has agreed that all dental care professionals (DCPs) will be required to complete and record 150 hours of continuing professional development every five years, a third of which should be verifiable.
This requirement is expected to be introduced from July 2008 when registration will become compulsory for dental nurses and technicians.
Dental care professionals will be required to complete CPD in the same core subjects as dentists, which are:
• medical emergencies (10 hours per cycle)
• disinfection and decontamination (5 hours per cycle)
• radiography and radiation protection (5 hours per cycle)
Dental technicians should substitute radiography and radiation protection for materials and equipment (5 hours per cycle) as radiography is not within the dental technician curriculum.
In line with the dentists’ CPD scheme, the GDC recommends that DCPs involved in the care of patients should undertake CPD in legal and ethical issues and complaints handling.
Duncan Rudkin, chief executive and registrar, said: ‘Compulsory CPD maintains public confidence in the Dentists and Dental Care Professionals Registers by showing that dentists and registered dental care professionals keep up to date so that they can give their patients a good standard of care.
‘The CPD hours requirement is lower for dental care professionals than for dentists as CPD provision is still developing for these groups. We would like to see greater availability of training courses for dental care professionals and hope the introduction of compulsory CPD will drive this provision.’
There are many ways for dental care professionals to complete CPD, ranging from attendance at courses, lectures and staff training to reading journals and private study. Further information about CPD for DCPs is available on the GDC website at www.gdc-uk.org.