The Key Skills in Primary Dental Care assessment for dental care professionals (DCPs) was launched at Showcase.

Developed by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), the Key Skills assessment presents an exciting opportunity for DCPs to gain continuing professional development (CPD), and enables all DCP groups to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the seven Key Skills identified by the FGDP (UK) as a core part of delivering a high standard of patient care.

DCPs have been registering for the assessment since July 2007, and many more are expected to register following the enthusiasm for the initiative among visitors to the FGDP (UK) stand at the Showcase event last month.

Speaking at the launch, FGDP (UK) dean Richard Hayward emphasised the importance of a highly skilled and motivated dental team. He said: ‘This innovative assessment is a real step forward for busy DCPs looking for a cost-effective way to gain CPD through distance learning. Working at their own pace, DCPs will have an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to delivering the best care for their patients.’

The assessment, which can be completed through distance learning, is via a portfolio of evidence which will also record workplace achievements and allow candidates to show how they are meeting their professional responsibilities. The first portfolio assessments will take place in January 2008.

Following the successful completion of each Key Skill, candidates will be awarded a certificate which will form a valuable part of a professional development portfolio. Key Skills certification will also contribute to mandatory CPD requirement of 150 hours every five years to be introduced by the General Dental Council in August 2008, as participants will receive 10 verifiable CPD hours for each Key Skill completed successfully.

The initial registration fee for the assessment is £30, which covers the cost of the support materials and assessment of one Key Skill, with a fee of £20 for each further Key Skill submitted.

To find out more or to register, visit