More than 200 attendees at the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK)’s Open Day on 3 February 2011 were present at the launch of Touchstone.
Touchstone is an online portfolio and learning system that has been tailored to the needs of dentists and dental care professionals.
It is available free of charge to all FGDP(UK) members, and anyone studying on the Faculty’s courses, including the MJDF.
Launching Touchstone, Lawrence Mudford, chair of the FGDP (UK)’s education committee, said: ‘We believe that Touchstone is a tool that will make a very real, positive difference to the working lives of dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs).
‘The FGDP(UK) is keen to develop more and better services for its members. We believe that our services should contribute towards our aim of improving standards of patient care.
Touchstone is a truly significant new benefit for FGDP(UK) members, and potentially for the whole dental community.’
Touchstone is a multi-functional program.
At its core is the ability to store any number of documents on Touchstone, from Word files to audio/visual files.
These can then be used for multiple purposes. Users can record, reflect on, store and manage their CPD records. Records can be retrieved at any point, or exported using templates designed to meet the needs of the MJDF Portfolio of Evidence, the General Dental Council, Care Quality Commission and ultimately, revalidation.
Touchstone is being integrated into the Faculty’s postgraduate training programmes.
Students undertaking a programme of study with the FGDP(UK) will be able to organise and submit their coursework through Touchstone, share documents with tutors and interact with them.
In order to make Touchstone as intuitive and easy to access as possible, users can log in from the FGDP(UK) website with just one click.
Touchstone can also be accessed from any computer with an internet connection, and on handheld devices such as the iPhone.
The next stage for Touchstone is to build the user base. From around 300 users on the pilot phase, the FGDP(UK) hopes to increase the number of users to 2,000-plus by the end of 2011.
At the same time, the Faculty will be working with external bodies in order to ensure that Touchstone remains relevant to the needs of modern dental practitioners and DCPs.
Touchstone has been launched but there is much more to come from it in the future.