The General Dental Council (GDC) has confirmed that oral cancer: improving early detection is to be included as a ‘recommended’ topic in its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme.

At its meeting held last Thursday (17 May), members agreed to include the topic until new CPD rules and associated guidance come into force following the current CPD review.

The GDC introduced compulsory CPD for dentists in 2002 and for dental care professionals (DCPs) in 2008.

While the GDC has no current powers to introduce mandatory CPD topics, it has identified some ‘core’ topics that dental professionals should cover as part of their verifiable CPD. They are:

• Medical emergencies

• Disinfection and decontamination

• Radiography and radiation protection (or materials and equipment for dental technicians).

The GDC also recommends some subjects that can be completed as verifiable or non-verifiable CPD. They are:

• Legal and ethical issues

• Complaints handling and, now,

• Oral Cancer: Improving Early Detection.

CPD is a legal requirement of registration with the GDC and failure to meet the 250 hour requirement for dentists or 150 hour requirement for DCPs in a five year cycle could result in registrants being removed from the register and unable to practise. Registrants can check their cycle dates on the GDC website.

The GDC is currently reviewing its CPD requirements and throughout 2012 work will continue to develop a future CPD model, extensive stakeholder engagement and public consultation. All the details will be available on the GDC’s website

Any new CPD requirements will not be introduced before 2013.