CPD Changes

enhanced CPD changesAs most of us will by now be aware, the General Dental Council (GDC) is set to change the requirements for Continued Professional Development (CPD). These changes will come into effect from 1st January 2018 for dentists and from 1st August 2018 for DCPs.

The new requirements are called the ‘Enhanced CPD Scheme’. The idea is to ensure that CPD is undertaken regularly by GDC registrants and that it is relevant to each different group’s GDC Scope of Practice.

The scheme is based solely on verifiable CPD – this is considered to be activities/training which are quality controlled with, ideally, educational aims and outcomes as well as the opportunity for the attendees to provide feedback.

There will be no non-verifiable CPD requirements, and the hours required per cycle have been adapted to reflect this change. The new CPD requirement for dental nurses is a minimum of 50 hours per 5-year CPD cycle. 

Registrants are expected to carry out the following steps in order to complete their CPD:


  • Plan: Identify CPD needs from your Personal Development Plan. This can be done individually or with colleagues and the wider dental team, or it can be done with employers via appraisals. Feedback from patients, complaints, audits and other events may be taken into account.
  • Do: Having identified their needs, the registrant is expected to undertake the activity/training in a timely fashion.
  • Reflect: Having completed the CPD activity/training, the registrant is expected to reflect on its impact and consider how it has allowed them to maintain or develop their knowledge, thereby complying with Standard 7 of the GDC Standards for the Dental Team.
  • Record: A complete record needs to be kept of the CPD activity/training, including any certificates or other evidence as well as your reflective account. From this, any further CPD needs can be assessed and added to the Personal Development Plan.

CPD records should be kept for 10 years, as the GDC will carry out random audits of registrants’ CPD completion each year and may call for your log up to 5 years after a cycle has been completed.

As some dental nurses may be in the middle of a 5-year CPD cycle when these changes come into force, it is important to ensure you calculate the remaining number of hours required to remain compliant. To achieve this, you simply need to subtract the number of VERIFIABLE CPD hours you have already logged from the new requirement (50 hours). This will give you the remaining number of hours required.

However, do be aware that you are not allowed to log 0 hours CPD for 2 consecutive years. This means you may need to add hours to prevent this occurring, even if it means you log more than the required 50-hour minimum for a 5-year cycle.

Further information about the new CPD requirements can be found on the GDC website:


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