Do not take CPD requirements lightly: read on to learn of one dental nurse's struggle. When she was unable to find one CPD certificate, she received warning letters from the GDC, and her appeal was eventually rejected.
July is fast approaching, and with it comes our yearly deadline for declarations of CPD completed within the last 12 months. For many nurses, it will be the end of the 5-year CPD cycle. It’s important that you get your CPD requirements correct to avoid repercussions in the form of sanctions from the GDC.
What do you need to do?
Dental care professionals - including dental nurses - are required to complete a minimum of 50 hours of CPD across their 5-year cycle. They must also:
- keep all certificates gained from CPD courses as evidence of completion;
- keep a CPD log detailing all CPD completed;
- maintain a PDP to outline the CPD they plan to undertake and its relevance to their role;
- complete reflective learning for all CPD completed to show understanding of the course content and uses.
Make sure that your certificate meets the GDC requirements. Click here for an example.
What are the requirements?
50 hours can sound like a lot - but not when it’s spread across 5 years! If you manage it well, you’ll be able to meet that total with ease and meet GDC requirements.
Remember, you must complete at least 10 hours of verifiable CPD every 2 years. Failure to do so can see you being subjected to a GDC hearing, with discussion of your de-registration; these are alarming consequences and may risk your job. Whilst this may seem extreme, they are the rules that we must abide by as DCPs.
A real case of a dental nurse struggling to prove her hours
A very recent occurrence of a random selection has seen a dental nurse being called for a GDC hearing because she could only prove 9 hours of CPD across a 2 year period between 2020-2022. She was contacted at random to provide evidence of her CPD. Despite having completed her full 50 hours across her cycle, she was going to be facing the possibility of de-registration for failing to meet the requirements properly. Thankfully, after months of trying to think what she'd missed, she remembered team training she had completed in early 2021. She contacted the course provider, who sent her proof of the CPD hours she needed. It was a very stressful process which caused her great anxiety as it went on for several months. She was very worried about losing her registration, as her initial appeal was rejected. She was very relieved when she found her certificate.
The rules are very strict, and it’s important that you follow them closely by completing your minimum of 10 hours every 2 years.
Proving your CPD
It is not enough to simply complete the CPD; you must also maintain records of every single certificate you have obtained for each course you have successfully completed. Storing these correctly - for example, in a folder in date order – can be useful if the GDC ever requests proof of your CPD completion.
You cannot just say you have done it - you need to be able to prove it.
End of cycle
As each year of your cycle ends, make sure you are reviewing which courses you have done, which are still outstanding and, of course, how many hours you have completed. We recommend aiming for at least 5 hours per year, but you must do a minimum of 10 hours every 2 years.
It’s best to check this approximately 1-2 months prior to the deadline of 31 July. This will allow you time to make up for any missing hours. You may find that you have ‘gone over’ what you needed to do for that year, and that’s okay! Exceeding 10 hours across 2 years is not an issue, as long as you remember that you will still have to do 10 hours again over the next two years.
For further guidance, please see the GDC website at: https://www.gdc-uk.org/education-cpd/cpd/enhanced-cpd-scheme-2018/
Need free verifiable CPD?
Click here for 3 hours of verifiable CPD.