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Competence (CPD)

Continued Professional Development (CPD):

Dental Council has paused its role in the direct approval of CPD activities, effective from 1st January 2020. The below confirms the background to this decision and set out the next steps and future arrangements

CPD providers will be able to provide direct assurances to potential attendees once requirements for CPD activities have been met as set out in our guidance. The below “CPD Recording Form” can be adapted for use by CPD providers. Please note that the ethical requirement for dentists to undertake CPD remains unchanged, as too has the amount and type of activities to be undertaken

CPD Guide – Revised December 2019 [pdf]

CPD Recording Form (Word)

Background to Revisions

In April 2015, the Dental Council published guidance which established Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for dentists. The guide provided a framework for dentists to plan and record their engagement with CPD in order to support lifelong learning and promote patient safety. It also provided guidance on how dentists should prioritise CPD activities and maintain proficiency in key areas. Overall, the guide was published in order to assist dentists to meet their ethical obligation to keep their professional knowledge and skills up-to-date, and to undertake CPD.

The landscape of CPD is changing rapidly and the impact of technology on course delivery has been significant. For these reasons, the Dental Council has decided to pause its own role in the approval of CPD activities. Council will now reflect on best practice in the area of CPD in order to consider the likely future direction of dental CPD in Ireland.

Council’s updated CPD guidance (December 2019) incorporates Council’s decision to pause its approval of activities and includes revised guidance to dentists and, importantly, to CPD providers and course organisers. Providers and course organisers should now make the same level of information and assurances available to potential attendees (including in promotional material and on websites where applicable) as would previously have been provided to the Dental Council to confirm whether an activity could have been considered as being verifiable. For the sake of clarity, and as a means to support Council’s decision to pause its role in the direct approval of activities, Council’s updated CPD guidance now refers to activities as being either structured or self-directed. The characteristics of both types of CPD activities are reaffirmed in the updated guidance.

It is important to note that that the ethical obligation for dentists to undertake CPD remains unchanged.

One of the original aims of the 2015 guide was to prepare the profession for dental CPD becoming mandatory. In April 2019, the National Oral Health Policy was published which includes a commitment to update the Dentists Act as a matter of priority. This commitment is welcomed by the Dental Council and acknowledged as being an important step towards CPD becoming mandatory for dentists.

CPD Guidance revised December 2019