The General Dental Council (GDC)
The GDC is an organisation that regulates dental care professionals and ensures that these individuals meet the professional standards as set out by the GDC in order to maintain professional registration. To remain on the register dental care professionals must achieve and be able to demonstrate a minimum level of Enhanced CPD over a period of five years, a description of the requirements is explained in more detail later on in this section. Dental care professionals included on this list are:
- Dental Nurses
- Dental Hygienists
- Dental Technicians
- Clinical Dental Technicians
- Dental and Orthodontic Therapists.
Enhanced CPD Requirements – What this means for you
All dental professionals are required to take part in Enhanced Continual Professional Development to maintain their registration and meet current GDC standards. This is important as it enables you to keep up to date with developments in the dental field. This helps to ensure that you update your knowledge and skills to meet the required and often changing standards and develop as a professional through reflective learning.
For a registered dental care professional, this not only boosts confidence but also allows you to provide and deliver an exemplary service, and good quality patient care.
Over a five-year cycle, dental care professionals are required to achieve Enhanced CPD outlined as follows:
- Dentists – 100 hours.
- Dental Therapist, Hygienist, orthodontic Therapist & Clinical Dental Technician – 75 hours
- Dental Nurses & Dental Technicians –50 hours
It is recommended that all GDC highly recommend topics should be achieved within this cycle and should include as a minimum:
- Medical Emergencies – 10 hours per 5-year cycle, preferably 2 hours per year.
- Radiography & Radiation Protection – 5 hours per cycle.
- Disinfection & Decontamination – 5 hours per cycle.
Keeping up to date with topics relating to the following subjects is also recommended as they contribute to patient safety and therefore should be completed within the 5 year cycle.
- Legal & Ethical Issues.
- Complaints Handling.
- Oral Cancer: Early Detection.
- Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
It is therefore extremely important that all dental care professionals are aware of what is required to maintain their registration and should ensure that relevant subjects are completed. There are many ways in which good quality Enhanced CPD can be achieved some of which include specific courses relevant to the chosen subject and E-learning.