Is Your CPD Provider Compliant?


Is Your CPD Provider Compliant?

Many Dental Care Professionals presume that CPD providers are approved or regulated by the General Dental Council (GDC) and therefore ‘safe’ to utilise. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and the GDC ask you to use your professional judgement to decide whether the CPD activity you take part in meets requirements.

The General Dental Council states –
‘We recommend that all dental professionals, as consumers of CPD, make careful choices when investing time and money in CPD products and services and obtain advance assurances where possible as to their quality and value for money.’

It is therefore extremely important that all registrants carry out their own due diligence when selecting a CPD provider.

The registrant’s decision should now take account of the recent additional requirements from Enhanced CPD such as development outcomes, reflective learning, and the minimum requirements of a Personal Development Plan.

Provider Guidance


Similar to the guidance issued for registrants, the GDC also issue guidance for providers which registrants may wish to utilise when assessing a provider’s compliance.

The General Dental Council states –
‘To assist professionals in their CPD choices, the GDC has set criteria for what can count as Verifiable CPD. Dental professionals are responsible for ensuring and declaring that their activity meets these criteria.’

The full guidance document is available to download on the GDC website which is entitled ‘Enhanced CPD Guidance for Providers’; however, the below points outline such requirements.

Criteria for Verifiable CPD

CPD providers must include the below information within evidence of completion, in the majority of cases, this is in the form of a certificate however in some circumstances this can be supplied in an alternative format.

  • The subject, learning content, aims, and objectives.
  • The anticipated GDC development outcomes of the CPD.
  • The date(s) that the CPD was completed.
  • The total number of hours of CPD undertaken.
  • The name of the professional who has participated in the CPD activity.
  • The participant’s registration number.
  • Confirmation that the CPD is subject to quality assurance, with the name of the person or body providing the quality assurance.
  • Confirmation from the provider that the information contained in it is full and accurate.


Has your CPD provider included all the relevant details on your certification or documentation?

Development Outcomes

The General Dental Council states –
The CPD rules state that professionals must link each of their planned and completed activities to at least one development outcome. For CPD providers, this means linking indicative development outcome(s) for each CPD activity you offer.’

Details of the four GDC development outcomes are below:

A. Effective communication with patients, the dental team, and others across dentistry, including when obtaining consent, dealing with complaints, and raising concerns when patients are at risk.

B. Effective management of self, and effective management of others or effective work with others in the dental team, in the interests of patients at all times; providing constructive leadership where appropriate.

C. Maintenance and development of knowledge and skills within your field of practice.

D. Maintenance of skills, behaviours, and attitudes that maintain patient confidence in you and the dental profession and put patients’ interests first.

Has your CPD provider linked courses to relevant GDC development outcomes and documented this?

Reflective Learning

Academics will tell you that reflection is an essential part of learning. They believe that the ‘mindful’ evaluation of learning is essential to embed learning into practice. Reflective learning will determine whether you have selected the best activities, or if due to changes in the dental profession or advancements in your knowledge and understanding the activities planned originally could be improved. The aim is to think about the outcome of your CPD activity and reflect upon how the CPD activity affects your day to day work.

Has your CPD provider offered reflective learning opportunities and an area to document this information?

Personal Development Plan

The GDC require the below details as a minimum within your Personal Development Plan to comply with Enhanced CPD stipulations.

  • The CPD you plan to undertake during your cycle, which must include CPD that is relevant to your current or intended field(s) of practice.
  • The anticipated development outcomes link to each activity.
  • The timeframes in which you expect to complete your CPD over your cycle.

You might find that your field of practice or learning needs change during your cycle, and if so you should adjust your plan and activity accordingly.

It’s important to recognise that a Personal Development Plan is not a one size fits all product, and that you as the registrant should be actively involved in creating this. You are aware of your career aspirations and training requirements within the practice. However, this can be achieved alongside a mentor if you feel you would benefit from some support.

Has your CPD provider met the minimum requirements of a personal development plan and given you the opportunity to tailor this to your needs?

ByRick Craven