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CPD – difficulties and changes for DCP’S to be aware of - do not risk erasure!

The loophole in the 2017 changes to the legislation regarding the zero year is open to interpretation by the dental profession.  The GDC would state practitioners don’t have to do CPD every year, but they do have to make a CPD statement, and do at least 10 hours of CPD in every two-year period.  If they have not completed any CPD during the year, they can record zero hours when they make the statement and then are advised to make sure they do enough CPD in the following year to meet the minimum requirements.


The rules would state that over a five-year cycle, dentists are required to achieve a minimum of 100 hours verifiable CPD, dentists should complete at least 10 hours of verifiable CPD every two years, and this is the reason dental practitioners are falling foul of the requirements.  


If a dental practitioner is coming to the end of the five-year cycle and will not be able to complete the 50 hours. They must submit a request to the GDC outlining the exceptional circumstances and why a grace period is required. The exceptional circumstances need to address why that practitioner will not be able to complete the 50 hours.  If approved, the practitioner will be given an additional 56 days to complete CPD.

What I would like to see is the GDC to considering exceptional circumstances in a broader format.


My experience professionally with a client we represented here at Buxton Coates is a good example of this. The client could not complete her CPD due to a traumatic birth and her child was in and out of hospital. Yet the GDC did not consider this as exceptional circumstances.  I initially submitted an Appeal to the GDC on this client’s behalf and this was moving toward the Appeal Hearing. When I took the case on, the client was on maternal leave, the best option for her was to withdraw the Appeal and take herself off the register. I then completed the restoration process, and she provided proof of 5 years CPD (the GDC were vague on whether this was 50 hours or 75), my client was able to provide 75 hours over 5 years and within 15 days she would be registered again and there would not be any mark against her on the GDC register. This could have been avoided had the GDC considered this client’s case as one of exceptional circumstances.


Written by Beverley Hudson on behalf of Buxton Coates Solicitors Ltd.


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