Frequently asked questions


 Meeting GDC requirements for CPD

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  • What is the best way to find out about the GDC’s requirements for CPD?

    The GDC’s Continuing professional development for dental professionals guidance sets out the requirements for registrants and those intending to restore to the register in the future. 

  • Why do I have to do CPD?

    The GDC believes CPD can support registrants to meet and maintain our Standards and by doing so contributes to patient protection. Requiring registrants to do CPD is one way the GDC can assure patients and the public that those on the registers are keeping up to date and maintaining their skills and knowledge.

  • What if I don’t comply with the CPD requirements?

    CPD is a compulsory part of registration with the GDC.  If you do not comply you may be removed from the register. This means you will not be able to work as a dentist or a dental care professional anywhere in the UK.

  • What happens if I take time off or have a career break, do I still need to do CPD?

    If you are registered with the GDC, you must continue to do CPD even if you are not currently working for any reason. This is because CPD is a legal requirement of registration with the GDC.  The requirement to do CPD is not based on your employment status. If you leave the register and intend to restore in the future you must still undertake CPD as you will be required to show evidence of this to restore.

  • You used to provide advice sheets about CPD, where can I find them?

    The information formerly contained in advice sheets is now included in the Continuing professional development for dental professionals guidance or within these CPD pages.

  • I am a CPD provider, where can I find information about what CPD dental professionals need to do?

    The CPD requirements for dental professionals are set out in Continuing professional development for dental professionals. This includes the requirements for verifiable CPD. CPD providers are also encouraged to read and become familiar with this guidance to help ensure they are providing CPD that meets the needs of dental professionals.

  • Do I need to register for a CPD cycle?

    No. You will automatically join a CPD cycle. We will write to you in advance of your start date to formally notify you of your requirements.


  • Is a copy of the CPD Allowance claim form (FP84) acceptable as proof of attendance?

    Yes. It should confirm the course details, hours of CPD activity, and be signed by a third party. You must remember to keep your copy as this will act as your proof.


  • I do not agree with the shortfall that my CPD online is showing. What should I do?

    Check your records once again and if the evidence shows that there are hours missing, feel free to edit them.


  • Does the GDC audit CPD records?

    Yes. The GDC's audit methodology for CPD is consistent, reliable and robust. It is based on a random sample of registrants in a CPD cohort, who are required to submit their CPD record to the GDC when asked. The sample is large enough to be statistically significant. This approach gives us confidence that results from the audit would have been the same if the records of every registrant in the same CPD cohort had been audited.

  • ​As a registrant, am I allowed to create or complete my own documentary evidence for the verifiable CPD I have done, such as hand writing my CPD certificates?

    All documentary evidence for verifiable CPD should be issued and completed in full by the body providing the CPD. We would not expect any registrant to create or complete their own documentary evidence, including certificates of attendance. 

    It is your responsibility as the registrant to obtain the necessary documentary evidence from CPD providers and you should check before taking part that the documentary evidence that will be provided to you is in accordance with our requirements for verifiable CPD. This is to provide proof that you participated in the activity and that the CPD met all aspects of the criteria required for verifiable CPD.  It also reduces the risk of fraud.   

    The CPD provider may choose to provide certificates of attendance which they have printed or handwritten. At all times the GDC must be satisfied about the accuracy and authenticity of the CPD documentary evidence submitted to us and we may ask you for additional information to confirm the CPD you have declared to us. Where we are not satisfied with the documentary evidence you have provided we may refuse to accept it, which may mean you are not compliant with our CPD requirements. 

    We recommend that all CPD providers seek to minimise the risk of fraud when issuing documentary evidence to registrants about the CPD they have done.


 CPD and your role

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  • Can participation in clinical audit or peer review count as verifiable CPD?

    Yes, if they meet the GDC’s requirements for verifiable CPD. The requirements for verifiable CPD are set out in Continuing professional development for dental professionals

  • If I am involved in medical practice or training, as well as that related to dentistry, how do I decide what CPD is relevant to meet the GDC’s requirements?

    You must use your professional judgement to determine which activities are relevant to dentistry.

  • I work in a limited field, why is CPD relevant to me?

    Although some registrants may choose to focus on certain areas of practice, the requirement to do CPD is the same for all dentists and for all dental care professionals. The CPD you do must be relevant to your practice or intended practice.

  • I am doing some postgraduate training but it won’t finish before my end of cycle, can I count it?

    The CPD you declare must take place within they CPD cycle to which it relates. Also, the CPD you do must be relevant to your practice or intended practice. We normally expect this to be within your current scope of practice, otherwise it is re-training and not CPD.

  • Can my Foundation Training activities could towards CPD?

    Yes, but only if it wholly takes place within your CPD cycle. To count as verifiable CPD it must comply with our verifiable CPD requirements.

  • Can I count research activities?

    If you are a research worker, then your research activity would not normally count as CPD.

  • Can I count time delivering CPD activity as my own CPD?

    No. Undertaking your normal role or conveying or demonstrating knowledge and skills you already possess is not continuing professional development.

  • Can I count medical training as CPD?

    Medical practice that is not relevant to dentistry would not normally meet the GDC’s requirements. CPD is that which can reasonably be expected to advance a person’s professional development as a dentist or dental care professional, and is relevant to the person’s practice or intended practice. 

  • I’m a dental professional but currently doing medical training, do I still need to do CPD?

    Yes. All dental professionals must comply with our CPD requirements to remain registered even if you are training for other professions.

  • Can I count CPD I undertake overseas?

    Yes. For example, you may also be registered with a regulator in another country that also requires you to do CPD, or have attended CPD activities that take place abroad. However, you must make sure the CPD you include still meets the GDC’s requirements, including for verifiable CPD. If CPD is recorded as points or credits you will need to get extra evidence from the provider to confirm the equivalent number of hours.

  • I have more than one registered title with the GDC. Do I need to do CPD for both?

    The CPD activities you do must be relevant to your practice or intended practice, including if this is across more than one title. The minimum amount of CPD you must do is for the title that requires the higher number of hours. For example, if you are registered as a dentist and a DCP you must do the requirement for a dentist that is a minimum of 250 hours CPD (min 75 verifiable). If you are registered under more than one DCP title you must do a minimum of 150 hours (min 50 verifiable).


 Quality of CPD and making choices

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  • I am a CPD provider, where can I find information about what CPD dental professionals need to do?

    The CPD requirements for dental professionals are set out in Continuing professional development for dental professionals. This includes the requirements for verifiable CPD.  CPD providers are also encouraged to read and become familiar with this guidance to help ensure they are providing CPD that meets the needs of dental professionals.

  • What can the GDC do about poor quality CPD?

    The GDC can only act within its legal powers. The registrant must satisfy themselves that the CPD they undertake and include in their CPD record meets the GDC’s requirements. Where CPD providers are also GDC registrants we will take seriously any behaviour or activity they are involved in that causes misleading statements or mis-selling of CPD. We may also refer any relevant concerns to the Advertising Standards Authority.

  • Verifiable CPD must have quality controls, what does that mean?

    By law all verifiable CPD must be subject to quality controls and there must be documentary evidence of this. If the GDC requests it, the registrant must make the documentary evidence available for inspection. The law does not define quality control of CPD for dental professionals and the GDC does not have legal power to quality assure CPD provision. However, we recommend that registrants are proactive in assuring themselves that the verifiable CPD they undertake has adequate quality controls in place. This should be in relation to the educational aims and objectives and outcomes of the activity. The GDC recommends that quality controls should be present at all stages of verifiable CPD activity – before, during and after. This should be the same no matter what form the CPD activity is delivered or received, or whether it is paid for or free.  Examples of quality control  may include: peer reviewed content; delivery of evidence-based content; avoidance of commercial bias; accurate advertising and marketing; robust methods in place to confirm full attendance; post-activity evaluation forms; a complaints procedure. These suggestions are not exhaustive.

  • I am concerned about the quality of some CPD activities, what should I do?

    All registrants, as consumers of CPD, are encouraged to make careful choices when investing time and money in CPD products and services and to obtain advance assurances as to the quality and value for money.  See our recent statement about this.

  • Can registration, meal and break times be included as CPD hours?

    No. Where verifiable CPD is provided the documentary evidence should only state the number of hours of actual CPD.

  • Does the GDC run CPD activities?

    Not normally. The GDC is not a CPD provider.

  • Do you have a list of CPD activities to help me decide what to do?

    No. A wide range of organisations can provide you with details, such as the postgraduate dental deanery for your region or country, or from the relevant professional associations. In Continuing professional development for dental professionals guidance we also advise how to make good CPD decisions.

  • There are no verifiable CPD opportunities where I live, what should I do?

    Information about CPD activities can be obtained from the postgraduate dental deanery for your region or country, or from the relevant professional associations or specialist societies.