CPD for dental professionals

All dental professionals need to undertake CPD. It is a vital part of the regulatory system that protects the public and patients.  

CPD is a compulsory part of GDC registration. Not meeting minimum CPD requirements can put your ability to practise dentistry at risk.

Enhanced CPD scheme requirements

The Enhanced CPD scheme was introduced in 2018. It sets out CPD requirements for all registered dental professionals.

To comply you will need to:

  • Complete the minimum number of verifiable CPD hours for your professional title (the higher number for those with multiple titles) in each five-year cycle.
  • Spread CPD across your five-year cycle by completing a minimum of 10 hours of CPD in every two-year period, including when you end one CPD cycle and start a new one.
  • Make a CPD statement as part your annual renewal of registration, by making either an annual or end of cycle statement, even if you have not completed any CPD during that year.
  • Ensure your CPD is relevant to your field(s) of practice.

You also need to record your CPD by:

  • maintaining a personal development plan
  • linking activities to at least one development outcome
  • keeping a certificate to evidence verifiable CPD.

You will start your first CPD cycle at the start of your first full year of registration with the GDC. CPD years are as follows:

  • for dentists 1 January to 31 December
  • for dental care professionals (all titles) 1 August to 31 July
  • temporary registrants, as per your directions.

Find out more about recording and submitting CPD.

We have developed supporting documents to help you.

Further details can be found in our Enhanced CPD guidance.

Number of verifiable CPD hours to complete

The minimum number of verifiable CPD hours you'll need to complete during your five-year cycle depends on your registered title:

  • dentists need to do a minimum of 100 hours
  • dental therapists, dental hygienists, orthodontic therapists and clinical dental technicians need to do 75 hours
  • dental nurses and dental technicians need to do 50 hours
  • temporary registrants (dentists) need to do 20 hours.

If you are registered with more than one title, you must do the minimum amount of CPD for the title that requires the higher number of hours.

You can login to your eGDC account at any time to find out how much CPD you need to complete during the year.

Do at least 10 hours of CPD every two years

We also ask dental professionals to spread their CPD across the five-year cycle. This is achieved through the requirement to do a minimum of 10 hours of verifiable CPD across any consecutive two-year period, including when you end one cycle and start a new one.

You can choose to not do CPD in any given year, but you then need to ensure you do at least 10 hours the year before, or the year after, to comply. Record 0 hours in your CPD statement when you renew.

This is how it works:

The top example is correct - year 1 is 10 hours of CPD, year 2 is 0 hours of CPD, year 3 is 20 hours of CPD, year 4 is 15 hours of CPD, year 5 is 5 hours of CPD, new cycle year 6 6 hours of CPD - 10 hours of CPD over each two year period.  The bottom example is non-compliant - year 1 is 35 hours of CPD, year 2 is 4 hours of CPD, year 3 is 5 hours of CPD, year 4 is 1 hour of CPD, year 5 is 5 hours of CPD, new cycle year 6 is 4 hours of CPD - non-compliant because 10 hours have not been completed between years 2 and 3, years 3 and 4, years 4 and 5 or years 5 and 6.

Development outcomes

Development outcomes help you to link your learning to the principles of professionalism and standards for the dental team. You will need to link each of your planned CPD activities to at least one development outcome.

CPD providers must also indicate which development outcomes have been satisfied in the evidence given to participants (e.g. CPD certificate).

The development outcomes are as follows: 

AEffective 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.
BEffective management of self and effective management of others or effective work with others in the dental team, in the interests of patients providing constructive leadership where appropriate.
CMaintenance and development of your knowledge and skills within your field(s) of practice.
DMaintenance of skills, behaviours and attitudes which maintain patient confidence in your and the dental professions and put patients' interests first.

You can find out more about development outcomes, including content examples in our Enhanced CPD guidance.

Grace periods for more time at the end of your cycle

If you’re coming to the end of your CPD cycle and and find you cannot complete your minimum number of CPD hours, you can ask for more time. If approved, we will give you an additional 56 days to complete your CPD, known as a grace period. 

Requests need to be submitted before the end of your CPD cycle, and no earlier than six months before it’s due to end. You’ll need to explain why you need a grace period, such as you are in exceptional circumstances, or there is another good reason why you need more time.   

Temporary registrants cannot apply for more time.  

Please email us if you need a grace period. 

Taking an absence from work

If you’re taking an absence from work but want to maintain your registration, you’ll need to keep up with your CPD. The requirement to complete CPD is based on your registration rather than your employment.  

Types of absence include: 

  • maternity leave 
  • taking a career break.  

You may choose to leave the register and rejoin at a later date. If you are thinking of doing this, please consider the requirements for restoring your name to the register, including the need to continue to undertake CPD and keep a personal development plan.

Removal from the register for not meeting your CPD requirements

Dental professionals who do not meet the minimum CPD requirements, or fail to complete an annual CPD statement, may be removed from the register by the GDC’s Registrar. If this happens you will not be able to practise dentistry in the UK.

You will be notified if you have not met the minimum CPD requirements. This could be because you have not completed the total number of CPD hours in your five-year cycle, or not completed at least ten hours of CPD in any two-year period (including year one of a new cycle).

You will be given a final opportunity to show that you are compliant before removal. We will consider any reasons provided for your shortfalls before deciding whether to remove you from the register. You can find out more in our guidance on the Registrar’s decision-making process.

You have a right of appeal against the decision.

If you are removed from the register, and wish to apply for restoration, you can find out more information on rejoining the register. 

Accessing CPD in your area 

If you’re having trouble finding verifiable CPD, you should contact the postgraduate dental deanery for your region or country, or your professional membership body or society.  

We do not provide CPD and we do not place any restrictions on the way CPD is delivered.

Further information

Remember your  eGDC account will include personalised information on the number of CPD hours you need to do in your current cycle. 

Further information on  recording and submitting CPD.  

Find out more about recommended CPD topics

Contact us if you have questions specific to your personal circumstances.