Reflection on the ADEE conference, Berlin 2019

27 September, 2019 by Jessica Rothnie
Reflection on the ADEE conference, Berlin 2019

I was recently fortunate to attend the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) conference, Equipping our students to be dentists of the future, on behalf of the GDC.

Held in Berlin, the conference was a fantastic experience with attendance not just from Europe but across the globe including the Americas, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East. With a wide variety of keynote speakers, symposiums, and workshops, for me the highlights included sessions on sustainability in dentistry and wellbeing and resilience in dental education.

I attended to present, alongside the ADEE research team, our session on CPD - where we shared the findings of our CPD literature review. For my part, I focused on the context around why the literature review was commissioned and discussed the ideas we have put forward in our discussion document on CPD – Shaping the future direction of lifelong learning for dental professionals – which is open until 3 October 2019.

The session proved a great opportunity to discuss ideas and hear feedback from UK delegates, and hearing the experiences of European colleagues was also really valuable. Some enthusiastic attendees came to the session despite not knowing what ‘CPD’ stood for, which puts into sharp relief the importance of language. The acronym ‘CPD’ really does not give lifelong learning justice and is clearly not universally understood.

Other attendees reflected that in their countries, ongoing learning was not taken seriously because there was no enforcement, and they felt that stricter compliance would focus the minds of professionals. As a group, we discussed the difficulties in developing a system which strikes the right balance. On the one hand, enabling individuals the freedom to own their professional responsibility of keeping up to date, while on the other, being assured that requirements are being met without a burdensome regulatory system.

We have some ideas around what a more balanced, professionally owned, system might look like, but we need your views and feedback. I want to encourage all dental professionals to engage and respond to our proposals, this is how we’ll know what you want for the future of lifelong learning. Please visit our consultation page to make your contribution.

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