Our Enhanced CPD scheme has flexibility built into it that could make complying with the requirements a little easier this year as we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Registration Operations Manager, Harina Patel, explains how.
Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career is a commitment made by every dental professional. Lifelong learning and maintenance of skills are also essential elements of the regulatory system that keeps patients safe and safeguards public confidence.
We understand that you may have faced difficulties in accessing CPD this year. Services have had to change in response to COVID-19, access for patients has been limited, people have been redeployed, routines disrupted, and activities postponed - we’ve all had to learn how to do things differently and it’s not been easy.
For these, and other, reasons you might have concerns about completing your CPD, but try not to worry as we’re taking these exceptional circumstances into account and there is plenty of flexibility built in to the CPD scheme. Let’s explore some of them here, so you can find a way through that works for you and your circumstances.
Types of CPD you can complete
There is no requirement for CPD to take a particular form. Our recommended topics are just that, recommendations. Your personal development plan can help you to identify the CPD that is right for you and your field of practice. Using an online provider may be a good alternative to attending face to face courses that are restricted while the pandemic continues.
Making a zero-hours declaration
It may not be possible for you to do CPD every year. This is not a problem. The CPD scheme encourages you to spread your CPD hours across the five-year cycle, rather doing it all at once over a very short period of time.
This means you can record zero-hours of CPD in a single year. But remember, you must also continue to comply with the rule that requires you to do a minimum of 10 hours of verifiable CPD across every consecutive two-year period, even when that period spans two CPD cycles, and the minimum hourly requirements for your complete five-year cycle.
10 hours over two years
The key to understanding the 10 hours over two years rule is that you must not declare two consecutive years of your cycle with zero hours of CPD. You can declare zero hours of CPD in more than one year of your five-year CPD cycle, as long do at least 10 hours every two years.
For example, if you declare zero hours in year-one, you must do at least 10 hours in year-two, or if you declare three hours in year-one, you must do at least seven hours in year-two. If you are in your final year, in addition to complying with the 10 hours in every two CPD years rule, you must also ensure you meet you the minimum number of hours for your full CPD cycle.
If you’re unsure about how many hours of CPD you need to do this year, please take the time now to check the number you logged last year on your eGDC account, and the number done so far this year, to assess your compliance with the 10 hours in every two CPD years rule.
Ensure you continue CPD during planned parental leave
The flexibility in the CPD scheme might also help you when you’re not working due to career breaks such as parental leave. If you are on maternity or paternity leave and wish to maintain your GDC registration, you will need to continue to meet your CPD requirements during your leave period. You might want to use the flexibility in the scheme to help you through these periods.
If you leave the Register, for any reason, but intend to restore sometime in the future, you must continue to undertake CPD and keep a personal development plan. We’ll ask you to show evidence of this when you apply for restoration to the register.
Grace periods for exceptional circumstances
If you need a little more time to help you to deal with the exceptional circumstances you’re facing, and you are in the final year of your CPD cycle, you can apply for a grace period (providing an additional 56 days) to complete your CPD hours.
You can do this by emailing in your request for grace before the 31 July deadline.
Keep your records up to date
The evidence you collect from your CPD needs to accurately reflect your annual CPD statement; make sure you’re keeping your records up to date and check the number of verifiable hours you’re declaring in your annual statement before submitting.
Any CPD you undertake must meet the verifiable CPD requirements. If you are unsure whether a CPD course is acceptable, check the Enhanced CPD guidance for information what constitutes a verifiable CPD activity. You should also check with the course provider before you sign up for a course.
Taking account of COVID-19
You will still need to make an annual or end of cycle statement as part of your annual renewal, even if you have not met the CPD requirements this year for reasons relating to COVID-19. We will get in touch with you after the CPD declaration deadline of 28 August to ask you to provide some details and let you know what you need to do next.
Find out more
It is important to remember that completing your CPD is necessary to maintain your GDC registration. Above all, following the existing guidance and get in touch with us if you are unsure about what you need to do by when.
Visit the CPD pages of our website to find out more.