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News / November 14, 2008

Continuing professional development set to be mandatory by 2010

by Guy Hiscott

Continuing professional development (CPD) was at the top of the agenda at a recent Dental Protection/Irish Dental Association evening seminar held at the Clarion Hotel next to Dublin airport.

Kicking off the event, Fintan Hourihan, CEO of the IDA, welcomed delegates and reported that the Dental Council is following the lead of the Medical Council, so that CPD will be mandatory in the near future.

It is currently proposed that dentists will need to complete, and keep records of, at least 250 hours of CPD over a five-year period. A minimum of 75 of these hours must be verifiable CPD. To count as verifiable CPD, an activity will have to have:
1. Concise educational aims and objectives
2. Clear anticipated outcomes
3. Quality controls (i.e. you should be given the opportunity to give feedback), and
4. You must obtain and keep documentary proof (e.g. a certificate) of your attendance/participation from an appropriate third party (e.g. the activity provider/organiser).

Non-verifiable CPD activities are those that contribute to your professional development as a dentist but do not meet all four of the above criteria for verifiable CPD, for example journal reading and private study.

The proposed Irish Dental Association continuing professional development curriculum is very wide ranging, and the Association intends to send out a survey to ascertain the membership’s needs and thoughts on the issue of CPD.

Mr Hourihan went on to state that dentists should commence recording verifiable CPD immediately, with CPD being mandatory by 2010. With a five-year cycle, that means that from 2015 the Council will start looking at erasing dentists who fail to meet the CPD requirements from the register, so the CPD issue is one that needs to be taken very seriously.

Mr Hourihan commented: ‘Everyone is serious about the deadlines set’, so make sure you take the opportunity to voice your opinions in the run up to the implementation of CPD, which is likely to be regulated by the Dental Council.