This series of blogs from Fiona Ellwood looks at dental CPD, and how we can use this valuable commodity to support, maintain and enhance our professional skills.
Firstly, let's look at how we can rethink our CPD to strive for more than just the minimum requirements.
Often it is easier to keep doing the same thing over and over again, but why would you? Einstein reminds us that insanity is doing things over and over again and expecting different results…
All too often our new continual professional development (CPD) cycle begins and for some the ritual of gaining verifiable CPD as easily and as cheaply as possible is a priority. For the wise of course this all looks very different – cheap, quick, easy? I don’t think so.
CPD is a valuable commodity in supporting, maintaining and enhancing your professional skills and a means to good quality care for patients or so we are led to believe. This then surely conflicts with easy, cheap and quick.
Here lies the challenge, in order to remain on the professional register and continue to work within your registrable qualification and scope of practice, you must undertake the required CPD hours and activities to gain what we know as verifiable CPD; this is law, not optional.
So what are the requirements of verifiable CPD? All too often it is said I must undertake CPD in: Medical Emergencies, Disinfection and Decontamination, Radiography and Radiation Protection –these are highly recommended topics. The recommendation is that you also keep up to date with: Legal and ethical issues, Complaints Handling, Oral Cancer: Early Detection, Safeguarding children and young people, Safe guarding vulnerable adults. Then there are the minimum hours, which are different between the general dental practitioner and the dental care professional groups.
Of course these topics and hours are a minimum requirement … don’t forget this – you are allowed to do more you know, don’t set out to achieve the minimum. How many of you end load your CPD efforts? The word continual infers ‘over time’ and in this case five years. Spread your learning out, undertake some CPD each year it is better for everyone.
So how can you make good CPD decisions? Firstly you need to know you are advised to use your professional judgement as to whether you believe the CPD is fit for purpose and meets the General Dental Council requirements. If it does not meet the requirements and you submit as evidence – you may no longer be compliant and may be removed from the register. Ask the questions, check, check, check.
And the key bit… plan, plan, plan. This is paramount to your registration and being able to work, let alone pay the bills. Ever heard of a Professional Development Plan (PDP)? If you are not familiar with this following this blog series is an absolute must. So is it time for you to rethink your CPD activity? Do you truly believe easy, cheap, quick CPD is the right way to think about CPD? This is after all about patient care and your future as a professional - so let’s get planning.
Author Fiona Ellwood
Posted by Gemma