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Out with the old, in with the new. Part 2 Making good CPD decisions

Image representing Out with the old, in with the new. Part 2 Making good CPD decisions

Second in a series of blogs from Fiona Ellwood on how we can make the most of our CPD activitiy to support, maintain and enhance our professional skills. Here Fiona looks at making good CPD decisions and taking ownership of your CPD by planning your activities, with the help of a Professional Development Plan (PDP).

Time to check out your planning – There is an old Chinese adage which suggests “ failing to plan, is planning to fail” and it is something that we should all consider in our working lives never mind when it comes to meeting the General Dental Council (GDC) Continual Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

So let us take a closer a look at planning CPD activity. Why plan your CPD, after all the GDC provide each dental professional group with core topics and a specific number of hours, but do they? The last time I visited the guidance booklet and that was only yesterday, the topics were ‘recommended’ the hours that are outlined are the minimum number of hours.

So are you truly taking ownership of your CPD activity? Or are you just meeting the basic recommendations and scraping by? Some may say they don’t know any different, but this is your chance to change your ways and help others do the same. So out with the old and in with the new – ring the time of change, make CPD meaningful and purposeful, take ownership of it; you cannot work without it!

Let us consider the Professional Development Plan (PDP) - What does it look like? Where do you start? Well you won’t have to look far, they are not a new phenomenon and more than likely other members of your dental team will already have one set up. The purpose of the PDP is simply to act as a framework to help you to plan and structure your CPD activity and equally it acts as a recording and reflective tool. Depending on the structure of your PDP it will also encourage you to seek out good quality CPD – a topic for another time.

So what should be included as part of a PDP in order for it to be useful? And remember having a PDP is something the GDC recommend. As a basic guide you may wish to include the following fields:

  • A front page with your name, GDC number and the dates of your CPD cycle.
  • Next an overview of current guidance as a reminder.
  • CPD recording table – Topic, Activity, Date, Venue, Provider, Verifiable or non-verifiable and, If a certificate was given.
  • PDP planning section: What you intend to do in order to enhance or extend your current practice and S.M.A.R.T targets in relation to identified needs/aspirations.
  • Actions to be taken in order to achieve your needs and aspirations.
  • Evidence that these have been achieved e.g. certificates and if this has not been achieved why not.
  • Reflective writing to demonstrate the learning acquired.

Remember this should be a ‘live’ or ‘working’ document and if done well can be used as evidence to the GDC.

So think ‘New Way’ and next time we will look at the quality of CPD – Quick, easy, cheap is rarely the way to go people.

Author Fiona Ellwood

Part 1 Rethinking CPD

Posted by Gemma

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