The End of the CPD Year is Nigh: Be Prepared!
31 December 2018 marks the end of the first year under the enhanced CPD scheme for dentists. This date is now not only the deadline for paying the best part of £1000 for the annual retention fee and confirming that indemnity is in place, but also completing the minimum CPD requirement. A second deadline follows swiftly after: the annual CPD statement must be submitted by 28 January 2019. The GDC warns that failure to do may result in removal from the register. This is no idle threat; registrants have been removed for failure to comply with CPD requirements.
CPD completed after the end of year cannot be applied retrospectively: now is the time to check that you have met the minimum CPD requirements and that your records are ready for submission.
There are some important changes under the enhanced CPD scheme. Dentists must complete a minimum of 100 hours of verifiable CPD over the five-year cycle in topics relevant to their current or intended field of practice. CPD activities now need to be spread out over the five-year term, with a minimum of ten hours over any two-year period. The recommendations for the recommended and highly recommended topics remain unchanged. Note that previously verifiable or general CPD was acceptable for the recommended subjects, but with the demise of recording general CPD this would need to be verifiable to be recorded. This is not explicitly stated in the GDC's guidance documents but can be inferred from them.
The annual CPD statement
- The hours of CPD undertaken in the year;
- That you have:
- kept a CPD record;
- constructed a PDP;
- undertaken CPD relevant to your current or intended field of practice;
- That the statement if "full and accurate".
Measure twice, cut once
It would be wise to check the accuracy of your records before submission. The information cannot be changed or submitted after the deadline. Furthermore, the GDC audits submissions by randomly selecting registrants to verify their records. If you are chosen it will ask to see your:
- Log of completed activities;
- Documentary evidence of completion for each activity (normally a certificate).
It is your responsibility to ensure that this information is accurate. If the documentary evidence is inadequate it is you, not the CPD provider, who will be held accountable. So, before you make your submission check that you have met the minimum requirements, your log is accurate, and the documentation displays the required information. The GDC supplies a mapping document for when the documentary evidence is inadequate for CPD that falls outside of "mainstream dental CPD provision". This needs to be signed by the CPD provider and accompanied by other supporting evidence.
Personal development plan (PDP)
For your PDP the GDC requires:
- The planned activities;
- Anticipated development outcome;
- Expected completion date;
Open the PDP tab in the template and you will see that the respective columns are highlighted.
We have helped get you started by including all the GDC 'core' topics linked to some of the related courses that we provide. All you need to do is enter an expected completion date. Add, alter or remove entries as required.
Completed CPD activities
Your completed activities should be added to your log. Each entry must specify:
- Title and description;
- Time awarded;
- GDC development outcome achieved;
- Date completed.
These elements are highlighted in the respective columns in the template.
One area that causes some confusion is reflection. You do not have to include an evaluation of each activity, but it is desirable. The guidance document states "It should also include a reflective element, or an indication that reflection has taken place." Note should, not must.
When entering a description for our CPD courses, we recommend copying the aims (what the training sets out to do) and objectives (the topics covered) from the respective course to the description, though you can enter whatever you feel is appropriate.
The time awarded must be accurate and not rounded up. The only rounding permitted is for the total time for a year. If a lecture lasts 35 minutes that is what should be awarded, not an hour. This is a matter that many CPD providers do not address and should be part of the quality-assurance assessment that you undertake when choosing your CPD. Our system records your activities and awards the time accordingly, but you must ensure that the time you have spent actively participating is accurate when submitting your statement. Leaving a document open and then going for a coffee does not count!
The development outcome should be what you have assessed was delivered; this may well be different from the anticipated outcome published by the CPD provider. We ask you to do this as part of your reflection.
If you have been updating your template as you complete your activities this information will all be available already. Check that you have not missed any activities and that the information is accurate. For our courses it is essential that you have downloaded and saved all your certificates for the current year. This is because they are dynamic. The certificates display:
- When you first completed the course (time spent and date);
- The time spent in the current CPD year;
- The total for your five-year cycle.
On 1 January the value for the current CPD year will reset to zero because it is the start of the new CPD year. So, if you have not already done so make sure that you download a certificate for each course that you have completed for the current year.
For further information about our certificates please refer to 'Dynamic CPD certification!'
You can view a list of your certificates together with date when granted and the total time by selecting "My certificates" from your account menu. Click View to open a certificate. It is a simple matter of copy and pasting to transfer information to your CPD log in the template.
Once you have checked your log of CPD activities and saved it, select the Summary tab to view the list for the year and the total time. Round this up to the nearest hour and enter this on eGDC.
You must check that you have your documentary evidence and that it displays the following mandatory information:
- Learning content;
- Anticipated GDC development outcomes;
- Date(s) undertaken;
- Time awarded;
- Participant's name and registration number;
- Statement from the CPD provider that:
- the activity is subject to quality assurance, with the name of the person or organisation providing the assurance;
- the information contained in it is full and accurate.
If it does not the GDC will hold you responsible.
What is key is that this information must be present. All this (and more) is provided on our certificates.
Keep your certificates in a safe place and link them to the respective activity in your log. Print or save a copy (or both!) for the current CPD year. Storing PDF versions in cloud storage (e.g. OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox etc) makes a great deal of sense because it is readily available from any device and automatically backed up.
The GDC allows providers to define learning content as they wish. Our courses list the content, indicating that which is required to complete the course and obtain a certificate, and that which is optional. All our courses are comprised of a guide, presentation and reflection. Some may have additional material e.g. documents, quizzes and videos.
What a CPD activity sets out to achieve.
What the activity will cover to achieve the aims.
GDC Development outcomes
A - D in any combination. The rules require providers to publish the anticipated outcomes in their promotional material and for participants to assess which were delivered on completion of the CPD activity. Our certificate displays this information.
Learning outcomes are what you can expect to achieve on completion of the activity, with particular reference to your field of practice. The GDC oddly removed this as a requirement under the enhanced CPD scheme, but we include outcomes on our documentation for clarity.
Christmas and New Year are almost upon us and the last thing you will want to be worrying about is your CPD. Check your template to ensure that your PDP and CPD logs are up to date, that you have all of your CPD certificates for the year (don't forget to download those for our courses before the end of the year) and complete your submission via eGDC. You can then relax and enjoy the festivities!
If you would like more information on using our free template I would strongly recommend viewing Personal Development Planning and CPD recording: Making them work for you.