GDC Requirements for Dental Care Professionals

GDC Requirements for Dental Care Professionals

The General Dental Council (GDC) is a UK-wide statutory regulator. With over 100,000 members, its primary purpose is to protect patient safety and maintain public confidence in dental services across the United Kingdom. Here, we look at the GDC requirements for dental professionals. 

Professional standards are set out by the GDC and dental care professionals must meet these in order to maintain their professional registration. 

In order to remain on the register and therefore be able to practice as a dentist or dental care professional, each dental care professional must be able to demonstrate that they have successfully undertaken a minimum level of Enhanced CPD over a 5-year period.

Dental care professionals included are: 

  • Dentists and Dental Care Professionals
  • Clinical dental technicians
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Nurses
  • Dental Technicians
  • Dental Therapists
  • Orthodontic Therapists. 

Enhanced CPD for Dental Professionals

The enhanced CPD scheme started on 1 January 2018 for dentists and 1 August 2018 for dental care professionals. 

As a dental professional, you must undertake continual professional development (CPD) to maintain their GDC registration and meet current GDC standards. CPD for dentists and DCPs is defined in law as activity which contributes to their professional development and is relevant to their practice or intended practice. 

Consequently, it is essential that you remain up to date with developments in the dental sector and that your knowledge and skills are updated and aligned with often-changing standards.

How much Enhanced CPD is required for Dentists and Dental Care Professionals?

Over a five-year cycle DCPs are required to achieve a minimum number of hours of Enhanced CPD, as outlined below: 

  • Dentists: 100 hours
  • Clinical Dental Technicians, Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, Orthodontic Therapists: 75 hours
  • Dental Nurses and Dental Technicians: 50 hours.

Recommended topics for Enhanced CPD

Furthermore, as a dental professional you should plan your CPD activity as it relates to your field of practice during your CPD cycle. There are, however, a number of topics that the GDC recommends which will help and support many dental professionals in their field of practice. These are:

  • Medical Emergencies: at least 10 hours per CPD cycle, ideally 2 hours annually
  • Radiography and radiation protection: 5 hours
  • Disinfection and Decontamination: 5 hours
  • Radiography and radiation protection: 5 hours (This applies only to those who undertake radiography. If you are a dental technician you can do CPD in materials and equipment instead of radiography and radiation protection).

The GDC also state that the following topics contribute to patient safety and are therefore recommended for inclusion in your Enhanced CPD: