GDC CPD Requirements

All Dental professionals have a duty to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.  A primary qualification is only the first step in their education and development which should last throughout their professional life. 

The General Dental Council (GDC) requires all registrants to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and it is a compulsory part of GDC registration. CPD certification ensures that the dental team is properly trained to a high standard. It is also a way of making sure all members of the team update their knowledge and skills; giving patients confidence in dental treatment and care in the UK.

Anyone intending to restore to the GDC’s registers in the future must also keep doing CPD because they will be required to show evidence of it if they seek to restore.

Continuing Professional Development is defined as anything from studying and reading journals to training courses and seminars which help advance your development as a dental professional.

Key Information

  • All dentists must complete and keep records of 250 hours of CPD over five years with a minimum of 75 hours verifiable CPD
  • All dental nurses must complete and keep records of 150 hours of CPD over five years with a minimum of 50 hours verifiable CPD
  • You must keep your CPD records for at least five years after the end of the period in which they were completed
  • Dentists must maintain their own CPD records (The Deanery is not responsible for keeping dentists CPD records
  • Dentists must submit an annual statement of their completed CPD hours each year
  • The GDC will monitor compliance by random sampling of dentists' CPD records
  • Failure to comply with the requirements may lead to erasure from the Dentists Register
  • All dentists taking time off the Register must demonstrate compliance with CPD when they re-apply
  • From the start of a dentist’s second CPD cycle, the GDC is recommending that they carry out CPD in core recommended subjects

What is Verifiable CPD?

Verifiable CPD is defined as activities with concise educational aims and objectives, clear anticipated outcomes and a means of quality control.

A course with verifiable CPD attached should make you aware of what you can expect to learn from it and provide you with the opportunity to feed back to the provider on whether the course fulfilled its aims and you learnt what you expected to. 

The provider of a verifiable course should give you an attendance certificate stating the course title, your name and the verifiable hours.

Examples of Verifiable CPD include:

  • Courses organised by Postgraduate Dental Deaneries
  • Courses organised by professional or scientific organisations, which comply with the above criteria - for example, courses provided by BDA, GDPA, Royal Colleges, the FGDP (UK) etc
  • Vocational training (VT) or general professional training (GPT) study days
  • Commercially-run courses
  • Distance learning incorporating a verifiable component

Recommended Core Subjects

The GDC recommends that a minimum number of verifiable hours are completed per CPD cycle in three core subjects: 

  • Medical Emergencies (at least 10 hours per CPD cycle)
  • Disinfection & Decontamination (at least 5 hours per CPD cycle)
  • Radiography & Radiation protection (at least 5 hours per CPD cycle)

The CPR aspect of medical emergencies training should be undertaken annually.

Dentists working in a clinical environment should also undertake CPD in legal and ethical issues and handling complaints, as well as in the early detection of oral cancer. These can be verifiable or general and do not have a recommended number of hours attached to them.

GDC Information

For more information on CPD, such as the dates when your CPD cycle starts or how to keep record of your CPD activity, go to the General Dental Council’s website

The GDC have recently revised the CPD guidance to ensure it remains consistent with the new Standards for the Dental Team. They have also taken the opportunity to merge the CPD guidance into one booklet and refresh the layout and format. The full version of the document can be found by clicking here