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Dental Care Professionals   


If you are a dental professional, by law, you need to register with the General Dental Council in order to work in the UK.

Registers are held for Dentists and Dental Care Professionals (dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists, orthodontic therapists, dental technicians and clinical dental technicians).

From 1st August 2008 all Dental Care Professionals (DCPs) will be required to complete and record 150 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every five years, a third of which should be verifiable (50 hours).  For more information on this, visit the GDC website CPD requirements pages.

For specific information to support DCPs in the Dental School, follow the links below.

GDC Registration and Continuing Professional Development | Personal Development Plans (PDP) and Portfolios

Personal Professional Indemnity | Additional Qualifications | Contact Information for DCP Tutors and Facilitators

GDC Registration and Continuing Professional Development

Once qualified, you would be required to keep your skills and knowledge up to date through a programme of continuous professional development. You can also improve your career prospects by taking further qualifications in subjects such as oral health education, dental sedation nursing and dental anaesthetic nursing.

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Continuing Professional Development is simply a method of ensuring that you achieve the right abilities to do your job and maintain/enhance your expertise.  It embraces everything that you do to improve your job performance and your 'lifelong employability’.

CPD hours required; you will need to have 150 hours of CPD in any 5 year period. There are certain courses which the GDC have stated are compulsory; Medical Emergencies and CPR, Infection Control and Radiography.

50 of these will need to be ‘verified’. This means that when you have attended a course/study day, there are clear educational objectives for the purpose of the day. You will be able to leave feedback via an evaluation sheet or questionnaire and you will leave with a Certificate of Attendance as proof.

The remaining 100 hours can be ‘general’ or ‘non- verifiable’. These are the hours you may spend reading journals, researching on-line, or doing in-house training. This must be recorded as well as the verifiable hours. For FAQ and full explanations on CPD Click on this link to the GDC Website and using the search box write ‘CPD’ and enter.

‘Failure to comply with the CPD hours will result in your facing removal from the register. This means you will not be able to work as a DCP anywhere in the UK’

Click here for a PDF template to record your hours.

Health Education Thames Valley & Wessex Dental School run a comprehensive Continuing Professional Development programme for dental teams and specific CPD course programmes for dental nurses.

To view courses and book online, visit the Dental School's course booking facilities. Courses are available in Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke Oxford and surrounding areas, the Isle of Wight.


Personal Development Plans (PDP) and Portfolio

Good personal development planning will help you achieve your potential as it will help you identify skills gaps and improvement areas. Then you'll be able to get that job, go for that promotion, or whatever you want.

Personal development planning can be daunting, but with the right approach, it can be highly satisfying, and even fun! Use this guide with built-in template to plan your personal development properly. Dental School staff are here to help you with any issues/problems or queries you may have, so please make contact with any of them and they will be happy to help you.

Click here for a Word template to record your hours

Your Professional Portfolio can be used to show that you are attending and recording CPD activities and hours. It is a useful tool that includes your latest Curriculum Vitae (CV) and job description. It can include diary sheets and self reflective reports. For further help, please click on the link and you can download the templates


Personal Professional Indemnity

Requirements for Dental Professionals

All GDC registrants are required to make sure there are adequate and appropriate arrangements in place so that patients can claim any compensation they may be entitled to. According to the GDC website, you must: "Make sure your patients are able to claim any compensation they may be entitled to by making sure you are protected against claims at all times, including past periods of practice."

How can you get Indemnity?

You can contact a dental defence organisation membership, such as Dental Protection, Dental Defence Union or the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland. If you decide to be covered by your employer's indemnity package, you need to think carefully about the implications if you are having difficulties with your employer and whether this could affect your cover. In most cases it is worth considering obtaining your own cover to ensure the you are adequately protected in all scenarios.

If you decide to join the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) then you will receive indemnity cover as part of your membership package in addition to a membership CD Rom which has lots of useful information on this and other topics. There is also a free legal helpline on both employment and personal issues. For more details please visit the British Association of Dental Nurses' website.


Additional Qualifications

Additional Qualifications include those mentioned on the Career Pathways page; Certificate in Oral Health Education, Certificate in Dental Anaesthetic Nursing, Certificate in Orthodontic Nursing, Dental Sedation, Certificate in Special Care Dental Nursing and Dental Radiography.

Information about the National Certificate Qualifications, Accredited as a training providers and the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses

The British Dental Association is offering some of additional qualification courses via distance learning.

Health Education Thames Valley & Wessex Dental School is currently providing courses which will enable DCPs to carry out extended duties to include taking impressions, applying fluoride and taking shades.

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