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Quality of CPD in UK dentistry: Caveat emptor

 

The emergence of CPD wars as reported in an open letter on GDPUK forum and news has made me reconsider my views on this topic.

Without doubt, in dentistry and other professions, the existence of regulator enforced verifiable CPD has led to a mushrooming in the self appointed industry to provide this education. But who is providing the content and who is giving those educators a platform?

Dentistry needs to pause, sit back and consider the quality of the education they are getting.  The GDC requirement is for a simple quantity in hours, and this new industry, which we must remember is being run for profit, is pushing forward education based on the quantity required, no questions are being asked about the other “Q” word.

There may be many, perhaps a majority, who see the need to update as an onerous task to be completed, and gaining the minimum hours with the least effort is the best method. There is also a sizeable number who see self improvement as an investment in their career, and also in their earning potential. At the same time, the latter group also need to complete dull, repetitive hours of radiography, ethics, management, the core subjects.

Into this discussion, I also wish to bring in the dental shows. In the increasing competition in the UK between these events, some have tried to differentiate themselves by offering education. In my opinion, as offered in this blog, they are trying to get out of the quality trap some of the online CPD providers have fallen into, by not ensuring quality of the speaker, and quality of the education is first on the list of boxes to be ticked.

We have been accustomed over many years to printed dental publications, which tend to have expensive to run editorial boards [expensive for the publisher, but a pleasant “gig” for the chosen top people]. The colleagues who write for those journals live in the peer-reviewed world, which is sometimes seen as remote by wet-gloved GDPs, are selected and edited before publication, they know they have to offer mainstream views and any extreme thoughts they have must be smoothed by this process.

But is this process of producing tempered quality being observed in the dash for subscriptions in today’s online world? Dentists: is the show, or magazine, or website you use for CPD peer reviewed? Or has it just built up a list of people who will write an article or a video for free?

Choose your CPD provider with care!

Read more in GDPUK news 

To read a thread on this subject on GDPUK forum, click here [you will have to be a GDPUK member and logged in]

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Comments 3

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Anthony Kilcoyne on Sunday, 17 March 2013 21:09

Interestingly Dental CPD Pro says in it's terms and conditions:

"Dental CPD Pro does not guarantee to prescreen User generated content....that is inaccurate, deceptive, offensive, threatening, defamatory, unlawful or otherwise objectionable."

I don't think any of us are really surprised about that given it's recent antics too !!!

I would endorse this article that something needs to be done about Quality Assuring both CPD provision & content AND the GDC being able to hold a dental registrant responsible for this in the future too, perhaps along the lines it does with dental corporates operating in the business of dentistry?

Interestingly other Professions are moving more towards using a broader Personal Development Plan ( PDP ) model, rather than getting too stuck on the volume of hours or points quantitatively.

This might be more appropriate as Revalidation approaches for Dentistry too, having just been made compulsory for Medicine by the GMC.

Yours educationally,

Tony Kilcoyne.

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Interestingly [b]Dental CPD Pro[/b] says in it's terms and conditions: "[i]Dental CPD Pro does not guarantee to prescreen User generated content....that is inaccurate, deceptive, offensive, threatening, defamatory, unlawful or otherwise objectionable.[/i]" I don't think any of us are really surprised about that given it's recent antics too !!! I would endorse this article that something needs to be done about Quality Assuring both CPD provision & content AND the GDC being able to hold a dental registrant responsible for this in the future too, perhaps along the lines it does with dental corporates operating in the business of dentistry? Interestingly other Professions are moving more towards using a broader Personal Development Plan ( PDP ) model, rather than getting too stuck on the volume of hours or points quantitatively. This might be more appropriate as Revalidation approaches for Dentistry too, having just been made compulsory for Medicine by the GMC. Yours educationally, Tony Kilcoyne.
Robert Dyas on Monday, 18 March 2013 22:07

I think we have all known for some time that the educational quality of some dental CPD out there can be poor, unfortunately this has got significantly worse. As the demand for CPD goes up the quality goes down.
As recent events have shown I believe CPD providers HAVE to be accredited, this is for all types of CPD provision:
lecture
hands on
elearning
paper-based

There are some very good models out there (USA AGD/CERP).
We conducted a recent survey of dental professionals both our members and via some dental deaneries and we had over 3500 responses. One of the questions was:
16. Do you think dental CPD providers in the UK should have to be accredited? (benefit is quality control) 78.3% said yes.
I think the profession want this and recognise the need. But some very interesting responses (see below):
guarantee of excellence in service providers, information is current and valid.
Because there are so many companies selling CPDs we don't know whether these people are professionals or they gather other peoples information and sell it
guarantee of excellence in service providers, information is current and valid.
it would make it more costly
I think the emphasis on just core and recommended (who knows the difference) means there can be a focus on these topics whilst ignoring others which would be of considerable value to the professional.
There needs to be more targeting of CPD in relation a person's PDP and actual needs rather than just randomly collecting hours.
Need to look at learning outcomes rather than hours.
Learning has to be a blend even though I obviously have a vested interest in online learning I believe there should be a percentage cap as to how much each person can do online per year.
5 year cycle yes but make everyone have to complete a certain amount every year (circumstances permitting) this would stop the crazy scramble at the end of the cycle.

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I think we have all known for some time that the educational quality of some dental CPD out there can be poor, unfortunately this has got significantly worse. As the demand for CPD goes up the quality goes down. As recent events have shown I believe CPD providers [b]HAVE[/b] to be accredited, this is for all types of CPD provision: lecture hands on elearning paper-based There are some very good models out there (USA AGD/CERP). We conducted a recent survey of dental professionals both our members and via some dental deaneries and we had over 3500 responses. One of the questions was: 16. Do you think dental CPD providers in the UK should have to be accredited? (benefit is quality control) 78.3% said yes. I think the profession want this and recognise the need. But some very interesting responses (see below): [i]guarantee of excellence in service providers, information is current and valid.[/i] [i]Because there are so many companies selling CPDs we don't know whether these people are professionals or they gather other peoples information and sell it[/i] [i]guarantee of excellence in service providers, information is current and valid.[/i] [i]it would make it more costly[/i] I think the emphasis on just core and recommended (who knows the difference) means there can be a focus on these topics whilst ignoring others which would be of considerable value to the professional. There needs to be more targeting of CPD in relation a person's PDP and actual needs rather than just randomly collecting hours. Need to look at learning outcomes rather than hours. Learning has to be a blend even though I obviously have a vested interest in online learning I believe there should be a percentage cap as to how much each person can do online per year. 5 year cycle yes but make everyone have to complete a certain amount every year (circumstances permitting) this would stop the crazy scramble at the end of the cycle.
Tony Jacobs on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 22:48
Some time after this blog was published, GDC responded. See http://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1288-gdc-calls-on-cpd-providers-to-ensure-quality and http://www.gdc-uk.org/Newsandpublications/Pressreleases/Pages/GDC-calls-on-CPD-providers-to-ensure-quality.aspx as well as http://www.gdc-uk.org/Newsandpublications/Pressreleases/Pages/CPD-quality---GDC-calls-for-information.aspx by 01-07-2013.

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