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!

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