Of the necessary 150 hours of CPD to be completed by most dental care professionals every five years, 50 hours must be verifiable.
There are four areas of specific criteria which must be met for something to be classified as verifiable CPD.
‘Verifiable’ basically means ‘true’ or ‘actual’, and with regards to CPD in an educational sense, means there should be specific objectives, aims and clear goals that can be met for each verifiable activity. It is important to know what you can expect to gain through each verifiable CPD activity, not just as far as time that can reasonably be logged for participation, but also what you can expect to learn and how it will advance your skills and knowledge. All verifiable CPD should provide an opportunity for individuals to give feedback on the topic(s) covered, and sometimes the structure of the activity, ensuring there are quality controls in place. Importantly any activity which provides dental care professionals with verifiable CPD should also be able to provide documentary proof to those who have taken part, for example a certificate given on completion of a course.
Verifiable CPD is available to take part in either as an individual or within a group.
Individual activities usually involve the reading and study of an article, followed by a detailed questionnaire, which will ask for feedback on the article provided e.g. was the information provided clear and concise? It will usually also ask for information to be relayed about the articles subject matter, ensuring the participant has understood and learned about topics covered and has therefore advanced their knowledge in relation to a work based subject e.g. what does the article suggest is done to ensure a patient knows that their complaint has been understood and acknowledged? A certificate is then provided for the participant to keep as proof of CPD gained, this can be done online or through dental journals for example, where correspondence between the participant and CPD provider is carried out through the postal service.
Group activities can include lectures, seminars, and day courses held at specific venues where a variety of dental care professionals from different practices can meet and learn together. Topics are discussed, techniques and different approaches are taught, sometimes role playing is performed, or situations acted out to clearly show working examples of a technique. Feedback is often given throughout the course or seminar from all participants and together they can improve and expand their skill and knowledge on a particular topic, e.g. handling patient complaints. Usually questionnaires are filled out at the end of the course or lecture ensuring all individuals have learned and understood the topic covered, and a certificate will be provided for participants to keep as proof of CPD gained.
Any documentary evidence of verifiable CPD must be kept and filed away safely so that if required, proof can be provided of the verifiable CPD hours gained. For more information on accurate record keeping see under appropriate (separate) heading.