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Dentistry: Training

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the efficacy of the requirement on (i) dentists and (ii) other dental care professionals to undertake continuing professional development; and if he will make a statement. (264393)

The General Dental Council (GDC) has introduced a requirement for dentists and dental care professionals to undertake regular continuing professional development (CPD) to maintain their registration. We have not commissioned research in respect of CPD, but we expect the GDC's requirement to develop into a revalidation scheme where by health professionals would be required to keep up to date with advances in medical and dental science. The White Paper Trust Assurance and Safety—The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century stated:

"In the traditional system for regulating health professionals, once people had qualified and demonstrated that they were fit to practise with patients, their names were placed on the relevant professional register and remained there unless a definite reason came to light for their removal. Public and professional opinion has moved on in the course of this debate, from a position where trust alone was sufficient guarantee of fitness to practise, to one where that trust needs to be underpinned by objective assurance. Public opinion surveys suggest that people expect health professionals to participate in the revalidation of their registration and that many believe this takes place every year."