BADN Presidential Column by Debra Worthington, President 2022-2024
The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) has recently been contacted by dental nurses who have been erased, or are at risk of being erased, from the Register, for not submitting accurate or timely records of their continuing professional development (CPD). We are working to support these dental nurses; on 20 January the BADN Chief Executive and I met with the General Dental Council (GDC) to discuss the matter.
We outlined the cases of some of the dental nurses who had contacted the BADN office. Some had extenuating circumstances for not completing their CPD, for example sickness, family circumstances and maternity. The GDC emphasised that there can be no leeway as the legislation is so tight: anyone not recording ten hours' CPD in any two years must be erased. The main purpose of the GDC is to maintain patient safety and public confidence in dentistry. One of the ways of achieving this is by maintaining the Register; registrants must meet all the requirements to practise.
We went on to discuss the lack of information surrounding how much CPD must be completed, the recording of CPD and how to appeal should a registrant be faced with erasure. The GDC confirmed that a proforma to lodge an appeal is inserted with the notice of erasure.
It was acknowledged that there was a large volume of information when the DCP Register was first opened and again when Enhanced CPD was launched. The GDC confirmed that such information is not routinely sent to registrants when they initially join the Register, but it is available on their website. We have therefore asked the GDC to provide a series of articles for the British Dental Nurses' Journal to inform our members of GDC processes. We have also invited the GDC to speak at the Dental Nurse Forum at the Dentistry Show in May.
We went on to discuss the amount of time it is taking for dental nurses to be reinstated to the Register, which appears to be around six months. To be restored to the Register, dental nurses must undertake a specified amount of CPD - we have asked the GDC how this specific amount of CPD is calculated, to enable us to support and inform our members through the process.
Remember to inform the GDC if you change address. It is an easy one to forget. Add it to the list, as you would for your driving licence, passport and utility bills. The GDC reports that registrants forget to inform them and therefore communications do not reach registrants. The same goes for your email addresses. Don't forget to update your details with the GDC if you change your email address. Did you register using your work address and email? gain, don't forget to update your GDC records if you move jobs. Registrants can amend their details on the eGDC section of the GDC website. (If you are a BADN member, remember to inform us as well!)
We then went on to discuss CPD certificates. BADN has been made aware that some learning providers are not including GDC Learning Outcomes on their certificates. When undertaking CPD remember to check your certificates contain:
CPD subject, learning content, aims, and objectives
Participant's GDC registration number
Anticipated GDC development outcome(s) delivered by the activity
Date the CPD was done
Total number of CPD hours
Name of the person who participated in the CPD activity
Confirmation that the CPD has been quality assured, including the name of the person or body responsible
Confirmation the information is full and accurate.
BADN is already discussing certificates with one of the major providers who failed to include GDC Learning Outcomes.
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Working with the GDC to support dental nurses. BDJ Team 10, 3 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41407-023-1787-4