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Transition Into Enhanced CPD

Written by: James Dawson
Published on: 24 Jan 2018

Transition into enhanced CPD

The GDC’s enhanced continuing professional development (ECPD) – which started for dentists on 1 January 2018 – introduced significant changes to the requirements and the reporting regimes. It includes changes to the required hours, a personal development plan, a focus on reflecting on the CPD done and a mandatory annual declaration of hours. Also, the CPD that you do must fit into one of four widely-defined categories or development outcomes.

The underlying philosophy is one of ‘plan, do, reflect, record’. You should consider which CPD you need to complete in relation to your work. This might include updates on legislation, an area you have identified as a training need for yourself, or an area of interest into which you wish to move. ECPD is intended to encourage you to think about what is relevant in terms of training and development, to consider how to best obtain the CPD you would like to undertake, and to reflect on its usefulness and the changes to practice that might have resulted from the CPD activity.

For dentists the overall number of verifiable CPD hours over the five year CPD cycle increases from 75 to 100 hours. And there is an annual requirement to do at least 10 hours in each consecutive two-year period. You also have to do an annual declaration of CPD hours completed.

You must have a Personal Development Plan (PDP) outlining the CPD you plan to undertake during your cycle, the anticipated development outcomes that are linked to each activity, how it relates to your field of practice and the timeframes in which you expect to complete the CPD. In terms of development outcomes, the GDC has stipulated four very broad areas (labelled A, B, C and D): effective communication; effective management; maintaining and developing your knowledge and skills; and maintaining patient confidence in you and the profession.

The switch-over to ECPD will not affect your CPD cycle, the five-year period over which you have to complete and report your CPD activity. However, you may need to comply with parts of the old and parts of the new scheme at the same time. This is potentially complicated, so double check with the GDC’s online transition tool (go to to see how it affects you, the basic details are:

Current Cycle 

Next Cycle 

Transition Requirements

Current cycle 2013-2017 (old scheme only)

Cycle 2018-2022 new scheme only

No need for transition, declare 250 hours at the end of 2017 and start with new scheme in 2018
Current cycle 2014-2018 (four years of old scheme, one year of new scheme)

Cycle 2019-2023 new scheme only


Final number to be declared in December 2018 will be made up of four years of requirements from old scheme (i.e. 60 hours verifiable and 140 general) plus 1 year of requirements from new scheme (i.e. 20 hours verifiable for 2018) = 80 verifiable and 140 general hours.
Current cycle 2015-2019 (three years of old scheme, two years of new scheme)

Cycle 2020-2024 new scheme only


Final number to be declared in December 2019 will be made up of three years of requirements from old scheme (i.e. 45 hours verifiable and 105 general) plus two years from the new scheme (i.e. 40 hours verifiable for 2018-2019) = 85 verifiable and 105 general hours.

Current cycle 2016-2020 (two years of old scheme, three years of new scheme)

Cycle 2021-2025 new scheme only


Final number to be declared in December 2020 will be made up of two years of requirements from old scheme (i.e. 30 hours verifiable and 70 general) plus three years from the new scheme (i.e. 60 hours verifiable for 2018-2020) = 90 verifiable and 70 general hours.
Current cycle 2017-2021 (one year of old scheme, four years of new scheme)

Cycle 2022-2026 new scheme only


Final number to be declared in December 2021 will be made up of one year of requirements from old scheme (i.e. 15 hours verifiable and 35 general) plus four years from the new scheme (i.e. 80 hours verifiable for 2018-2021) = 95 verifiable and 15 general hours.