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CPD for Dental Practitioners


This summary outlines CPD activities that allow the requirements of the Dental Board of Australia to be met. The standards discussed are in accordance with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act. This information applies to all dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists, dental specialists, oral health therapists and dental prosthetics.

CPD Cycle

CPD cycle runs over a three-year period, running from 1 December to 30 November. The Board expects dental practitioners will engage in CPD activities each year, gradually accumulating CPD hours.


CPD Requirements

All dental practitioners with practicing registration, regardless of the number of hours spent in practice, must complete a minimum 60 hours of CPD activities over the 3-year cycle. Of these 60 hours:

• 80% must be clinically or scientifically based (minimum 48 hours).
• The remaining hours can be non-clinical or non-scientific activities (minimum 12 hours).
Additional Considerations
• The Board is flexible in the types of CPD activities you can undertake and number of hours spent on each activity.
• If you are registered as both a dental hygienist and dental therapists you only need to complete 60 hours over the three-year cycle.
• The only time CPD hours are adjusted is if you are registered for the first time part way through a CPD cycle. Please go to the Dental Board of Australia for more details about this pro rata basis.
• Accumulated hours of CPD activities in excess of 60 hours cannot be rolled over to the next cycle. It is expected practitioners will attend a greater number of hours of CPD than the minimum.


CPD Approval

The Board has not specified an approval process for courses or CPD course providers. Registrants must make professional judgment about the appropriateness of CPD activity undertaken. Activities chosen should address contemporary clinical and professional issues, have scientific integrity and independence, and clinical content should reflect best practice care and evidenced-based treatment that is supported by scientific and biomedical research.

In general, attending a course for seven hours (excluding breaks) would be equivalent to seven hours of CPD. What has been known as ‘Continuing Education’, or CE credits’ will in most cases translate to hourly CPD credits.

CPD Activities

It is expected that dental practitioners engage in a variety of CPD activities in line with the objectives of CPD. Subject matter of CPD may include activities in dentistry outside the practitioners usual practice. Examples include:
• Attending professional courses, workshops, lectures and/or completing examinations and tests.
• Internet-based activities such as reading professional journal articles.
• Preparing or delivering lectures on dental topics to dental practitioners.
• Approved programs of study where the dental practitioner is already registered by the Board and is undertaking either an approved program of study or approved add-on program of study.
CPD is divided into two categories:

1. Non-clinical or non-scientific activities are indirectly related to, but supportive of dental care. Activities need to contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of a dental practitioner’s knowledge, skills and performance of oral health. Examples include:
• Courses about practice management and dento-legal responsibilities.
• Mindfulness training.
2. Clinically or scientifically based activities relate to the technical aspects of oral health care, and should reflect. Examples include:
• Infection control.
• CPR.
• Patient record keeping.
• Topics related to oral health or particular dental procedures such as endodontic, caries treatment, crown preparation etc.


CPD Documentation

Practitioners should keep records/logbook of completed CPD activities as evidence of CPD. The Board can request these records during a compliance audit. Records must contain the following for each CPD activity, which are commonly included on a certificate of attendance:

• Practitioners name, Providers name.
• CPD activity name, date, time and location.
• Number of CPD hours (excluding breaks) and type of CPD hours (scientific/non scientific).
As part of the annual process of registration renewal, dental practitioners will be required to make a detailed statement of their compliance with the CPD registration standard.
For more information about these CPD guidelines click here.
Date of Issue: 1st July 2010
Last reviewed: 1st December 2015
These guidelines will be reviewed every 3 years.