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Personal development plan

All UK dentists must record their Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”).

The personal development plan (PDP) is a tool used to identify your individual clinical and training developmental requirements to enhance you as a clinician. It will help you determine the best way to meet these requirements and demonstrate your achievements. This process is part of clinical governance, and it is a requirement that all clinicians in the NHS have a PDP as part of their appraisal.

You are strongly advised to maintain a Personal Development Portfolio ("PDP"). This is important for your employment, training needs, and examinations. The contents of the portfolio will typically include the following:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. CPD record since graduation
  3. Results of any audits you have carried out since graduation
  4. Personal development plan

Personal development planning for overseas dental practitioners

The General Dental Council (GDC) is the sole competent authority for the registration of dentists in the UK. To remain on the GDC Dental Register, all dentists must declare CPD.    

Questions that will help you prepare your PDP

1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses

  • Are you a a good dentist? - by what standards?
  • Do you perform well? - who judges?
  • Are you up-to-date? - as evidenced by CPD.
  • Do you work well in a team? - as evidenced by 360° appraisals.
  • Are you as good as you think you are?
  • How can you evaluate how good you are?
  • Do you feel de-skilled in certain areas?
  • Have you identified areas for improvement?
  • Have you provided some clinical treatment recently that you think is a great example of your skills? - Do you record images?
  • Would improved work facilities enhance your development?

2. Analysis of your existing practice

3. How can you support your educational needs?

  • How can I access different training providers to enhance my career?
  • Reading advice – reading lists on common topic areas - Have you accessed services like this before? Would this help to organise your CPD?
  • Do you attend your local British Dental Association meetings?

4. What do you have to change to achieve what you want?

  • Summarise identified clinical needs as your PDP goals.
  • To meet your PDP goals, engage with appropriate providers to help you attain your goals.

5. Record of formal educational activity

This needs to be recorded formally. You should declare your annual CPD to the GDC as required. 

Following educational activity it is important to reflect upon the process to ensure that your PDP goals have been attained.

Developing your own Personal Development Plan (PDP)

A PDP is personal and specific to an individual dentist. This is not something that can be copied from somebody else and can only be applied to you.

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