Guidelines for the organisation of continuing professional development activities for the European dentist

K. Suomalainen, T. Karaharju-Suvanto, S. Bailey, A. Bullock, J. Cowpe, E. Barnes, H. Thomas, R. Thomas, A. Kavadella, A. Kossioni, H. Kersten, E. Povel, M. Giles, D. Walmsley, U. Soboleva, A. Liepa, I. Akota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: Free movement of dental professionals across the European Union calls for more uniform continuing education in dentistry to ensure up-to-date, high-quality patient care and patient safety. This article provides guidelines for the management and delivery of high-quality continuing professional development (CPD) by European dental schools and other CPD providers. Method: The guidelines are based on an extensive literature inventory, a survey of existing practices (both available as separate publications), discussions during meetings of the Association for Dental Education in Europe in 2011 and 2012 and debate amongst the members of the DentCPD project team representing six dental schools. Results: On the basis of the literature review, survey and discussions, we recommend that (i) every dentist should be given the opportunity for CPD, (ii) providers should be quality-approved and impartial, (iii) educators should be approved, impartial, suitably trained, and with educational expertise, (iv) the mode of CPD delivery should suit the educational activity, with clear learning objectives or outcomes, (v) effort should be made to assess the learning, (vi) participant feedback should be collected and analysed to inform future developments and (vii) uniform use of the pan-European system of learning credit points (ECTS) should be implemented. Conclusion: Implementation of these guidelines should make dental CPD more transparent to all relevant parties and facilitate the transferability of earned credits across the European Union. It will also enable better quality control within dentistry, resulting in enhanced dental care and ultimately the improvement in patient safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Continuing education
  • Continuing professional development
  • Dental school
  • Dentistry
  • ECTS
  • Patient safety
  • Quality control
  • University

Field of Science*

  • 5.3 Educational sciences
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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