ADAQ News, From the Desk of Deputy CEO, March 2011 Edition

CPD continues to be an issue of concern to Members. As expected there has been a plethora of CPD events and providers emerge, all vying for your CPD dollar. Members are urged to consider all factors when considering the choice of CPD to suit their needs. The following questions and criteria may assist:

ls the CPD meeting your own specific needs as a dentist?

CPD is expected to serve the purpose of educating or informing the Registrant about matters which relate to daily practice. lf the Dental Board of Australia checks on a registrant's CPD attendance in the investigation of a complaint, they may check topics which relate to the complaint to see if the Registrant is attempting to remain current.

ls the CPD provider reputable and well known?

Many new providers have emerged and as expected, some of these seem to be just attempting to cash in on mandatory CPD. Be aware and informed. Be clear about what you are 'buying'. Check the reputation of the provider. Ascertain who is actually running the event and that you are comfortable with their philosophy. lf it is not clear who is behind the company - ask!

Are the objectives clear and overt or is there a hidden agenda (i.e. product sales)?

Technical events which may incorporate some product information or techniques can be counted as CPD - if the content has some general information and learning; the product/s highlighted are overt; the sales pitch is minimal; and attendees are clear about what they are attending before registering.

What are the credentials of the presenters?

lf a speaker is an international, it does not necessarily follow that they are a recognised expert ¡n the field. Members are encouraged to look closely into the credentials of all speakers, explore their qualifications, work history and experience. Generally, Australians tend to be tougher on local or interstate speakers and much more accepting of those from abroad. Once again, it is a case of spending your CPD dollar wisely and doing some research before registering.

Ensure that a mix of CPD types are utilised.

Acceptable CPD activities can range from reading journal articles through to web-based lectures or webinars, right up to attendance at face to face sessions. Face to face sessions encompass small seminars, hands on workshops and conferences * both in Australia and abroad. Members are encouraged to consider the benefits of differing types of sessions. Web based sessions may serve the specific needs of rural or remote dentists, or those who need to work from home for a period of time. Reading Journal articles and answering the CPD questions may work for those who are travelling for example. However, there is much to be gained from interacting with peers. As many Members realise, much learning happens during the peer interaction immediately following an event, when there is discussion and debate on the information just heard.

Overseas vs. local events?

Combining CPD with travel has understandably become very popular and several businesses have cropped up with exactly this aim. Members should ensure that they apply the same criteria to their overseas experiences as to their local ones. Some of these events offer wonderful experiences which meet all requirements.....and some do not! An overseas event that is focussed primarily on pleasure, with some CPD thrown in as a secondary consideration to meet DBA requirements and be used as in personal tax considerations, may sound great, but may not necessarily fill your personal CPD needs. Buyer beware is always the best policy.

Give feedback.

Always give honest feedback to the providers about everything from the accuracy of pre registration information to quality of the event. Most importantly they want to know how the speakers were received. Too often feedback is given about food or similar factors, which although adding to the enjoyment are secondary in ensuring quality information is gained by those attending. Providers are often challenged and disappointed by venues not living up to expectations but are much more concerned when the same applies to the speakers.

It is up to you as registrant to select and record your CPD.

Evidence to support your CPD attendance is your personal responsibility. All Members are encouraged to be familiar with the information on the DBA website. ADAQ will happily assist Members with further enquiries.

(Note: Links to external site - www.dentalboard.gov.au)

This article first appeared in Deputy CEO’s Comments, ADAQ News Issue 569 (March 2011, p9).