|Euro dentists collaborate on CPD project|
|Friday, 01 April 2011|
A past Dean of the Dental Faculty has received an EU grant for an initiative to harmonise dental CPD across Europe
In the context of public protection and freedom of movement of dental practitioners within EU boundaries, EU citizens need assurance that dental practitioners providing their care not only have a degree or license that meets EU-standards but that they maintain their knowledge and skills through ongoing education.
CPD is the principal mechanism for this process yet it is hugely variable and provided by a range of bodies including dental schools, professional institutions and associations, but also through the public sector and industry, not all of which are subject to quality management.
Although some EU countries have schemes that mandate dentists to engage in a minimum number of hours of CPD, its provision is largely unregulated.
A unique project
The intention of this initiative is to promote the harmonisation of dental CPD across Europe and modernisation of higher education institutes’ (HEIs) and other CPD providers’ role in the quality management of CPD. This should enhance patient safety, promote co-operation between HEIs and other CPD providers, promote freedom of movement of staff from European dental schools and graduate dentists through a Europe-wide recognition of their CPD, central to the philosophy of lifelong learning.
The project’s aims are to identify agreed essential CPD requirements of an EU graduate dentist and provide guidelines for the management and delivery of high quality CPD.
Cardiff University is the lead applicant and beneficiary for the project which is due to last two years, from October 2010. Centred on postgraduate education, the initiative builds on the expertise of the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE), through its recent EU-funded DentEd programme, which was focused on undergraduate dental education.
The first objective is to produce an inventory of existing CPD programmes and providers, agreeing essential components and identifying areas of best practice. The second is to develop guidelines for dental schools and other CPD providers on the organisation and quality management of CPD. Thirdly, the project will develop guidelines for dental educators and an exemplar teaching module on a core CPD topic employing modern technological advances in pedagogy.
The project comprises a consortium of six co-beneficiaries including the universities of Athens, Helsinki, Riga, the dental school ACTA in the Netherlands and the ADEE.
Collaboration between stakeholders will be encouraged through the ADEE and the European dental network created by the DentEd project. A wider population of dentists, dental educators and programme managers will directly contribute to the project through review work and Special Interest Workshops at ADEE meetings in August 2011 (Turkey) and 2012 (Lyon).
The funding body, the ERASMUS programme of the Executive Agency Education, Audiovisual & Culture, is well known for its student and teacher mobility actions. It also promotes transnational cooperation among HEIs through multilateral projects (MPs). The call for bids in 2010 attracted 146 MP bids of which 50 were funded.
EU funding has provided a major impetus to this unique initiative to raise the profile of CPD for graduate dentists. The initial hurdle is to engage with all stakeholders, including the HEIs who provide CPD. This requires preparatory work, including a review of current practice and, ultimately, the provision of clear and agreed guidelines.
Professor J G Cowpe & Professor A Bullock, Cardiff University
For more information, visit: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/llp/erasmus/erasmus_en.php