Dental Board of Australia - Continuing professional development (CPD) resources

Continuing professional development (CPD) resources

Continuing professional development (CPD) is how dental practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.

Dental practitioners are required to meet the Board’s Continuing professional development registration standard, in effect since 1 December 2015 (see below).

The standard applies to all dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, oral health therapists and dental prosthetists, except those who hold one of the following types of registration:

  • non-practising registration
  • limited registration in the public interest
  • limited registration to sit an examination, or
  • student registration.

The Guidelines on continuing professional development provide information on how to meet the standard (see below).

Dental practitioners are required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of CPD activities over a three-year CPD cycle.

Each three-year CPD cycle covers three registration periods. The start and end dates of the three-year CPD cycle have changed as follows:

Current CPD cycle

1 December 2019 to 30 November 2022.

Next CPD cycle

1 December 2022 to 30 November 2025.

CPD during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 emergency has affected registered health practitioners’ CPD in various ways. In some cases, CPD events or practitioners' leave have been cancelled, and in other cases practitioners have had CPD opportunities associated with COVID-19.

The Board encourages practitioners to continue CPD relevant to their practice where possible. However, the Board does not want CPD requirements to take practitioners away from clinical care or cause additional concerns to practitioners already under extra pressure due to COVID-19.

If a practitioner can't meet the CPD standard because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then generally the Board won't take any action for the registration period during which the COVID-19 emergency is in force. However, if the COVID-19 emergency resolves more quickly than expected, the Board may issue updated guidance about what CPD it would expect practitioners to complete within the current registration period.

COVID-19 updates and frequently asked questions can be found on Ahpra’s website.

Reflective practice tool

The Board has developed a reflective practice tool to help dental practitioners reflect on their individual knowledge and skills and how they relate to their current practice. The tool can help plan CPD and the Board recommends using it regularly to reflect on current practice.

Time taken to complete the tool may be claimed as CPD. To find out more and to download the tool, go to the ‘Know your scope’ information hub.

Further information

For further information, please refer to the documents below or contact our Customer Service Team on 1300 419 495.

Document name  PDF  Accessible format  Document date 
Dental continuing professional development registration standard  PDF (193KB) Word version
1 December 2015 
Dental guidelines on continuing professional development 
Note: Programs to extend scope for the dental profession were phased out and expired on 18 December 2018.
PDF (285KB)  Word version
1 December 2015 
FAQ - Continuing professional development  PDF (146KB)  Word version
November 2019
Page reviewed 13/07/2020