General Dental Council Enhanced CPD Pilot Survey

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The Project

Enventure Research was appointed by the General Dental Council (GDC) to conduct research to supports its transition to new Continued Professional Development (CPD) rules which would change the CPD requirements for its registrants. Before implementing the new CPD scheme, the GDC felt it was essential for registrants to have the opportunity to experience and feed back on the IT systems, guidance and processes which underpin it.
The GDC chose to run a pilot to engage with dental professionals and obtain feedback on their experience of the scheme to enable registrants to help shape the way CPD is managed by the GDC and allow refinements and improvements to be made, to ensure it meets regulatory requirements and is suitable for registrants. Enventure Research was commissioned to assist with the recruitment for the Enhanced CPD pilot and to run the monthly feedback surveys.


Research Methods

The GDC recruited registrants to take part in the pilot via a self-completion form found on its website, which was widely promoted. To supplement this method of recruitment and ensure that a wide range of registrants participated in the pilot, Enventure Research carried out additional recruitment.
A stratified random sample of 15,000 was drawn from the GDC register, which details all practising dental professionals registered with the GDC. To ensure the sample drawn was representative, the registrant database was first stratified by gender to reflect the GDC registrant population. The sample was also stratified by role (dentist / DCP), but was more heavily weighted towards DCPs to ensure representation of all professions. All registrants within the sample were invited by email to sign up to the Enhanced CPD pilot, followed by a reminder email sent to those who did not respond to the first mailing.
A total of 1,838 registrants signed up to participate in the pilot. The monthly Enhanced CPD pilot feedback surveys were administered via an online survey approach. A questionnaire was designed by the GDC and Enventure Research which covered the ease of using eGDC, the clarity of instructions provided and notifications received and an overall rating of the monthly experience, as well as free text boxes to provide verbatim feedback and comments.
The questionnaire took no longer than five minutes to complete and was sent to registrants four times over four months following the completion of each declaration via email, followed by a reminder a few days later to encourage their participation. The responses received each month were sent to the GDC for review to ensure that no significant issues had arisen to endanger the pilot which required attention or adjustments.
A separate questionnaire was designed to be completed at the end of the CPD cycle, which asked questions about registrants’ overall experiences of taking part in the Enhanced CPD pilot. The answer format and responses matched those of the monthly questionnaire. For each monthly survey, the GDC provided Enventure Research with a list of registrants who were compliant before the deadline, those who were compliant after notice seven and those who had been removed from the pilot after notice eight.

Results and Benefits to the Client

The Enhanced CPD pilot feedback survey ran from April to August 2016. At the end of the pilot period, Enventure Research completed a final analysis of the feedback received from registrants, providing the GDC with a topline findings report, data tabulations and raw data for analysis of any further comments left by registrants. Following adjustments, the new scheme will roll out in 2017.


To find out more about this, and other similar projects, please contact us – we would be happy to help!

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