The College has launched its much-anticipated Professional Framework, which describes the expected level of a dental practitioner’s capabilities at each stage of their careers.

Aimed at providing recognition of professional development and promoting job satisfaction and workforce retention, Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework sets out the knowledge, skills and other attributes which define each of five career stages – safe, capable, experienced, enhanced and accomplished – for each role in the primary dental care team, and for each of five domains within each stage – clinical and technical, professionalism, reflection, development, and agency.

The framework has been mapped out by four working groups – representing dentists, dental hygienists & therapists, dental nurses & orthodontic therapists, and dental & clinical dental technicians – working together through a programme board and reference group.

The creation of career pathways for general dental practice was a key founding purpose of the College, and the Professional Framework provides the intellectual foundation of our Career Pathways in Dentistry programme, which is supported by Colgate.

The College is also developing a Certified Membership scheme, which will provide dental professionals with the tools to guide their individual postgraduate development journey. This will present the opportunity to embark on a pathway that fits in with personal learning and training goals using a flexible, modular approach supported by a facilitated, reflective personal development plan. It will also provide a structure through which those already established in their careers can further develop their career aspirations and/or mentor less experienced colleagues. This unique proposition, which will be for all members of the dental team, will enable dental professionals to demonstrate that they have met the capabilities for each career stage as defined in the Professional Framework. Progressing along the scheme will be a journey of professional development, rather than an end-point examination, and one in which the individual will be supported.

Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College, and Professor Avijit Banerjee, Chair of the College’s Career Pathways Programme Board, said:

“Those who carve out a career in the primary dental care sector have been almost unique within healthcare professions in not having defined career structures to support their professional development, despite the presence of multiple training opportunities.

The CGDent Professional Framework adopts an innovative approach which encourages flexibility for dental professionals to meet their practice and career aspirations, whilst recognising milestones along their often varied professional journeys, by providing a clear and coherent supporting structure.

It is a product made for dental professionals and by dental professionals, and the College owes its thanks to the many dentists, hygienists, therapists, nurses and technicians who have contributed to it, as well as to Colgate for their generous support that has enabled it to be completed.”

Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework is available for all dental professionals to download free of charge.

The College is inviting feedback on the Professional Framework in order to refine it and make it as robust as possible, and encourages dental professionals to explore it, test it out, and consider how they might use it to support their own development as well as that of colleagues. Feedback should be submitted online here

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