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Learning programmes for dentists - a pilot study

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted on some dentists’ engagement with continued professional development (CPD).

Although more online educational opportunities have arisen as a result of restrictions brought about by COVID-19, there is concern about the current and longer-term impact of the pandemic on practitioner confidence.

New educational initiatives being piloted by Health Education England (HEE) East Midlands, in collaboration with University College London Hospital (UCHL) Eastman aim to reestablish confidence among dentists to engage with learning, enhance motivation to keep on learning and apply learning to practice.

Dental schools typically act as hubs for learning and although there is no dental school in the East Midlands, productive links with UCLH (Eastman) have been established and a suite of five educational initiatives are being piloted.

Although each of these five programmes is unique, they operate under the same broad principles which emphasise adult learning principles, a learner-centred approach, the integration and application of learning to everyday practice, and reflection.

The purpose of our research will be to provide an independent review and evaluation of this suite of educational initiatives. More specifically we will:

  • review the quality of the programmes, identify if learning outcomes were achieved and any unintended outcomes
  • explore the application of the learning to workplace practice, devising and piloting methods to evidence longer-term impact
  • advise on how programmes might be improved
  • assess alumni appetite for lifelong learning and interest in becoming programme champions or mentors of others
Lead contactAlison Bullock
FunderHealth Education England