Continuing professional development

It is a practitioner’s responsibility to ensure that they maintain competence through participation in continuing professional development.

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CPD requirements per recertification cycle

For each profession, the Dental Council sets a minimum number of verifiable continuing professional development (CPD) hours and a certain number of peer contact activities per recertification cycle.

Examples of verifiable CPD activities include:

  • conferences, courses and workshops
  • web-based learning (with verifiable outcomes)
  • postgraduate study (leading to a qualification relevant to the practitioner’s scope of practice)
  • approved in-service training or peer contact activities
  • presentation at an oral health seminar. 


Minimum number of
verifiable CPD hours

Minimum number of
peer contact activities

Recertification cycle


Dentists / dental



1/1/2017 to 31/12/2019

(note shortened cycle)

Dental hygienists, dental therapists and oral health therapists





1/1/2018 to 31/12/2019

(note shortened cycle)

Orthodontic auxiliaries



Dental technicians



Clinical dental



We have set a minimum requirement, but expect that most practitioners will participate in a far greater number of hours of CPD than the minimum.

Verification of CPD activities

The Council has waived the requirement for CPD to be verified for both the dentist/dental specialist cycle ending on 31 December 2019, and the dental hygienist/dental therapist/oral health therapist/orthodontic auxiliary/dental technician/clinical dental technician cycle ending on 31 December 2019.

While the requirement for CPD to be verified has been waived,  it still must be verifiable. That means you must be able, if called upon to do so, to provide documentary evidence of attendance, and documentation that shows the activity or the training provided is approved for verifiable CPD purposes by an approved CPD provider or verifier.

The professional associations can assess and approve an activity as verifiable CPD for their members.

It is your responsibility to ensure that activities planned or undertaken are approved as verifiable CPD before the end of the CPD cycle.

More information on the CPD requirements is available in Council’s Policy on Continuing Professional Development Activities.

A list of verified CPD activities  

The professional associations maintain their own lists of CPD activities that they have approved.

Recording of CPD

Keeping adequate records of your completed hours and peer contact activities is your responsibility.

You are required to keep a record of CPD and peer contact activities, for two complete cycles (eight years), and to make this available on request.

Practitioners who have logged their CPD activities through an online recording facility with one of the approved verifiers, and have met the minimum requirements, will not be required to submit a paper-based declaration and schedule.  

Those practitioners who have not recorded the minimum requirements with the verifiers, or those practitioners without access to an online CPD recording facility will be required to complete and submit a signed schedule. The schedule will contain a record of your CPD activities completed during the period. Details will include, for example, the date and name of the activity; the provider/organiser; the location; a course code (where relevant); and the duration of the activity.

You may be asked to submit your CPD records, for example, if concerns about your competence or conduct have been raised.

CPD audits

At the close of a CPD cycle, 10 percent of each of the professions is randomly selected and asked to submit their CPD records to Council for audit and assessment.

Practitioners who have used approved verifiers’ online CPD recording systems, such as NZDA, NZAO and NZDOHTA, and have met the minimum CPD requirements, are exempt from this audit process.

How CPD relates to scopes of practice

CPD activities should be relevant to your scope of practice. 

Your CPD could help you to keep up to date with developments in areas of your scope of practice. Understanding such developments helps to ensure that a patient receives appropriate care and that you make appropriate referrals.

Furthermore, CPD can be used to upskill in area(s) where refreshing or more experience is required.

CPD requirements for different practising statuses

The same CPD is required if you work part-time

The CPD requirements are the same for full-time and part-time practitioners.

CPD requirements are adjusted if you start practice part-way through the cycle

If you register after the CPD cycle has started, your CPD requirements for that cycle will be reduced in proportion to the time left of the CPD cycle. For example, if you registered 12 months after a four-year cycle starts, you will need to do three-quarters of the full cycle CPD requirements.

CPD requirements if you are registered in more than one profession

If you are registered in more than one profession, you only need to complete the CPD requirements of the profession with the greater number of hours. For example, a dually registered therapist and hygienist will need to complete 60 hours verifiable CPD over the four-year cycle.

Maintaining CPD when not practising

Every registered oral health practitioner, whether practising or on retention, must meet the CPD requirements.

Maintaining CPD while overseas

If you are registered in New Zealand but practising overseas, you have to comply with our requirements.  You can submit the international activities completed to Council’s CPD Advisory Committee for verification. 

Non-compliance with CPD

CPD has been established by the Council as a formal recertification programme under section 41 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act). Any failure to meet the requirements of the programme is likely to have legal implications for your practice.

If you do not meet your CPD obligations, we may exercise our discretion under section 43 of the Act. If you have failed to satisfy the requirements of a recertification programme, we may make either of the following orders:

(a)    that your scope of practice be altered

(i)      by changing any health service that you are permitted to perform; or

(ii)     by including any condition or conditions that we consider appropriate

(b)    that your registration be suspended.

Approval of CPD providers

We approve and monitor CPD providers. CPD offered by an approved provider provides you with the assurance that the activities offered meets the minimum criteria of verifiable CPD. These providers normally request verification for their CPD activities from a Council-approved verifier before the activity.

A list of Council’s approved CPD providers

Providers interested in applying to be considered as a Council-approved CPD provider, will find the criteria and submission process set out in the Policy for approval of CPD providers.