HC Deb 10 April 2000 vol 348 c10W
Mr. Beard

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to encourage practising dentists to take part in postgraduate training. [117944]

Mr. Hutton

Dentists practising in the general dental services are already required by their terms of service to take reasonable steps to develop professional knowledge and skills to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of dental science and practice. Principal dentists are entitled to claim postgraduate education allowance for up to two sessions of approved postgraduate activity each year to help meet that requirement. The General Dental Council is to introduce a recertification scheme that will make the continued registration of all dentists dependent upon their regular participation in continuing education. In the first instance, the scheme will be voluntary, but the Council has asked the Department if, in due course, it could be made mandatory by amendment to the Dentists Act 1984. We support the principle of the scheme and will be responding on the detail shortly.