Using dentistry as a case study to examine continuing education and its impact on practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Continuing education is a defining characteristic of work in the professions. Yet the approach various professional groups take to continuing professional development (CPD) differs widely in terms of regulatory frameworks and requirements, modes of delivery and funding. Importantly, little is understood about how CPD impacts on practice.This paper compares the regulatory context of different professional groups and devises a two-dimensional model to explore differences in CPD practice by mapping control over CPD content and mode. The emergent quadrants we label as liberal, regulated, managed and controlled. The paper continues by using empirical data from two studies of continuing education in dentistry and the wider literature to explore factors affecting CPD impact. The paper ends by considering how the regulatory context may affect impact and concludes that changes in the control of CPD have potential to influence the power of education to make a difference to professional practice.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-95
Number of pages17
JournalOxford Review of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010