CPDA Application Process for External Course Organisers

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NHS Education for Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Government and Practitioner Services, receives, reviews and approves applications from external course organisers, who wish their CPD events to be eligible for Continuing Professional Development Allowance (CPDA).

Continuing Professional Development Allowance (CPDA)

CPDA is an NHS allowance, covered by Determination VII of the Statement of Dental Remuneration (SDR). https://www.scottishdental.org/professionals/statement-of-dental-remuneration/. Eligible practitioners can claim up to six sessions of CPDA in each financial year. The allowance is abated in line with a practitioners' NHS commitment and is payable via the NHS monthly schedule. Practitioners must submit their claim within 6 months of the date of the CPD event.

Application for CPDA Approval

Applications for approval of CPDA for an event being run by an external course organisers are submitted using a standardised application form. The form can be accessed below. All applications must be accompanied by a course programme, detailing all timings, including refreshment and lunch breaks. The form must be completed in full and emailed to nes.dental.cpda@nhs.scot . Incorrect or incomplete forms will be returned. Please note that fully completed forms must be submitted at least 6 weeks before the date of the event.

Course organisers should be aware that they must not advertise that CPDA approval has been granted for their event, BEFORE they have received the confirmation of approval letter.  This includes printed advertising materials, for example, handouts, flyers or magazine adverts, and all social media, internet platforms and email.  Failure to comply with this condition will result in your application not being processed and repeated failures may result in no future applications being accepted.  Wording such as "CPDA approval applied for" is allowable.

The number of sessions of CPDA is determined by the SDR and is calculated from the duration of the educational components within the event, excluding registration and any tea, coffee and lunch breaks.

No CPDA is available for educational time of up to and including one hour.

Half a session of CPDA is applicable for educational time of more than one hour and up to two hours.

One session of CPDA is applicable for educational time of more than two hours and up to three and a half hours.

Charges for CPDA Approval

NES Dental Executive has decided to make a charge for the approval of CPDA applications from external course organisers. This is a contribution towards the time taken to review applications, administer the process and issue approval correspondence, including to Practitioners Services. This charge will apply to all applications received on or after 1 June 2022.

Applications should be submitted with as much notice as possible and at least six weeks in advance of the date of the event. Late applications will be charged an additional late application fee. Applications received less than three weeks before the event will not be accepted.  A fee will also be charged for any alterations to events already approved, such as a change of date, venue, speaker or topic. No applications will be approved until the appropriate fee has been paid.

The initial fee structure is as follows:

One off application £75 per session (or part thereof)
Multiple instances of the same course (submitted at the same time) £150 per session (or part thereof)
Repeat application for an identical course (previously approved) £50 per session (or part thereof)
Conferences £125 per session (or part thereof)
Alterations to previous applications £15


Charges must be paid by the payment deadline (normally one week after receipt), which will be notified to the applicant upon receipt of the application. No follow up or reminders will be sent. If unpaid, the application will be rejected.

Some providers, e.g., for basic life support training, submit an initial master template of their event, which is intended to cover a longer period (up to a year). They then submit a monthly application, which includes a number of individual, identical events in specified practices. In this case, the application fee payable at the start of each twelve month period is £450 followed by £10 for each individual event submitted on each monthly application.

Late Applications

A £50 surcharge will be applied where an application is submitted with less than 6 weeks’ notice.

Applications received with less than 3 weeks’ notice will be rejected.

Payment Process

Application fees will be collected via the NES Portal, in a similar way to paying for CPD course bookings. Guidance on how to pay the application charge will be sent to you once an application has been approved. Support will be available if required with the payment process. Please note that the fees must be paid by debit or credit card and by someone with an active NES Portal account. Fees cannot be paid by cheque or bank transfer.

Charitable and similar organisations

No application charge will be payable by the following:

  • Glasgow Odontological Society
  • The Royal Odonto-Chirurgical Society of Scotland (Edinburgh)
  • Educational Charitable Organisations, e.g. Royal Colleges
  • Specialist Societies
  • Health Boards/Area Dental Committee events
  • Dental School/Hospital events
  • Events where there will be no charge to attend

This list is subject to change and will be reviewed as the policy is implemented. Please note however, that the late application fee still applies to exempt organisations and therefore to avoid any charge, applications must be received at least 6 weeks in advance of the date of the event.



CPDA Application Form

Please download this file to your computer, and save it with a unique name before completing and returning it, to the email address below

Contact Us

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