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​​Regular team training

All members of the dental team should receive appropriate training. When arranging this you will need to consider:

    • the frequency of training
    • the content of training
    • providers of training
    • some special considerations

Frequency of training

Child protection training should be mandatory for all staff at induction, with updates at regular intervals thereafter. However, until recent years it has been reported that many dentists have never received any child protection training.29​ In 2006 the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, together with other contributing organisations, published the 'Intercollegiate Document' as guidance (revised in 2010 and 2014).54​  This recommends that staff should receive child protection training every three years as a minimum. In 2015 the General Dental Council added 'safeguarding children and young people' to its list of recommended CPD​​​ topics (verifiable or general) for all registrants.​

‘It’s like resuscitation training, it doesn’t happen often and you need to keep up-to-date with changes, so in our team we are going to do a refresher course every 3 years’

A senior dental nurse

Content of training

When arranging training, you should check that the aims and objectives of a course meet the learning needs of your team. Guidance on the recommended level of competence for staff with varying degrees of involvement with children is shown in the table below.

It has been suggested that dentists who have done child protection training point to the following factors as being most valuable: 37

    • the opportunity to discuss case scenarios of relevance to dentistry

    • hearing other viewpoints and interacting with participants from other agencies

    • meeting local professionals (in healthcare and social services) whom they might contact in the future for advice or to refer.

Safeguarding children and young people: roles and competences for health care staff (updated 2014).54

​​Training level ​Appropriate for: ​Summary of core competences:
​Level 1.

​All staff including non-clinical staff working in health care settings

Whom in the dental team?

​Recognises potential indicators of child maltreatment

Understands the potential impact of a parent/carer's physical and mental health on the well-being and development of a child or young person

Takes appropriate action if concerned

​Level 2. ​Minimum level for non-clinical and clinical staff who have some degree of contact with children and young people and/or parents/carers

Whom in the dental team?
​As for Level 1

Uses professional and clinical knowledge and understanding to identify any signs of child abuse or neglect

Acts as an effective advocate for the child or young person

Clear about own and colleagues' roles, responsibilities and professional boundaries

Able to refer as appropriate to social care if a safeguarding or child protection concern is identified

Shares appropriate and relevant information with other teams

Acts in accordance with key guidance and legislation
​Level 3.

​Clinical staff working with children, young people and/or their parents/carers and who could potentially contribute to assessing, planning, intervening and evaluating the needs of a child or young person and parenting capacity where there are safeguarding/child protection concerns

Whom in the dental team?
​As for Level 1 and 2

Draws on child and family-focussed clinical and professional knowledge

Contributes to interagency assessments, the gathering and sharing of information and analysis of risk

Undertakes regular documented reviews of own and team child protection practice
4 and 5.

​Named and designated professionals

Providers of training

Providers of further training include:

    • postgraduate medical and dental deaneries
    • in-practice training by health trust child protection trainers
    • LSCBs/ACPC multi-agency training
    • distance learning
    • specialist courses

Additional information on further training

Special considerations

Providers of child protection training should be aware of:

    • the stressful nature of child protection training

    • the potential for disclosure of childhood abuse by course participants

    • the need to provide support or referral for participants if necessary.

More than 1 in 10 adults in the UK remember being abused as ch​ildren.38​ Even in small dental practices, it is likely that training may bring back unpleasant memories for some members of staff. Team leaders would do well to be prepared with details of agencies able to offer support to staff who were abused as children.​​