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Dental Foundation Training (previously known as Vocational Training)

The purpose of Foundation Training (FT) in dentistry is to enhance clinical and administrative competence and promote high standards through relevant postgraduate training and meet the needs of general dental practice in the NHS.

In the UK newly qualified dentists are advised to obtain as wide an experience in all aspects of dentistry before considering further study, core dental or specialist training. This experience should, if possible include general dentistry in primary care in addition to working possibly in a junior hospital appointment or the salaried dental service.

The year spent in FT helps to prepare young dentists for examinations such as the MFDS or MJDF and for careers in primary dental care or further training posts, such as Core Dental Training posts possibly leading to specialist training.

Foundation Training (FT)

There is a curriculum for foundation training posts that comprises a range of competencies. Full registration with the General Dental Council is required for entry into Foundation Training DF in addition to the correct UK Visa with no training restrictions stamped on the visa. Foundation Training is a broad-based clinical experience in NHS dentistry.  In most FT posts, one year is spent in an approved dental practice with a trainer who is an experienced dental practitioner. Weekly tutorials are provided by the trainer and study days are organised by the Deanery. A dental audit is completed in this first year.

FT is also important because in order to be on the NHS dental list as a performer a dentist must have either a performer's number, or show they have received experience or training equivalent to FT or be exempt from FT.

There is a lot of competition for FT posts and even UK graduates are not guaranteed employment in FT. The employment situation in NHS dentistry is now quite different and posts can be extremely difficult to obtain.  Posts are advertised nationally.

2020/21 Key Dates for Information
Advert appears and applications open
Thursday 13 August 2020
Advert and applications close
Thursday 10 September 2020
Online Situation Judgement Test (SJT)
Monday 2 November - 10 November 2020
Assessment Centres
No assessment centres in 2020 due to COVID-19 
Preferencing of Schemes
Saturday 12 December 2020 - Thursday 13 May 2021
Initial offers released from
Thursday 10 June 2021

Further information can be found on the COPDEND website.

Core Training Post (CT1,2,3)

Core Training Posts can be for up to three years.  Many deaneries require applicants to reapply in open competition for a follow on course at the end of each tear.  CT1 and 2 posts may have some similarities to the old DF2 posts or Senior House Officer posts. These posts can still be seen advertised but in the future will be replaced by Core Training Posts.  Core Training posts are usually advertised via the postgraduate deaneries and the British Dental Journal (BDJ) job pages or NHS jobs.

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