Recruitment to Dental Core Training (DCT) posts in the UK is through a national selection process.
Entry to DCT is highly competitive.

Recruitment to Dental Core Training (DCT) posts in the UK is through a national selection process led by the DCT National Recruitment Office (DCTNRO), a team based in NHS England East Midlands office.

Entry to DCT is highly competitive.

How to apply

For the 2024 round of recruitment, adverts for posts will appear on Oriel on Tuesday 9 January 2024. 

Applications will open on Thursday 11 January 2024 at 10am and close on Thursday 1 February 2024 at 4pm. 

To apply for a DCT post:

Once your application has been submitted, you will be unable to make any changes. 

Make sure you do not submit your application unless it is complete and accurate.

You will only need to submit one application to one DCT vacancy.

Later in the process you will need to put your posts in order of preference. You can use the DCT post descriptions document to find posts that suit you.

Find out more about using Oriel to apply.

Employment history, employment gaps and combined DFT/DCT1 training programmes

In some regions, 2-year combined Dental Foundation Training and Dental Core Training programmes exist. For the purposes of recording this accurately in the employment history section of your application, please select one of the following options in the Post type field.

  • General Professional Training (GPT)
  • Joint Dental Foundation Core Training
  • longitudinal

For example:


Post type: Longitudinal
Specialty: DFT and DCT1
Employer name: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Duration of post: 24 months

You can add more than one post using the above Post types if you need to record more than one employer for the duration of the programme. For example:


Post 1

Post type: GPT
Specialty: Dental Foundation Training
Employer name: Foundation Dental Practice
Less than full time (LTFT): Yes
LTFT amount (whole time equivalent): 0.5
Duration of post: 24 months

Post 2

Post type: GPT
Specialty: Dental Core Training Year 1
Employer name: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Less than full time (LTFT): Yes
LTFT amount (whole time equivalent): 0.5
Duration of post: 24 months

You do not need to enter a Level of post, as this field is not mandatory.

Employment gaps

If you have less than 3 years' employment history, an employment gap will be automatically generated on your application form.

You must include an explanation of what you were doing prior to your first employment, for example undergraduate education.

Reapplication to dental training

Training posts and programmes are not normally available if you have previously relinquished or been released or removed from that training post or programme. 

However, there is the opportunity to provide a Support for Reapplication to a Specialty Training Programme form.

If you have previously resigned or been released or removed from a Dental Core Training programme

If you have previously resigned or been released or removed from a Dental Core Training programme, you'll need to provide full details of the resignation, release or removal.

You should provide these details on the Support for Reapplication to a Specialty Training Programme form, which you can download from the Oriel Resource Bank.

The form must be approved by both:

  • the Head of School or Training Programme Director and the Postgraduate Dean
  • in the HEE local office, NHS Education Scotland (NES), Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) or Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) where training was previously undertaken

You'll need to upload evidence to your application form at the time of submission.

If you submit your application without the required evidence you will not progress any further in the recruitment process.

National Training Number (NTN)

When completing the "Personal Details" section of the application form, you'll be asked if you currently hold a National Training Number (NTN). You should answer No to this question and move on with your application.

Disability Confident Scheme (guaranteed interview)

As there is no shortlisting process, all applicants who attend the Situation Judgement Test (SJT) will be invited to interview.

Therefore, please select N/A to the following question on the application form: "If you have a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities and you meet the minimum criteria as specified in the person specification, do you wish to be offered an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme?"

Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability which requires any specific arrangements or adjustments to enable you to attend and/or complete the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and/or interview, you must:

  • answer Yes to the relevant question on the application form
  • provide details
  • upload your supporting evidence

If your medical evidence is more than 6 months old, and you're not applying for reasonable adjustments on the basis of a long-term condition, you may be asked to provide further information.

The DCTNRO will be unable to review your request if supporting evidence is not uploaded with your application by Thursday 1 February 2024.

The automated application submission email sent through your Oriel account advises that you should contact the DCTNRO before the application closing date with regards to this.

However, if you have provided details on your application form and uploaded the required evidence, there is no need to contact the DCTNRO and your evidence will be checked after applications close in relation to your requested SJT and/or interview adjustments.

For details of possible adjustments you can request, go to the SJT adjustments page. 


Find out more about the Situation Judgement Tests and adjustments.

Less than full-time training (LTFT)

If you are applying to enter Dental Core Training (DCT) but are unable to train full time, you may apply for less than full-time training (LTFT).


Find out more about Less Than Full-time Training (LTFT) opportunities.

Special circumstances

If you have a requirement to train in a particular location, you may wish to be considered for special circumstances.


Find out more about special circumstances.

Deferment of start date

Deferments to start date will only be considered for statutory reasons, for example personal ill health, maternity or parental leave, and so on. Deferment for any other reason will not be permitted.

If you wish to request a deferment to your start date, you must declare this on your application form and contact your employing region as soon as possible after an offer is accepted.


You should contact referees at the earliest opportunity to confirm they're happy to support your application and provide a reference within the timescales. Please ensure they provide you with their preferred email address.

You're required to give details of 3 referees who have supervised your clinical training during the last 2 years of your employment or undergraduate training.

One referee must be your current or most recent consultant or educational supervisor, familiar with your clinical development.

We understand that some applicants will not be able to provide 3 clinical or educational supervisors as referees. If this is the case, you can use referees from your undergraduate studies and enter Undergraduate in the Training programme field and your degree title in the Training grade field.

Reference requests

Reference requests are an automated process in Oriel. A request will be triggered and sent electronically to your nominated referees when you have received an offer of DCT training and have chosen Accept or Accept with upgrades.

As soon as they have been requested, you will be able to track the progress of the references using the references tab in your applicant portal.

Changing your nominated referee

For referees who have not yet submitted a reference, you can update their details or nominate different referees. To do this, click on Update references from your Application summary page.

If you change the email address of a referee, a new reference request will be sent to the newly-provided email address, and the original request will be withdrawn.

Document upload

As you progress through your application you may be required to upload some documentation so the DCTNRO can assess your eligibility.

You'll be prompted at the relevant point in the application form to upload relevant evidence. This will be restricted to a single document or file in most instances. Therefore, you should ensure that all pages of the document you wish to upload are collated and saved in a single document.

If the appropriate or requested supporting documentation or evidence is not uploaded and submitted with your application, this could prevent your application from progressing any further in the DCT recruitment process.

Fitness to Practise

If you answer Yes to any of the Fitness to Practise questions on the application form, you'll be required to send information about this declaration to the DCTNRO.

This information needs to be received by the DCTNRO by 4:00pm on Thursday 1 February 2024. You will need to:

If you do not provide this evidence by the application closing date, your application will not progress any further.


Find out more about fitness to practise requirements.

Non-disclosure agreement

The DCTNRO, on behalf of the Dental Core Training Recruitment Steering Group, Health Education England, NES, NIMDTA and HEIW, consider the sharing of questions after the SJT and interview to be wholly unacceptable.

You'll be required to complete a non-disclosure agreement as part of the application form on Oriel and also before the SJT. This is to protect participants and the integrity of the process.

Evaluation of the recruitment process

Anonymous data from the recruitment process, including scores awarded and feedback collected, will be used to evaluate and refine the national selection process.

Data may be correlated with anonymised scores from outcome measures during your future training, such as success in professional examinations, for this purpose.

Page last reviewed: 11 August 2023
Next review due: 11 August 2024

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