Before beginning your application, it is important for you to determine whether you are eligible to apply for Dental Core Training (DCT).

The first year of Dental Core Training (DCT1) is open to any dentist with at least 12 months whole time equivalent (WTE) postgraduate clinical experience to the full scope of a dentist by the start date of the post.

DCT2 applicants must have evidence of completion of a UK Dental Core Training Year 1 programme (satisfactory Review of Competence Progression (RCP) outcome 1) or equivalent by the start date of the post.

DCT3 applicants must have evidence of completion of a UK Dental Core Training Year 2 programme or equivalent by the start date of the post.

Person specifications

Full details of the DCT1, DCT2 and DCT3 entry and selection criteria can be found on the relevant person specification.

All applications will be assessed against the person specifications' essential criteria.

If you are found to have not met all the required eligibility criteria, you will be rejected from the recruitment process.

Academic person specifications

If you're applying to an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF), you'll need to meet the criteria in both the clinical and ACF person specifications.

For more information go to the Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) page.

If you only wish to be considered for an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) post

If you only wish to be considered for an ACF post you should select Academic Clinical Fellowship appointments only on your application form.

When invited to preference posts on Oriel, you do not need to complete this. However, the preferences will still appear on your Oriel account.

Your application will be withdrawn once the results of the DCT selection process are confirmed and passed to the region(s) of your ACF application(s). You will not be eligible to be considered for clinical training programmes offered through the DCT vacancy.

Find out more about Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) posts.

English language skills

You must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English, adequate to enable effective communication about medical topics with patients and colleagues, as assessed by the General Dental Council (GDC).

For more information, see the General Dental Council's (GDC's) guidance on necessary knowledge of English language for dental professionals.

When you complete the Language Skills section on the application form, it may incorrectly state that you will be required to provide evidence at interview. This is not the case. Confirmation that you are registered with or will be eligible to be registered with the GDC (full or temporary) by the time of post commencement will be sufficient.

Evidence of communication skills for dental lists

For some posts, the person specification requires that you are eligible for entry onto the Dental Performers List for England, NI Dental List (Northern Ireland), NHS Scotland Health Boards Dental List or Dental Performers List in Wales.

Therefore, you must also ensure your evidence of communication skills complies with the standard operating procedure (SOP) or guidance issued by the relevant primary care organisation (PCO) responsible for maintaining the dental lists in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

The UK's PCOs are:

  • England: NHS England
  • Northern Ireland: Health and Social Care Board
  • Scotland: Primary Care Divisions within Health Boards
  • Wales: Local Health Boards

DCT Locum Appointment for Service (LAS) guidance

If you are currently undertaking or have undertaken a Locum Appointment for Service (LAS) DCT post and wish to apply for DCT recruitment, please read the important guidance document on the Committee of Postgraduate Deans and Directors (COPDEND) website.

LAS posts are not usually considered to be equivalent to a UK DCT programme.

Demonstrating equivalence

Dental Core Training in the UK is a structured period of training in a secondary care or specialised primary care environment. Progress against agreed development outcomes is monitored and reviewed by an assigned educational supervisor and/or clinical supervisor as part of an educational agreement for training.

The objectives of the placement are selected from the UK DCT curriculum and vary according to the individual's training needs and the opportunities available.

DCT 1 equivalence

To demonstrate DCT1 equivalence, you must show evidence of career development in a similar environment within a structured, supervised and monitored programme for a minimum of 12 months whole-time equivalent by the time of appointment. For example, the start date of the DCT programme being applied for.

Posts considered to be equivalent to DCT1 are:

  • hospital
  • general dental practice
  • community junior training posts
  • overseas posts

The requirement for each of these types of posts is that the individual has a designated supervisor, undertakes work-based assessment and develops according to a personal development plan set at the beginning of a training period, with an appropriate review of competence progression (as identified in the UK DCT curriculum).

For posts in the UK, these must be posts with prior educational approval from a postgraduate dental dean.

Previous training should include hands-on clinical dental experience or involve training in Oral Pathology, Radiology, Oral Microbiology or Dental Public Health.

Posts not considered to be equivalent to DCT1 are:

  • Dental Foundation Training posts
  • Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE) posts
  • any post where there is no personal development plan, work-based assessment, evidence of competence progression review or designated supervisor
  • Masters or PhD programmes
  • posts that provide service only, with no structured personal development plan

Evidence of DCT1 equivalence

If you believe you can provide evidence of a UK DCT1 equivalent post, you must:

  • clearly state this on your application form
  • upload a valid Educational Supervisor Letter of Support which you can find on Oriel's Resource Bank

If you do not upload this evidence at the time you submit your application, it will prevent your application progressing.

DCT2 equivalence

The DCT3 person specification states that you must have evidence of completion of a UK Dental Core Training Year 2 programme by time of post commencement.

If this does not apply to you, however you consider you have acquired experience and/or training which is equivalent to DCT, you can apply for the National Certificate of Dental Core Equivalence (NCDCE).

An NCDCE allows those who have experience deemed to be equivalent to a UK DCT2 programme to meet the DCT3 person specification.

For more information go to NHS Education for Scotland's National Certificate of Dental Core Equivalence (NCDCE).

Eligibility for temporary UK General Dental Council (GDC) registration

Some preferences will require you to be eligible for full UK GDC registration to take up the post. There will be questions on the application form relating to this and it's important you answer them accurately.

During preferencing, your preferences should then be ranked appropriately. For example, if you are eligible for temporary UK GDC registration, you must move all the preferences labelled "NOT suitable for temporary GDC registrants" to the Not wanted column so you are not considered for these posts.

Right to work in the UK

You will be required to provide right to work documentation to demonstrate your eligibility to work in the UK.


Find out more information about the required right to work documentation and information for overseas applicants.

Page last reviewed: 10 August 2023

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