You will be ranked based on the scaled Situational Judgement Test (SJT) score and weighted interview score.


You will be ranked based on your scaled Situational Judgement Test (SJT) score and weighted interview score. You must achieve 30% of the total marks available to be considered appointable.

Equal weighting will be applied to each of these elements of the selection process.

  1. Interview: Clinical governance, quality improvement and professional skills.
  2. Interview: Clinical scenario.
  3. Situational Judgement Test (SJT).

You will be ranked nationally, in a single list for each vacancy (Dental Core Training (DCT)1 and DCT2/ DCT3), based on your performance.

Tied rankings

If any rankings are tied, the applicant who scored highest on the clinical governance, quality improvement and professional skills part of the interview will be ranked higher.

If those scores are also tied, the applicant with the highest clinical scenario score will be ranked higher.

If those scores are tied as well, the applicant with the highest SJT score will be ranked higher.

Red flags

You can have a "red flag" raised against yourself at any point during the interview.

A panellist can raise a red flag if they consider you may not be suitable for appointment to the post because you are not meeting one or more of the required characteristics.

If you receive a red flag, a review will take place. This will result in either:

  • remaining with a red flag and therefore being deemed ‘unappointable’
  • being deemed appointable and the red flag removed

Outcome following interview

You will be notified of your final outcome - that is, whether they are appointable or unappointable on Thursday 23 May 2024.

Feedback will be sent by Thursday 30 May 2024.

Appealing the outcome

The outcome is final and cannot be reviewed, re-marked or disputed. There is no appeals process.

If you feel your application has not been managed correctly and have evidence of a failure in the process, please review the MDRS Complaints Policy 2024.


All offers will be made through Oriel by the Dental Core Training National Recruitment Office (DCTNRO). Offers received in any other way will be deemed invalid. If you're made an offer, you'll need to respond to it on Oriel.

Offers are made in rank order based on this national ranking. Even though, DCT2/3 applicants will be ranked in one single list, you will only be considered for an offer at the level you have applied to.

Initial offers will be released on Thursday 23 May 2024. 

You will be given 48 hours (exclusive of weekends) to respond to an offer. These are the different ways you can respond to an offer.


Once you have accepted a post, you will not receive any further offers this round. This means you'll be automatically withdrawn from any other applications you have in the same recruitment round. 

Pre-employment processes can commence.

Accept with upgrades

You will have your offer automatically upgraded if a higher ranked preference becomes available. If you have opted into upgrades, no contact will be made prior to the upgrade taking place.

The upgraded offer becomes the accepted offer and the previously accepted post is released and offered to another applicant.

Upgrades will continue to be made up until the upgrade deadline for the recruitment round.

No offers will be received from any other specialty.

If an improved preference becomes available, the current offer will automatically be upgraded. You will be notified of the upgrade by message within their Oriel account. You should not preference posts that they would not want to be upgraded into. After an upgrade has been made, there is no opportunity to revert to the previously accepted post.

Holding offers

The held offer can be accepted or declined at any time up until the hold deadline. Before the hold deadline passes, offers must be confirmed as Accept, Accept with upgrades or Decline. If no action is taken, the held offer will expire and will be deemed to have been declined.

Only one offer can be held at any time in the same recruitment round. If you are holding an offer and try to hold another, the original held post will be automatically declined by the system. 

After the hold deadline has passed, any new offers made will only have the options of Accept, Accept with upgrades or Decline.

Hold without upgrades

You are reserving the offer and no upgrades by preference will be made.

Offers from other programmes can still be received.

The held offer can be accepted or rejected at any time until the hold deadline.

Hold with upgrades

If you receive a offer which is not your first-choice preference, you can select the hold with upgrades option.

This means that youou reserving the offer.

The held offer preference will be automatically upgraded if preferred preferences become available. Offers from other programmes can still be received. If you opt into upgrades, you will have your offer upgraded without further contact being made.

The held offer can be accepted or rejected at any time until the hold deadline.

Please note: Upgrades are automatic when opting to hold with upgrades. If an improved preference becomes available, the current offer will automatically be upgraded. You will be notified of the upgrade by message within your Oriel account. After an upgrade has been made, there is no opportunity to revert to the previously held post.


You will have your offer removed and will receive no further offers from this programme within that recruitment round. You will continue to receive offers from other programmes, if applicable.

If you do not respond to your offer within the 48 hours, this will be interpreted as declining the offer and it will be offered to another applicant.

Offers that are declined will be reoffered in rank order to other applicants. 


You may withdraw completely from the process up until offers are released and should do so through your Oriel account.

If you wish to withdraw once an offer has been accepted, you will need to contact the recruitment office directly.

Only one offer can be held at any one time, across all applications in a round on Oriel.

Expired offers

If you fail to respond to an offer within the 48-hour window you will be deemed to have declined the offer and your application status will change to Offer expired. If you let your offer expire (and are withdrawn from the recruitment process), you may be reinstated if you contact the DCTNRO immediately. However, the original offer cannot be guaranteed.

Important: Holding offers

If you choose to hold an offer, you can keep this offer held up until 1pm on Thursday 30 May 2024. Up until this deadline, you'll be required to go back into Oriel and make a final decision on the offer.

If you're still holding an offer when the deadline is reached,  the offer will be deemed to have been declined and the system will automatically change your status to show that you have declined the post. 

After the hold deadline has passed, any new offers made will only have the option of accept (accept/accept with upgrades) or decline.

Withdrawing from an accepted offer

Due to the potential patient impact, the DCTNRO strongly discourages applicants from accepting an offer if there is a potential for them to withdraw at a later date. However, it is appreciated that at times this is necessary due to a change in personal circumstances. 

The DCTNRO considers it unprofessional to withdraw from an offer at very short notice, that is, less than 1 month prior to the start date. Patient safety may be affected if there is insufficient cover within a unit. 

Therefore, you must take up any post that you have formally accepted and work the contractual notice period before leaving a job, unless the employer has reasonable time to make other arrangements. This is at the discretion of the employing Trust and the DCTNRO cannot support any disputes between you and the Trust over late withdrawal from posts. 

Please consider other applicants and colleagues who may not have received an offer through the national recruitment process and remain on the reserve list for an offer. If you withdraw from a post at very short notice, it is unlikely that this post could be re-offered to another applicant, removing the opportunity of a training placement for a colleague. 

Upgrading offers

If you rank highly enough to be made an offer, this will be made to the highest ranked training programme preference that's available when your final rank is reached. If this training programme offer is suitable for you and you do not want to be considered for any other preferences you have ranked higher, you can choose to simply accept it. 

However, you do have the option of getting one of your higher ranked DCT programme preferences, should it become available, by opting into upgrading. 

The upgrading option is available to all offers that have been accepted or held, but not where an offer has been declined. If you have accepted or held an offer, you can opt in or out of upgrading at any time during the window, which runs until 4pm on Thursday 6 June 2024. 

Please be aware that due to the ranking of your DCT programme preferences you may move into a different region if you are upgraded. 

If you opt into upgrading and a higher preferenced offer becomes available, the upgrade will be automatic. This means:

  • you will be placed in the higher preferenced post without the DCTNRO making any further contact with you
  • you will not be given 48 hours to decide whether you wish to accept or decline the new post

If an upgrade is made, the previously accepted or held post will be released and will be reoffered to another applicant. Once you've been upgraded, you'll be sent an automated message through Oriel to inform you of this. Details of the upgrade made will be available in the relevant section on Oriel. 

You will not be able to review or amend your saved preferences until you have either accepted or held the offer and opted into upgrades. 

You will not receive an upgrade to your offer after the upgrade deadline of 4pm on Thursday 6 June 2024, even if one of your higher preferenced DCT programmes becomes available at a later date. 

Offer exchanges and enhanced preferences

The DCTNRO understands that your can circumstances may change for any number of reasons in the time between programme preferences initially being made and offers being released. 

Those who have not been made an offer may also have a change in circumstances that requires them to make amendments to their expressed preferences. The DCTNRO will keep their programme preferencing open throughout the recruitment process, however, this will be temporarily disabled before each offer algorithm is run, until the offers have been released.

If you've accepted or held an offer and opted into upgrades, you can amend your preferences as many times as you like up until the upgrade deadline.

You'll be able to move lower ranked preferences, or preferences originally not wanted, into a higher ranked preference than your current offer. This will then mean that these newly ranked preferences are considered for an upgrade in subsequent offer iterations.


Due to the Single Transferable Score model that is being used in DCT recruitment, there will be no option for clearing. If you do not receive an offer in this round of recruitment it will be for one of 2 reasons.

  1. All your DCT programme preferences have been accepted before your rank is reached (this could happen even if you are considered appointable in the process). 
  2. You were unsuccessful at a certain part of the recruitment process (you will be notified if this is the case). 


You will be given feedback throughout the recruitment process and will not need to make a formal request to receive it. 

If you are rejected at the longlisting stage of the reason, we will let you know why your application was rejected. 

You will receive your equated SJT score and banding via the Oriel Application Summary Screen by Wednesday 3 April 2024. 

Feedback will be sent by Thursday 30 May 2024.

Feedback released through Oriel

You'll see receive feedback on Oriel's Application Summary Screen and through direct message. It will include:

  • a scaled SJT Score
  • a Clinical Scenario interview score 
  • a Clinical Governance, Quality Improvement and Professional Skills interview score 
  • total selection score 
  • a maximum selection score available 
  • a minimum selection score required for appointability 
  • a rank and appointability 

Feedback released through Digital Scoring System

For feedback released through the Digital Scoring System, we will email you a PDF. Please check your junk or spam folder if you have not received it in your inbox.

This includes:

  • interview scores by individual question 

  • panellist interview comments by question 

We cannot provide any further feedback.

Remaining vacancies

Any vacancies left unfilled at the end of this process will be handed back to the NHS England (NHSE) local office, NHS Education for Scotland (NES), Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) or Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) for local recruitment.

There will be no more posts entered into national recruitment until 2025. In England, any Trust posts advertised and appointed after the national recruitment round will be Locum Appointment for Service (LAS) posts and not training posts. 

Offers of employment and pre-employment checks

The offer and allocation of a training programme referred to above is not an offer of employment. An employment contract detailing the terms and conditions of employment will be issued by the responsible employing organisation and is made subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks.

You should not attempt to contact an employing Trust until you have confirmed your placement - that is, you have accepted the offer without upgrades, or the upgrade deadline has passed.

Information regarding pay, hours, sick pay, annual leave entitlements, notice period, study leave and pension schemes are set out in the national terms and conditions available from NHS Employers.

Individual HEE local offices, NES, NIMDTA or HEIW websites may also provide additional local information and links to individual employer websites. 

The employing organisation will complete several pre-employment checks before an offer of employment can be confirmed. These will include verification of identity, registration, qualifications, right to work (immigration), employment history and employment reference checks, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and an occupational health check.

Page last reviewed: 11 August 2023

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