We rank applicants based on the scaled Situational Judgement Test (SJT) score and weighted interview score.

We'll make initial offers towards the end of May.


We'll rank applicants and make offers based on the scaled SJT score and weighted interview score. Applicants must achieve 30% of the total marks available to be considered appointable.

We'll apply equal weighting to each of these elements of the selection process:

  • Interview: Clinical governance, quality improvement and professional skills
  • Interview: Clinical scenario
  • SJT

If rankings are tied

If any applicants' 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.

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

Red flags

An applicant can have a "red flag" raised against them at any point during the interview.

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

A review will take place for any applicant who receives a red flag. This will result in either:

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

Outcome following interview

All applicants will be notified of their final outcome - that is, whether they are appointable or unappointable - on Thursday 25 May 2023.

We'll send feedback by Thursday 1 June 2023.

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 2023. You can find a copy of the policy here.


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 25 May 2023. 

You will be given 48 hours (exclusive of weekends) to respond to an offer and have the options to

  • accept (accept/accept with upgrades)
  • hold (hold/hold with upgrades)
  • decline

Only one offer can be held at any one time, across all applications in a round on Oriel. 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 are holding an offer and try to hold another, the original held post will be automatically declined by the system. 

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. 

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

Applicants will be ranked nationally, in a single list for each vacancy (DCT1 and DCT2/ DCT3), based on their performance in the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and at interview.

Important: Holding offers

If you choose to hold an offer, you can keep this offer held up until 1pm on Thursday 1 June 2023. 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.

For further detailed information on the offers process, please refer to section 6 of the Dental Recruitment Applicant Handbook 2023, which you can download from the Oriel Resource Bank.

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. 

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, applicants must take up any post that they 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 Trust and trainee 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 8 June 2023. 

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 8 June 2023, even if one of your higher preferenced DCT programmes becomes available at a later date. 

Offer exchanges and enhanced preferences

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

Applicants 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.

Any changes to preferences made between the offer algorithm being run and offers being released, will not be considered until the next offers match is run by the DCTNRO.

Non-urgent advice: Amending your preferences

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 of 4pm on Thursday 8 June 2023. 

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.

The above process will continue up until the upgrade deadline at 4pm on Thursday 8 June 2023. 


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 1 of 2 reasons: 

  • 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). 
  • You were unsuccessful at a certain part of the recruitment process (you will be notified if this is the case). 


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

We'll advise applicants that are rejected at the longlisting stage of the reason why their application was rejected. 

Applicants will receive their equated SJT score and banding via the Oriel Application Summary Screen by Monday 3 April 2023. 

Feedback will be sent by Thursday 1 June 2023.

Feedback released through Oriel

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

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

Feedback released through Digital Scoring System

We'll email a PDF to you. Please check your junk or spam folder if you have not received it in your inbox.

It 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 Health Education England (HEE) 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 2024. 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.

Important: Important

Applicants should not attempt to contact an employing Trust until they have confirmed their placement - that is, they 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, pension scheme etc. 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: 16 December 2021

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