During preferencing you will be able to rank the posts you are interested in. You are advised to read this page in full prior to expressing your preferences.

Expressing preferences

The preferencing window will open on (to be confirmed) and will close on (to be confirmed).

You will be asked to express your preferences via the online recruitment system Oriel, ranking the Dental Foundation Training (DFT) schemes/geographical locations in order of preference (where 1 is the first choice preference).

This is a mandatory part of the recruitment process. You will not be able to take up a DFT placement if this is not fully completed.

If you are eligible, you will be sent an email to your registered email account with full instructions on how to complete preferencing including use of Oriel.

The email regarding preferencing may come from [email protected]. Please ensure your email settings regarding SPAM allow emails to be received from [email protected]. Any emails from this address are authentic.

Please ensure that you have read through and understood the COPDEND guidance on education and training with close family members.

Preferences acceptance

Preferences will only be accepted when submitted via Oriel. They will not be taken into account expressed in any other way. No preferences will be accepted after the advertised date (to be confirmed).

You will need to log into Oriel and save preferences by the preference window end date (to be confirmed). Once the preferencing window closes, you cannot make any changes until after the first iteration of offers have been sent.

Picking your preferences

You must carefully consider your preference choices. Limiting the number of preferences will limit the chances of being offered a placement. However, please do not preference regions in which you cannot train. By preferencing a scheme, you are confirming that you are prepared to train in any of the practices that will form the scheme.

When preferencing you must consider the following.

  • If you limit the number of schemes you are prepared to train in this could limit the possibility of being offered a training placement.
  • Any offer is made in accordance with the national rank you receive as a result of your selection centre score and preferences made.
  • The first ranked candidate will be offered their first preference. This will continue until all posts within that iteration have been offered.
  • If your first preferenced scheme has no further vacancies, you will be offered your second or subsequent choice. This process will continue until all vacant positions have been filled.

Important: Important

If you limit your preferences and you do not rank highly enough to be offered any of them based on your selection centre score, you will not be offered a training post. This may mean that candidates who would be eligible for an offer based on their score and rank will not receive an offer of a training post. In this case candidates are considered to have pre-emptively declined an offer of a post as the only vacancies left are in schemes that the candidate is not prepared to train in. 

To state you do not wish to be considered for a scheme, you must ensure the schemes in question appear under the 'Not wanted' ist.

Preferences will be considered numerically (1 being your first choice preference). Schemes marked as 'Not wanted' will not be considered.

Your preferences will not be used as a scoring criterion and will not be available to assessors.

Amending preferences

After the first iteration of offers, you will be able to amend your preferences up until the upgrade deadline date (to be confirmed).


Upgrading of posts is only available until before the upgrade deadline (to be confirmed). After this date, no further upgrades will be offered.

Deferred entry

Deferment can only be considered on statutory grounds such as maternity, paternity or adoption leave or ill health. Please ensure you inform the DFT National Recruitment Office and the region you have accepted an offer of your intention to defer as soon as it is known via the Applicant Support Portal. Applicants must accept an offer and then contact the region/NRO regarding deferment. 

Page last reviewed: 9 August 2023
Next review due: 9 August 2024