We'll make offers through Oriel. If you receive an offer, you'll have the option to accept, decline or hold it.

Receiving offers

All offers will be made through Oriel.

Appointments to training programmes or posts will be offered in rank order, based on selection scores.

Upon receiving training offers through Oriel, you will have the option to accept, decline or hold (until the hold deadline) the offer made. You will be given 48 hours (excluding weekends but including bank holidays) from release of the offer to decide whether to accept, reject or hold it.

Offers which are not responded to within the 48-hour deadline will expire and will be offered to another applicant.

You should only preference and accept posts that you are willing to undertake. This includes posts in the no preference column.

If you are intending to decline a training offer, you are advised to do so as soon as possible to enable the offer to be made to another applicant. If you do not initially receive an offer you may still be offered at a later date, during the process of re-offering declined and expired offers.

If you fail to respond to your offer within the 48 hours and allow it to expire, but you would have liked to accept the post, you should contact the recruitment office, at the earliest opportunity. Where possible, recruitment offices will try to reinstate you. However, as recycling of the initial offer may have already taken place, there is no guarantee that you will receive an offer or that it will be the same offer as initially received.

Not all applicants deemed eligible for appointment by the interview/selection panel will be guaranteed the offer of a post as the number of appointable applicants often exceeds the number of available posts.

Following interview and/or assessment, the Recruitment Office will contact you, if successful, with news of an offer. If you are unsuccessful, you will receive a message informing you that you have not been successful on this occasion.

If you are deemed eligible for appointment, but rank below the number of vacancies available, you could still receive an offer, if offers made to higher ranked applicants are rejected.

Posts which become available after the recruitment round will be offered to those applicants on the reserve list. This process will continue until either the reserve list has been exhausted or up until when the next round of recruitment has gone out for advert.

Offer responses

These are the different ways you can respond to an offer and the conditions attached to your response.

  • The applicant is excluded from any further offers from this and any other programme within this recruitment round.
  • Pre-employment processes commence.
Accept with upgrades
  • The applicant will have their offer automatically upgraded if a higher ranked preference becomes available. If an applicant has opted into upgrades, no contact will be made with them 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 unless the offer is a hierarchical upgrade (up until the hierarchical upgrade deadline).

Please note: If an improved preference becomes available, the current offer will automatically be upgraded. Applicants are notified of the upgrade by message within their Oriel account. Applicants 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. Only 1 offer can be held at any time in the same recruitment round.

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.

If a currently held offer is released as a result of holding another programme’s offer, then the previously held offer will be rejected.

Hold without upgrades
  • The applicant is reserving the offer.
  • 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

Applicants receiving offers which are not their first-choice preference can select the hold with upgrades option.

  • The candidate is reserving the offer.
  • The held offer preference will be automatically upgraded if preferred preferences become available. Offers from other programmes can still be received. Applicants who opt into upgrades will have their offer upgraded without further contact being made with them.
  • 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. Applicants are notified of the upgrade by message within their Oriel account. After an upgrade has been made, there is no opportunity to revert to the previously held post.


An applicant choosing this option will have their offer removed and will receive no further offers from this programme within that recruitment round. Applicants will continue to receive offers from other programmes, if applicable.

Please note: If an applicant does not respond to their offer within the 48 hours, this will be interpreted as declining the offer and it will be offered to another applicant.


An applicant may withdraw completely from the process up until offers are released and should do so through their Oriel account.

Once an offer has been accepted, applicants wishing to withdraw will need to contact the recruitment office directly.

Upgrading of offers

If you receive an offer through Oriel you will automatically receive an upgrade, should one become available, if you accept or hold the offer and opt in for upgrades.

If you opt into upgrades you will have the option to state which of your preferences you would like to be considered for an upgrade into. This could include all or some of the posts that were ranked higher than the offered post, but also those that were originally ranked lower. You can completely configure the upgrade options, if you wish.

Should an upgrade option become available and, having opted in for upgrades, you are next in line to receive the offer, you will be automatically upgraded to this offer with no option to revert to the original offer.

You can opt out of upgrades at any point through Oriel.

If you wish to be considered for upgrades into a particular post/programme you should opt into this, even if the post/programme is showing no vacancies. If the post becomes available at a later date, you will not be upgraded into it if you have not opted in, regardless of whether or not it was one of your higher ranked preferences in the original application form. Once an upgrade has been made there will be no opportunity to request that your original acceptance be reinstated.

Offer upgrades are processed once all other offers for the programme have been responded to. Upgrades will not be processed at the weekend or on bank holidays.

Please note: Upgrading of offers will not continue beyond the stated upgrade deadline, even if a preferred post becomes available at a later date. After the upgrade deadline, vacant posts will be offered to the next eligible applicant who has preferenced the post and who has yet to receive an offer, not to applicants who have already accepted a post.

After acceptance of a post

Any offers made are conditional upon the necessary pre-employment checks being carried out successfully. If you are successful, you will receive an offer of employment from your employer (subject to preemployment checks). The offer of employment is distinct from the training agreement. If you are successful, you may change employers several times during your training period.

The first employer will need to complete pre-employment checks before the you can start working for them. Pre-employment checks are designed to ensure that every dentist working in the NHS is fit and safe to work with patients.

You will be required to make declarations on the application form relating to your honesty and probity. Checks will include verification of references, fitness to practise updates from the General Dental Council (GDC) or other regulatory bodies, occupational health clearance, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and immigration status checks. They may also include validation of English language proficiency and evidence of competence.

Once pre-employment checks have been completed successfully, the employer will confirm new starter details directly with you.


Following acceptance of a training programme, reference requests will be sent through Oriel to the referees listed in the application form.

Referees will complete the reference online, using Oriel. If a referee is unable to complete the reference prior to the deadline date, responsibility for requesting and collecting the reference will pass to the employer.

You and/or referees will be contacted directly by the employer if further references are required. There is no need for you and/or referees to do anything until this contact is made.

Receiving feedback

You will be given feedback after each stage of recruitment. This includes:

  • longlisting/eligibility checked, if unsuccessful
  • shortlisting, if applicable
  • interview/selection centre

Interview/selection centre feedback should be given no later than 7 days after the national offer deadline. Where available, the feedback will include:

  • individual scores per interview station
  • total interview/selection score
  • maximum interview/selection score available
  • your appointability and the minimum score required for appointability, as appropriate
  • your individual ranking

Please note, if you do not reach the required threshold for appointability, you will not be given a rank.

Copies of scoresheets with panellist comments will be sent as PDFs to you.

Deferring the start date of a post

You can only defer the start of your training programmes on statutory grounds such as personal ill health or parental leave. Commencement cannot be deferred for reasons such as research.

If you have had a period of ill health or parental leave during the training programme for which you are applying will be permitted to defer your entry to training by the same period of time (whole time equivalent).

If you require a Skilled Worker visa, and wish to defer should also discuss this with the appropriate visa sponsor to ensure they can do so under current immigration rules.

Support for applicants

You may need support, careers information and guidance to help you make the best choices in entering the next round of recruitment.

For more information, go to the Support for applicants page.

Page last reviewed: 21 September 2023