Offers and feedback Dental Specialty Training recruitment

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.

Applicants receiving training offers through Oriel will have the option to accept, decline or hold (until the hold deadline) the offer made. Applicants 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.

Applicants should only preference and accept posts that they are willing to undertake; this includes posts in the no preference column.

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

Applicants who fail to respond to their offer within the 48 hours and allow it to expire, but who would have liked to accept the post, should contact the recruitment office, at the earliest opportunity. Where possible, recruitment offices will try to reinstate applicants, however, as recycling of the initial offer may have already taken place, there is no guarantee that the applicant 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 applicants, if successful, with news of an offer. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a message informing them that they have not been successful on this occasion.

Applicants deemed eligible for appointment who rank below the number of vacancies available, 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

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

Applicants who opt into upgrades will have the option to state which of their preferences they 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; upgrade options are completely configurable by the applicant.

Should an upgrade option become available and the applicant who has opted in for upgrades is next in line to receive the offer, they will be automatically upgraded to this offer with no option to revert to the original offer.

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

Applicants who wish to be considered for upgrades into a particular post/programme should opt into this, even if the post/programme is showing no vacancies. If the post becomes available at a later date, an applicant will not be upgraded into it if they have not opted in, regardless of whether or not it was one of their higher ranked preferences in the original application form. Once an upgrade has been made there will be no opportunity for the applicant to request that their 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. Successful applicants will receive an offer of employment from their employer (subject to preemployment checks). The offer of employment is distinct from the training agreement. Successful applicants may change employers several times during their training period.

The first employer will need to complete pre-employment checks before the successful applicant 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.

Applicants will be required to make declarations on the application form relating to their 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 the successful applicant.


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.

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

Receiving feedback

All applicants will be given feedback after each of the following stages of recruitment:

  • 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 the following:

  • Individual scores per interview station
  • Total interview/selection score
  • Maximum interview/selection score available
  • Applicant’s appointability and the minimum score required for appointability (as appropriate)
  • Applicant’s individual ranking. Please note, if an applicant does not reach the required threshold for appointability, they will not be given a rank.

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

Deferring the start date of a post

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

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

Applicants who require a Skilled Worker visa wishing to defer should also discuss this with the appropriate visa sponsor to ensure they can do so under current immigration rules.

Support for applicants

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

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

Page last reviewed: 22 December 2021