Special circumstances

If you have a requirement to train in a particular location, you may wish to be considered for special circumstances.

We're implementing a process across all national dental recruitment to ensure that applicants with special circumstances and a requirement to train in a particular location are treated in a fair and consistent way.

For Dental Foundation Training, please refer to the DFT national applicant guide, which in addition to the criteria below has introduced a further criterion. The applicant guide can be found on the documents section of the DFT vacancy on Oriel.

Any applicant who falls into one of the following eligibility criteria will be pre-allocated into the post, subject to it meeting the requirements of their training programme:

Criterion 1

The applicant is the primary carer for someone who is disabled, as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

Criterion 2

The applicant has a medical condition or disability for which ongoing follow up for the condition in the specified location is an absolute requirement.

Applying for special circumstances

Applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances pre allocation should ensure that they state this on their application form and submit the required form and supporting evidence by email. Requests for consideration of special circumstances received in any other way will not be accepted.

Please refer to the Oriel resource bank for more information on applying for special circumstances.

Supporting evidence

Applicants wishing to be considered for special circumstances should complete the criterion appropriate special circumstances application form (available from the Specialty Training Resource Bank) and forward this, together with the following supporting evidence, as a single scanned document, as soon as the application has been submitted to [email protected].

The deadline for receiving special circumstances requests for Round 1 is Tuesday 8 February 2022.

Criterion 1

You must be able to provide all of the following:

  • Written statement from a general practitioner or social services professional who you will have normally known for at least 6 months, confirming your role as primary carer for this person.
  • Care plan on headed paper from a general practitioner or social services professional. Where an official care plan is not available, details of caring responsibilities and activities should be provided, attested by the general practitioner of the person who is being cared for.
  • Proof of current address, for example driving licence or utility bill dated within the last 3 months.

Criterion 2

You should provide a report by the current medical specialist treating your condition or Occupational Health physician. In the report, they will be required to:

  • describe the current medical condition or disability
  • describe the nature of the ongoing treatment and frequency
  • explain the reasons why the follow up treatment cannot be delivered elsewhere in the UK
  • the impact transferring care elsewhere would have on you
  • proof of address, for example a driving licence or utility bill dated within the last 3 months

Special circumstances applications will be reviewed by a national eligibility panel and a decision on whether the application has been successful will be communicated to the applicant.

For applicants who develop special circumstances after the deadline for the recruitment round in which they have applied, contact should be made directly with the region where an offer has been made. Special circumstances cannot be considered in this process, outside of the timelines listed above.

Where the applicant is unhappy with the decision of the national eligibility panel, they are permitted to submit an appeal to the national review panel. The decision of the national review panel will be final.


Applicants who have been approved as having a special circumstance will be pre-allocated into the region of their choice, subject to the following criteria being met.

  • Applicant is deemed appointable at interview or selection centre.
  • Applicant is ranked highly enough to receive an offer, for example, if there are 10 posts available, the applicant will need to rank in the top 10. Applicants will also be considered to have ranked highly enough, where there are applicants ranked above them who would not be eligible to receive an offer due to limited preference choices and preferred posts being unavailable.
  • The region the applicant wishes to be allocated to can fulfil all requirements of the curriculum for the programme for which they have applied.

If all of these conditions are met, the applicant will be pre-allocated into the preferred region, before the main offers algorithm is run. Applicants are not guaranteed their preferred programme or post within the preferred region. Special circumstances applicants will be offered the highest ranked post within that region that they would have been offered, had the normal offers process run.

Where applicants with special circumstances would not have been offered a post in the preferred region, they will be pre–allocated to one of their ranked programmes within that region. Where applicants with special circumstances do not rank highly enough to be offered a post in the first round of offers they will be placed on a reserve list, pending more posts becoming available or offers being declined. There is no guarantee of matching special circumstances applicants to preferred locations after the first round of offers has been completed. An applicant without special circumstances who has accepted a post in the preferred location of an applicant with special circumstances will not be displaced to allow allocation of the applicant with special circumstances.

When ranking preferences, applicants with approved special circumstances must ensure that they only rank programmes or posts that they are willing to accept and undertake. Applicants will be allocated based on these preferences. If it is not possible to pre-allocate an applicant with special circumstances, they will have opportunities throughout the recruitment process to amend their preferences, should they wish to be considered for appointment in another region.

When selecting post preferences, applicants must ensure that they meet the eligibility for those posts.

Page last reviewed: 4 January 2022