You may need support, careers information and guidance to help you make the best choices when going through the recruitment process.

Support from the local region

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

The region in which they are currently working should be able to offer careers advice, in addition to the advice that can be obtained from senior colleagues and mentors. Trust consultants, clinical tutors and others should be well informed with up to date process details.

If applicants are unsure about local arrangements, the current employer may provide information about how to get confidential advice and support. This information should include for example, contact details for the local Occupational Health Department, employment assistance programmes and other organisations. The British Dental Association will be able to discuss in confidence any issues with dentists in distress including the pressures and stress of work and of the application process.

In summary, the best ways for applicants to receive support at the application or interview stage are through:

  • NHS England local office/deanery careers advisor/support team
  • Educational supervisors, training programme directors and associate deans
  • careers lead in the trust
  • college tutors
  • dentists in training

For dentists applying to specialty training from outside the UK or not in current dental employment who are considering applying for training programmes should contact the local office or deanery they are planning to apply to for advice. In addition, dental colleagues who have recently been through the specialty recruitment process may also be able to offer advice.

Support from the programme or region of application

Applicants should expect to receive helpful information from the programme and/or region to which they are applying.

National guidance recommends the following basic elements of applicant support throughout the recruitment process.

Websites should provide clear guidance to applicants including:

  • up-to-date information on all recruitment activity; details of posts on offer and application requirements, shortlisting and interview timeframes
  • information about posts in the rotation (where possible)
  • an updated frequently asked questions section
  • information about shortlisting criteria and weightings, and any scoring scheme used

Email helpdesk services will be available in each local office or deanery. The email address will be advertised on the local office and deanery websites.

Helpdesks will normally respond through email to applicants' queries within 72 hours. (Queries received within 48 hours of the relevant application deadline will be prioritised).

Fair, legal and equitable

All recruitment processes must meet legal requirements. Patient care and safety are the priority concern.

  • All posts must be advertised for a minimum of 28 days.
  • Advertisements, information for applicants and application forms must be clearly structured so that they are accessible to applicants with disabilities and so that applicants can easily find relevant details when carrying out a search.
  • All applications must be made electronically.
  • Application forms and the interview processes must map to the national person specifications.
  • The nationally agreed application form must be used.
  • Applicants will be able to apply for multiple training programmes.
  • Random recruitment and selection processes should not be used.
  • All applications submitted before the deadline will be considered, provided they meet eligibility requirements as outlined in the relevant person specification.
  • Shortlisters and interviewers will not have access to the equal opportunities and Fitness to Practise sections of the application form or personal data.
  • Interviewers will take account of applicants’ portfolios, their structured CV and the summary of their portfolio of evidence.
  • Applicants may be asked to bring their portfolios to the interview. Please refer to programme specific guidance.

Complaints procedure

National recruitment offices use a nationally-agreed process for handling complaints about recruitment.

Applicants with concerns about the recruitment process or who wish to make a complaint should contact the recruitment office to which they applied to get further information on the complaints procedure.

Page last reviewed: 31 August 2023
Next review due: 31 August 2024