The ES role includes facilitating clinical training on patients in the practice, coaching and mentoring the foundation dentist (FD), assessing the FD, and advising upon the satisfactory completion of training.
Training can be done jointly with another dentist, which can help new educational supervisors initially. The ES would normally be expected to work in the same practice as the FD for at least three days per week and must perform some NHS treatment. They deliver weekly tutorials, attend some study and training days and undertake frequent clinical observations and other assessments of the FD. The ES helps the FD clinically with advice, and of course practical intervention if required.
Pros and cons of working as an FD educational supervisor
It is very rewarding to see a colleague develop from being a safe beginner on graduation, to an independent practitioner at the end of the FD year. Having a younger colleague in the practice is a great way to keep up to date with the latest teaching at dental schools, so the learning is not all one way.
Before you can become an ES, you will need four years’ clinical experience after graduation. Most associates with sufficient experience could apply to be an ES, although there are often restrictions on the total number of FDs per practice.
Finding a post
Your practice needs to have enough space and patients to support an FD. You are more likely to be in a position to apply after you have been with a practice for some time. Before applying you may well need to attend some introductory training. Health Education England interviews potential ESs, inspects their practices, and places FDs with successful applicants.