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The majority of dentists in general practice work as self-employed associates. The relationship between associates and practice owners centres on the associate making regular (usually monthly) payments to the practice owner in return for the use of the practice premises, equipment, materials and staff.

Associates and practice owners should have a written agreement signed by both parties. Here you will find BDA advice on associate contracts, together with various model associates contracts that can be adapted to suit individual circumstances. But there is other information that associates may find useful, so this included too.


​BDA advice

Quick guide to working as an associate

Associate contracts for NHS and mixed practices in England and Wales
Associate contracts for HS and mixed practices in Northern Ireland
Associate contracts for NHS and mixed practices in Scotland
Associate contracts for private practice
Associate - practice owner code of practice
Associate pay under the NHS prototype contract

GDS and PDS in England and Wales
GDS in Northern Ireland
GDS in Scotland

Associates - leaving a practice

Dentists parental leave and pay


​Template contracts

Contract review

Associate contract - England and Wales
Associate contract - Northern Ireland
Associate contract - private practice
Associate contract - Scotland
Associate orthodontic contract - England and Wales (GDS contracts/PDS agreements)

An associate contract review service is available to BDA members who are associates, in relation to their own contracts. Please email your contract to:

​Expert templates

Associate-performer information (v2)

Associate-performer reference request (v1)

Data protection privacy notice - associates (v1)

​Career opportunities

Career pathways and top tips videos
CV and interview help

Dental specialty training

Further study – educational options, from DF2 to specialisation
Alternative paths – volunteering and working abroad
BDJ J​obs


Further information and support can be found on the starting out pages.


Careers Day is an annual event that gives you the opportunity to consider the options available, with knowledgeable speakers who will share their experiences and provide valuable advice

​Into Practice app

Written by BDA advisers, with newly qualified dentists in mind, the app is full of advice designed to help you make a smooth and successful transition into practice. It contains information about:

  • The UK dentistry job market

  • Working with dental staff

  • Continuing professional development (CPD) for dentists

  • Further study

  • Working abroad

  • Finance

  • Data protection

The app is compatible with both Apple iPad and Android tablet devices. Visit Apple’s ‘App Store’ or Google Play and search for “BDA”.

Advice videos

Obtain the best associate position for you
The importance of your associate contract
Making an associateship work for you
How do you know you’re ready to buy a practice
Financing a practice purchase

​BDJ In Practice

BDJ In Practice features indispensable, practical advice and provides you with everything you need to know on all the latest ​​challenges facing our profession.​

​BDA Events

Training essentials – courses for the whole team
Clinical seminars – an in-depth exploration of clinical topics
iLearn webcasts – a selection of sessions filmed at the British Dental Conference and Exhibition
Conferences – information about the annual British Dental Conference and Exhibition, the Scottish Dental Conference and Exhibition, and group conferences for dentists in community and hospital dentistry
Branches and sections events listing

Get involved

The BDA’s network of local Branches and Sections ensures local representation and encourages members to network at a local level.

Young Dentists Committee

Young Dentist Groups

​One-to-one advice

​​Extra and Expert members have access to unlimited one-to-one advice via phone or email from our experienced dental advisers.
Call the Practice support team on 0207 563 4574