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Becoming a foundation dental practitioner

Below is an overview of the process to dental foundation training in general.

Initial information on DFT will be provided by the postgraduate deaneries via the dental schools each year.
 
In 2011, major changes were made to the recruitment process. Deaneries have moved from a regional application process to a centrally-organised one. This means that there will only be one application form to be filled in, and one interview to be attended. The new process applies to applications to DFT schemes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has separate arrangements.
 
The running of the process has been outsourced to the London Deanery, and the guidelines to the process and all relevant documents must be obtained from them. The website is www.londondeanery.ac.uk. The COPDEND website www.copdend.org.uk will also carry relevant information, press releases and links.
 
Applications to DFT will open in August 2013 with a deadline of mid-September. Interviews will then be conducted in late November at six centres. More detailed information on the process for this year will be published in July. 
 
As part of the process, students are asked to express preferences about DFT schemes. Given that the process is increasingly competitive, we would advise to rank all schemes in which you will be willing to work. Ranking only a limited number of schemes will seriously limit an individual's chances of obtaining a place.
 
Following the interviews, each applicant will have a ranking in a national list. This ranking will then be used to allocate DFT places in accordance with the preferences of the student.
 
Deaneries are then given the names of the individuals in their schemes. The allocation to individual training practices is done at deanery level and takes place around April. Deaneries have their own procedures for this; some may run job shops, some may allocate individuals directly to practices.
 
Many members will be aware of the problems that have become apparent, both with regard to the number of available places in the last couple of years, and with the process itself. The BDA continues to raise its concerns both to the Chief Dental Officer in relation to the funding of sufficient places, and to the Dental Foundation Training Board in relation to questions about the process. We continue to call for enough training places so that all UK graduates who wish to do DFT can do so.