DFT recruitment process (England, Wales, Northern Ireland)
should receive information about the DFT system at the beginning of
your final year; information about the application process may also be
provided just before your university summer break, as the application
process starts as soon as you return to dental school in the autumn, and
possibly while you are still on holiday. The information is provided by
your dental school with involvement from the postgraduate dental
deanery. There may be information packs and/or a presentation to explain
the system. You can also find details on regional DFT schemes by
visiting the postgraduate deanery websites, details of which can be
found on the COPDEND website, www.copdend.org.uk
Centralised recruitment process
to DFT places is organised through a central recruitment process. In
2013, applications will open in late August, with interviews planned for
late November. This process will allocate individuals to a particular
DFT scheme. Allocation to a particular practice will then take place in
the spring and is organised at regional level.
There are a number of important issues to bear in mind with regard to recruitment into DFT.
UK dental graduates must undertake DF1 in order to work in NHS general
dental practice. At the same time, the hospital system is linked to the
DF1 process, so that most hospital positions are now likely to be
subject to successful completion of DFT as well. While it is possible to
start working in private dental practice straight after graduation
(once GDC registration has been completed), DFT is the best possible
basis for a successful career in UK general dental practice.
DFT application process is competitive. While the number of DF1
training places is generally linked to the number of final year
students, places cannot be ringfenced for UK graduates. Other candidates
are eligible to apply, for example recent EU graduates and some
overseas dentists who have passed the GDC’s registration exams.
Therefore, the number of applicants is likely to be higher than the
number of available places. UK final year students must therefore ensure
that they attend briefing sessions provided by their dental school, the
postgraduate deaneries and/or the BDA to ensure they are well-prepared
for the process.
COPDEND is the organisation in charge of
the process, while the London Deanery is contracted to run the
application and assessment system for them. Information about the
process, the deadlines and the requirements both for the application and
the interview will be available from their websites. You must make sure
that you read all the information provided before you apply. When you
send in your application form, you formally confirm that you have read
and understood the information provided, so if anything is not clear
make sure you take advice before you finalise your form. There is no
possibility to make changes to your form once you have sent it.
places are available in March and September each year in England. The
start date was recently changed, and at the moment it is not clear
whether places in Northern Ireland and Wales will also move to a
September start date or remain in August. You can only start DFT after
your graduation. So, as final year students applying in August 2013, you
can only apply to schemes starting in autumn 2014. Individuals who have
full GDC registration already or will obtain it by January 2014 can
also apply for schemes commencing in March 2014.
Applications to DFT
Online application system
application process is run through an online system at the London
Deanery. An online application form must be filled in and sent off by a
deadline. Late applications are not accepted, so it is incredibly
important that you complete the form by the set date, which, in 2013, is
going to be in late September; the exact date is yet to be published.
making your application, make sure that you read the person
specification and the guidance notes for applicants in detail. These
will be provided on the London Deanery website at the online portal.
Choosing where to work
part of the application process, you are asked to express preferences
for the dental foundation schemes around the country. This year, you
will be asked to submit these preferences not as part of the intitial
application, but slightly later and once you have been accepted into the
process. Note that this part of the process is about allocating
applicants to schemes, not individual practices. Take some time to
research the schemes, so that you know where they are. Training
practices are not usually approved until spring, but the previous year’s
information might still be useful (availability of the information will
vary). Make sure you read the information provided by the London
Deanery, and also check all deanery websites.
Given that it is a
highly competitive process, our advice is to be extremely flexible in
your approach. Ideally, to maximise your chance of a place, you need to
be willing to spend this training year in any of the regions covered by
the process. Therefore, rate as many as possible - preferably all - of
the available schemes, (with the exception of the March schemes, for
which you will not be eligible as a final year student). If you do not
rate a scheme, you will not be offered a place in it if one is
available. If you do not receive a place in the first round, it will not
be possible in the second round (clearing) to change your mind about
the places you excluded. In short, if you do not rate a scheme, you will
not be considered for a place in it under any circumstances. However,
at the same time, do not rate schemes in which you are completely
unwilling to train. This is because, if you are then offered a place
where you are not willing to go, you will refuse it, and you will not be
offered another place thereafter.
Take note of the deadline
the deadline for applications has passed, you will be sent an
invitation to interview/assessment. You will be required to reconfirm
this date – make sure you do so by the given deadline or you will lose
your interview place and will therefore be out of the system and not be
considered for a place in 2014.
increasingly called assessments by the organisers, are scheduled to
take place in late November. These will take place at six centres across
the UK and students are usually allocated to the centre closest to
their dental school. Details of the paperwork you must bring with you to
the interview will be provided in the information literature.
assessment process consists of a station considering scenarios relating
to professionalism and management/leadership skills, a communications
station with role play, and a situational judgement test (SJT). Although
these stations are not intended to test clinical knowledge, they will
be pitched at a level deemed appropriate for final year students.
interviews will result in each applicant receiving a score, placing
them in a ranking system. Places are then allocated in accordance with
this ranking and the preferences for schemes expressed in the
application form (ie the top-ranked person will get their first choice
and so on).
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
The SJT was
piloted in 2012 and it has been agreed to include it in the system. The
SJT is a scenario-based multiple choice test, with questions
specifically relevant to dentistry. It is expected that there will be 50
questions, and that the test will take 90 minutes.
Dates for 2013/14
It is expected that applications to DFT schemes for 2014 will open in late August and close in late September.
centres are Belfast, Bristol, Leeds, London, North West and West
Midlands; dates are expected to be published soon and will be in mid to
Candidates are allocated to a centre, usually near their dental school. No travel expenses will be paid for attendance.
Please make sure that you check the information on the COPDEND (www.copdend.org.uk) and London Deanery (www.londondeanery.ac.uk) websites for confirmation of the application period and interview dates.
Allocation of places
for March and September 2014 schemes will not be made until January
2014. The offers will be made by email and you will be required to
reconfirm acceptance of the place within a short space of time, so it is
very important that you keep an eye on your emails. The expected timing
of the email offer will be published by COPDEND.
Allocation at local level
all schemes have been filled, the names of the successful applicants
are given to each regional deanery. The deaneries have their own
procedures for allocating students to individual practices. Many hold
job shops where you can meet the trainers and practice teams, and
express preferences. Others may just allocate you directly to a practice
in their patch. Some may require your CV as part of this process. Once
you have been allocated a place, make sure you contact the practice well
before your first day at work. Ideally, keep in touch with them at
regular intervals throughout your final year.
Second round of allocations
majority of UK graduates will find a DFT place in the first round of
allocations, but due to the competitiveness of the process, some may
not. A second round of allocations takes place after the last final
exams have been sat and results announced (around June/July), and
significant numbers of places do become available at this point. Some
students will not take, or pass, their finals, whilst others may be
unable to take up their place due to a change in circumstances.
case of a serious shortage of places, the Department of Health (DH)
usually seeks additional funding, but there is no guarantee that it will
be provided for the full number of people on the waiting list – the BDA
lobbies the DH intensively for appropriate funding of DFT places. There
are no interim allocation rounds, so any candidate on the waiting list
must wait until the final exams have been taken and the results