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Applicants updated on dental foundation training

Applicants to dental foundation training were today updated with news on places and the allocation process.

The information arrived in a combined statement from the Dental Schools Council (DSC), Health Education England (HEE), Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), and the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA).

It follows a previous statement from April which outlined the general approach of this year's allocation of training places.

The new statement provides the timeline for the preferencing of places and the allocation process, as well as information on the second intake for graduates who do not graduate in time for the September start.

Preferencing will open for all applicants on 17 June 2021 and close on 1 July 2021. The main change to the process for this year compared to previous years is that applicants will be asked to preference places at practice level, rather than scheme level. Initial offers will be released on 15 July 2021 and the final upgrade date is 4 August 2021.

Places are offered on the basis of the individual’s ranking. Applicants are encouraged to preference as many places as possible to ensure their best chances of receiving a place. It is expected that not all applicants will receive an offer of a place on 15 July 2021, but as the process continues throughout July and into August, offers will continue to be made, and eligible UK applicants who were not initially made an offer on 15 July will be likely to receive an offer by 4 August. Applicants need to ensure they check their email/Oriel account often during this period.

Final year students who have not graduated by 3 August 2021 will be moved to the DFT cohort starting training in early 2022 and will be asked to undertake a separate preferencing exercise in the autumn.

The timescales for the process are explained further in the statement. These are tight timescales that have been set both to ensure schools can extend the undergraduate programme as late as possible into the summer months as well as giving regional offices and training practices as much time as possible in a very tight timescale to deal with the formalities for their new foundation dentists. It is clear that this has been an extremely challenging time for students, practices, dental schools and those looking after the recruitment process, and the aim has been to enable as many 2021 graduates to move to DFT without major delay.

Applicants can read the statement online.

We will continue to update you with any news on this year’s process as it becomes available.