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DCT equivalence process for Specialty Training 2024

A UK wide process was introduced in 2021 to facilitate applications to Specialty Training for dentists who have not followed a standard UK training pathway.

The application process allows a more flexible approach to facilitate applications to Specialty Training. It can also be used by applicants for Dental Core Training year 3 (DCT3) if they have not undertaken a Dental Core Training year 2 (DCT2) post.

To apply for Dental Specialty Training in the UK, dentists are currently required to demonstrate the competencies acquired at the end of UK Dental Core Training year one (DCT1) at the time of interview, and of DCT2 at the time of post commencement.

The National Certificate of Dental Core Equivalence (NCDCE) is an annual process which allows dentists to apply for Specialty Training who have not undergone a formal DCT2 post, if they believe they have acquired experience and/or training that should be regarded as equivalent to DCT2, for example as a specialty dentist or community dental officer.

For an application to be eligible, a selection of evidence must be submitted, ranging from a Curriculum Vitae and postgraduate qualifications to supervised learning events and patient assessment questionnaires. Applicants must have at least 36 months, full-time equivalent, postgraduate clinical experience, at the time of application. Application guidance and FAQs are available on the website.

This streamlining to one central process will assist both applicants and those who advise and support dentists wishing to apply for Specialty Training. The aim is to increase transparency and consistency of the assessment of evidence.

Applications for NCDCE are only accepted during a standalone window each year. The application process for NCDCE will open on 30 July 2024 and will close on 27 August 2024 – but you can register for the process from 27 June 2024. This will be the only opportunity to acquire a certificate prior to the National Recruitment process for Specialty Training programmes which commence in September 2025.

All applications will be individually evaluated by an assessment panel between 10 and 13 September. Candidates will be advised of the panel’s decision from 10 September, after which unsuccessful applicants will be offered the opportunity to appeal the decision.