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Vocational Training and Dental Foundation Training

Dental Foundation Training (DFT) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Vocational Training (VT) in Scotland introduces new graduates to general practice. It provides a protected environment to work in for a year whilst they undertake training to prepare for working in the NHS.

Each Foundation Dentist (FD) or Vocational Dental Practitioner (VDP) has a trainer dentist in the same practice. The trainer provides the FD/VDP with supervision and help whenever it is needed, as well as meeting with them for regular tutorials. The trainer takes responsibility for the acts and omissions of the FD/VDP. Whilst the FD/VDP, as a registered dentist, will be liable for their own conduct and patient wellbeing.

The recruitment process in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is different to Scotland. An overview of both process is shown below. Our Getting your first job guide also gives more detailed information.

The DFT application process

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the following application process takes place each year.


The VT application process - Scotland

In Scotland the following application process takes place each year. NHS Scotland also produce a useful guide.

Please note, the Scottish longitudinal schemes have a different recruitment process. See the NHS Scotland timetablefor details.


Further information

For final year students our Getting your first job guide gives in-depth information about DFT/VT and longitudinal schemes. Updated every year, it contains useful advice about the recruitment process and what to expect in your training year. All final year student members will be posted a copy at the start of the autumn term.

We tour all UK dental schools with our interview skillslecture in the autumn term.

For students applying to DFT in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we also run a one-day intensive workshop to help you prepare for the interview.

For newly qualified members our Starting Out guide is designed to support you in the early stages of your career. You can also download our free Into Practiceapp. Written by BDA advisers, with newly qualified dentists in mind, the app is full of advice designed to help recent graduates make a smooth and successful transition into practice.