Dental Foundation Training



For most newly qualified dentists, Dental Foundation Training (DFT) in general dental practice is the next step. This part of the Health Education England working across the east of England website provides you with information about your year of Dental Foundation Training. You can follow the links to find out about our training Schemes and the Training Practices.

Dental Foundation Training is carried out in specially appointed Training Practices.  Experienced general dental practitioners who have an ability to teach and help new dentists are appointed as Trainers.  They employ new dentists as in their Training Practice, and provide the Foundation Dentists (FDs) with a fully equipped surgery, a dental nurse, and patients.  The new dentist works in the practice for a maximum of 35 hours per week.  The Trainer must be available to provide help and advice, be it chairside or otherwise, and also has to provide a weekly tutorial lasting one hour, during normal working hours.

The Training Practices are attached to a Foundation Scheme, and in charge of each Scheme is a Training Programme Director (TPD).  Dental Foundation Training lasts for one year, and during this period the FD attends 30 days of Day Release Course (DRC) at the Scheme centre, this usually takes place on a Friday.  The Course is divided into three terms.  During those weeks when the Day Release Course is being attended, the FD works in the practice for only 28 hours.

Each FD has an on-line e-portfolio, which is used as an educational aid throughout the year.  On a regular basis the FD records achievements and concerns,  and describes and analyses events that have occurred recently.  The Trainer works with the FD and the Portfolio to produce action plans and regular assessments of development.

Since 2014 Dental Foundation Training has commenced on the 1st September each year. Dental Foundation Training lasts for a period of twelve months, during which four weeks holiday may be taken, but not in term time. On completion one year of Dental Foundation Training year in any approved and quality managed training scheme and practice, FDs are eligible to apply for, and obtain, an NHS Performers List number; this enables them to treat NHS patients. 

Under the NHS Performers List regulations (2013), new graduates undertaking dental foundation training, may treat NHS patients only if they are working in an approved training practice.  The local Area Team of NHS England issues Foundation Dentists with a Performers List Number for this purpose. 

Dentists who apply to a LETB for competency assessment, in lieu of completing training in a deanery approved training scheme, will need to demonstrate that they have achieved the competencies set out in Form GDS1; this includes a requirement to have gained experience of working in the NHS and to have an understanding of NHS rules and regulations in respect of dental treatment. Applicants for competency assessment who have not gained experience of working in an NHS practice will need to apply to work, under deanery monitored supervision, in an NHS practice.

Many FDs stay on in general dental practice, whilst other undertake Dental Core Training  jobs in hospital, some via the HEE EoE Dental Core Taining Posts. 




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