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FD Handbook


The assessment of foundation dentists’ competence needs to take place using a robust process that is valid, reliable and feasible within the context of DFT. The assessment process needs to support foundation dentists throughout their training in order to identify their strengths and areas needing improvement, whilst being sufficiently robust to identify (upon completion of DFT) those who cannot demonstrate the standards of competence required for independent practice, thus protecting patients.
It is neither feasible nor appropriate to assess every competency within the framework separately by adopting a ‘tick box’ approach. As indicated above, whilst competencies need to be written down separately in order to convey the detail expected, Foundation Dentists are demonstrating several of these areas at the same time during a single patient encounter. In order to be valid, the assessment of DFT will be at the level of ‘whole’ performance, rather than attempting to dissect practice into separate parts that would not reflect authentic care in a primary care setting.
The main assessment tools used are

  • A Dental Evaluation of Performance Tool (ADEPT)
  • Case-based Discussion (CbD)
  • Multi Sourced Feedback
  • Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire
  • Foundation Skills Portfolio
  • Clinical Audit
  • Clinical Case Presentation

Satisfactory completion of Dental Foundation Training is asses by means of a Review of Competence Progression  (RCP) model based on the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process used throughout Dental and Medical Specialty Training. The main components are:

  • Early Stage Review by 6-8 weeks
  • Interim RCP at 6 months
  • Final RCP at 10 months with defined outcomes 

There is a Panel structure to support both Interim and Final Reviews with increasing externality at each stage.
Progress and development and assessments throughout the year will be recorded in an Electronic Professional Development Portfolio (E-Portfolio) which has to be maintained regularly throughout the year.

Appeals process
Foundation Dentists will have the right of appeal if they receive an outcome which results in a recommendation for:

  • Outcome 3: an extension of the indicative time to complete the training programme,  or
  • Outcome 4: the Foundation Dentist to leave the training programme with identified areas of competence that have been demonstrated, but without completion of the programme

Appeals should be made in writing to the Postgraduate Dental Dean/Director within ten working days of the Foundation Dentist being notified of the panel’s decision.