Dental Career Development Posts for Postgraduate Dental Training

Career Development Posts (DCDP) are being developed at the level of year three post graduation to allow dentists to consolidate experience gained in foundation training and to help them gain taster experience in specialty areas that may not have been available to them during foundation training. Some of these posts are already being advertised.

A period of two years general professional training has been available in dentistry for some time either through formal two year or ad hoc programmes. More recently, Dental Foundation Training (DFT) comprising experience in primary and secondary care, through vocational dental training SDS/CDS posts and SHO posts in hospitals, has also been piloted.

From August 2009, two year Dental Foundation Training is being progressively implemented on a phased basis across the UK. DFT is designed to provide broad based training, using the DFT Curriculum (available to download from the foundation training section at, and will prepare graduates for a career in whatever branch of dentistry they choose. Satisfactory completion of DFT will be by virtue of completing the DFT portfolio and the required work based assessments. In addition, many foundation dentists will successfully complete the MJDFRCS examination in England or the MFDSRCS examination offered by the Dental Faculties of the Royal Colleges in Scotland. These exams have been based on the DFT curriculum and have been designed to mark the end of DFT.

The entry requirements for those aspiring to train in one of the dental specialties will require applicants to have such broad based foundation training. However, it is unlikely that all dentists will gain entry to specialty training immediately after foundation training as there is strong competition for some specialties. Also, some foundation dentists will not have had sufficient experience in some of the specialties in which they might be interested.

Dental Career Development Posts are therefore being created to provide foundation dentists with the opportunity to gain additional experience. In Dental Hospitals, such posts may be created in Paediatric Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Orthodontics or Dental Public Health. In both Dental Hospitals and District General Hospitals, a small number of the dental SHO posts in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery units may be rebadged as Dental Career Development Posts as funding permits.

The aim of these posts is to help foundation dentists consolidate experience already gained in DFT. Although these are still training and development posts, it is anticipated that DCDP dentists will be able to provide more service than those in DFT. Such posts will allow foundation dentists to extend their experience in speciality areas so that they can decide whether speciality training is for them.

Please click here to access the COPDEND Guidance on Good Practice for Dental Career Development Posts