Health Education England and the National Recruitment Office for DFT (for England, Northern Ireland and Wales) have announced that the preferencing of dental schemes will be delayed until the spring of 2021. Under normal circumstances, preferencing would have started on 8 December 2020.
Applicants and training practices should have received communications from the DFT National Recruitment Office (NRO).
The change is due to the ongoing considerations about dental graduation timelines in 2021 caused by the effects of the pandemic on clinical training for the current year group. The Dental Schools Council (DSC) and individual dental schools are in communication with the GDC to look at the arrangements for graduation in 2021. The situation is likely to be much clearer in the first few months of 2021.
It is hoped that as many students as possible will graduate to begin Dental Foundation Training in September. In order to support students who may require an extension of clinical training in order to meet the requirements of their course, there is a possibility that there may be two start dates for dental foundation training: one in Sept 2021 and one in the first quarter of 2022, to ensure that those students whose undergraduate training may be extended do not have to wait until September 2022 to begin DFT.
The NRO understands that there are many unknowns at present and that this is a difficult year for applicants and training practices. The underlying intention of this delay to preferencing and the consideration around providing DFT in September 2021 and in early 2022 is the wish to support all dental students, training practices and dental schools through a situation that is uncertain, variable and difficult to plan for in detail until some of the necessary processes and numbers are clearer.
The above approach is not applicable to the arrangements for DFT in Scotland, which has a separate system.
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Dental foundation training: change to preferencing timelines announced. BDJ Student 28, 6 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41406-021-0191-9