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Requirements for Newly Qualified EEA citizens wishing to work in NHS GDP

In order to work in an NHS general practice as an associate or in his or her own dental practice, a dentist must be entitled to work in the UK, have full registration and be on the dental register of the General Dental Council, have dental indemnity and be on the Performers List for the area in which they will be working. In order to go on the Area’s Team dental list and provide dental services on the NHS, the dentist must have a performer’s number. The majority of UK dentists obtain a performer’s number by virtue of completion of year one of foundation training (formerly known as Vocational training or VT).

Newly qualified European dentists are not legally required to undertake foundation training. Please note that it is not easy to find employment in the UK if you are straight out of dental school and without any clinical experience in any country.

Before travelling to the UK, you are advised to obtain clinical experience in the country where you graduated.

Please be aware that there is a lot of competition for posts.

The Dental Foundation posts usually start in August/September and are advertised 8-9 months previously with national recruitment. UK final year students apply for posts in the October/November before they graduate. In recent years all the  foundation posts for England  were advertised from the London Deanery website. There were a lot more applicants than posts available and there were a considerable number of European applicants. There is no guarantee that anyone will be offered a post and all offers are subject to the dental student passing their final examination.

Foundation Training

Immediately after qualifying as a dentist, most UK graduates will complete one year of foundation training.  Although not currnetly compulsary, the training can be held in a variety of locations usually general dental practice. The one year immediately following graduation as a dentist used to be known as Vocational Training (VT) and is carried out with selected dental practices. During foundation training in dentistry the newly qualified dentist maintains a logbook of experiences and training. The Dental Foundation year is required to achieve certain competencies during their time in NHS practice. At the end of the year the competencies are assessed and the trainee allocated a Performer’s Number.

EEA graduates

EEA graduates are not required to undertake FT. However, you will need a Performer's Number in order to provide NHS Dentistry.

National Performers List England

If you are a EU qualified dentist and wish to be included on the National performers List you need to look at the website and download the performers list application form. Applications should then be made to NHS England’s Area team in the area in which you will be undertaking the majority of their work within the NHS. Details of the Area teams can also be found on the NHS England website.

Foundation Training in England, Northern Ireland and Wales

There is National Recruitment for these three countries via Oriel the National Recruitment Portal.  You can obtain further information for Wales via

Dental Vocational (Foundation)Training Scotland

You can obtain information from or by email to

Jobs are advertised in the BDJ and NES portal.

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