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Dental Foundation Programmes

Dental Foundation Training is defined as a ‘period of training following initial qualification that builds on the achievements of the dental undergraduate curriculum’ as defined in “The First Five Years” (General Dental Council). 

Since 1992 it has been compulsory for all United Kingdom Dental graduates to complete one year of Dental Foundation Training (DFT) (formerly Dental Vocational Training or DVT) before they are able to practice dentistry independently in the National Health Service. 

DFT takes place in general dental practice and incorporates a compulsory thirty day study day release programme. The training practices are based throughout Northern Ireland and all training practices are assessed by NIMDTA to ensure they can provide a stable educational environment for the newly registered Foundation Dentist. 

DFT involves an emphasis on experiential learning within the workplace by providing context for clinical practice, experience in ‘real time’ and exposure to aspects of care that cannot be recreated in the classroom e.g. time constraints, demands on workload, continuity of care and a supportive working environment.  

Each Foundation Dentist is assigned an Educational Supervisor who is responsible for overseeing their educational progress, agreeing learning plans, undertaking tutorials, progress reviews, carrying out workplace based assessments, providing regular feedback on progress to the trainee, advising the Deanery about progress and providing evidence and recommendation for satisfactory completion of training.   

The Foundation Dentist also has an appointed Adviser/ Training Programme Director who is responsible for managing their scheme, commissioning educational courses, supporting Educational Supervisors and Foundation Dentists and faculty development.

Professional Support and Wellbeing (PSW)

At times you may be encouraged to speak to the PSW by your Educational Supervisor or Scheme Adviser.  A further option would be self-referral if you would like to speak to a professional not directly involved in your training.

The PSW provides services aimed at both supporting trainees when there are concerns or difficulties during their training and providing development opportunities for all trainees.

Please contact the Professional Support Team on 028 9536 0224 or visit the Professional Support page for further information.