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85% with dental foundation training places


'I do understand the uncertainty may be unsettling for those still waiting to hear about a training place'


At the end of the first phase of this year’s recruitment process, 85% of applicants have been offered places on dental foundation training schemes in England, Northern Ireland and Wales that start in 2013.
Plans were agreed by a steering group comprising postgraduate dental deans and associate deans, together with representatives from the UK Dental Schools Council and British Dental Association and members of the London Deanery recruitment team.
The London Deanery managed the process.
There were 1,172 applications made online. 1,153 eligible candidates, including 109 from European Dental Schools and 17 from other dental schools worldwide, were invited to one of six selection centres in November 2012.
Of these, 1,138 applicants attended for assessments that were carried out by experienced foundation trainers and training programme directors, who had undergone standardised training and calibration.
Each applicant was asked to state a preference order for each of the 78 training schemes and offers of a place were made on the basis of ranked scores achieved and stated preferences.
Those who scored highest were offered a place on the scheme they most preferred. All 953 currently available places were allocated within a week of offers being made. 48% of applicants secured their first choice, 68% were offered a place on one of their top three schemes and 86% on one of their top 10 schemes. The 968 highest ranked individuals have been offered places. Deaneries will be allocating those successful applicants who have accepted offers to individual training practices over the next few months.
Further training places are expected to become available later in the year and 161 candidates on a reserve list will be notified about these after 2013 BDS final examinations are concluded. Future offers of a place will be made on the same meritocratic basis as in this first round, using ranked scores and applicant preferences. Dental Foundation training places are fully funded by the NHS and the final number of places available for 2013/14 has not yet been confirmed.
A follow up independent quality assurance of the entire process will be carried out to ensure the process is both transparent and fair. COPDEND and the London Deanery are also undertaking a thorough evaluation, including statistical analysis of the data from the selection centres.
Helen Falcon, chair of COPDEND said: 'I would like to congratulate all those who have been offered a training place for 2013 in the first round and to thank all the interviewers, assessors, administrators and the London Deanery recruitment team for working so hard to ensure a fair process.
'I do understand that the uncertainty may be unsettling for those who are still waiting to hear about whether a training place will be offered to them later in the year and would like to wish all applicants success in their forthcoming final examinations.'

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All of our graduates should have training places, or if there are insufficient funds for this they should be able to obtain NHS associate positions as I could in the pre VDP days. The current situation is so appalling it is beyond comprehension.It is an Orwellian nightmare. The powers that be who allow this should be totally ashamed. They are a disgrace to humanity. How on earth can they abandon our young graduates? Since the introduction of the "new" contract in 2006 some of the patients who come to see my FDs take my breath away with their levels of disease, as they have been unable to access dental treatment elsewhere. Well done Barry! What a great result not!
What a scandal. 161 final year dental students without a training place to allow them to be able to work in the NHS? Ever? Why have taxpayers been allowed to squander about £250,000 training these people and then effectively throw them on the scrapheap before they have even taken their final exams? By all accounts the process of selection is so flawed that many of the best and brightest are the ones that have missed out. How can a 40 minute interview take precedence over 5 years' study? Why won't Barry Cockcroft allow the profession to provide alternative funding and training for the same qualification? What is he afraid of? That we would do it better?
I am still very angry,considering I brought this up at the GDC years ago. The answer then was the same as now: 'nowt we can do about it.' Even though dentists are working here with doubtful training from some Eastern European countries. We all know that as soon as a mistake is made, they rush home and continue there. There is an answer to this mess...leave the EU NOW!
I agree with the previous comments. If UK citizens are being sidelined in prefence for non-UK citizens, the system is plain wrong. Surely this glaring example of beaurocratic ineptitude can be quickly remedied. The confidence to practice dentistry and the skills to do it properly are a dynamic skill. These young graduates must be found an avenue for training or mentoring. I'm sure there are enough dentists out there to find every one of them a place, so get cracking Barry. Where there's a will there's a way, or don't you care?
This is a very tough situation. How could this happen? It is due to lack of being organised both on the parts of the profession and bodies that regulate or speak on behalf of the profession. It just feels like the whole profession is like a kite, goes where the wind blows us.. And why no practice owners offered to help out the VTs? How can we expect a good future for dentistry, if us, dentists don't keep together?