Advice for overseas dentists
The information here will be of use to those dentists from overseas wishing to practice in the UK. Dentists in this group fall into two categories and the two groups have different pathways to practice in the UK:
- dentists either from within the European Economic Area (EEA), or
- dentists from the rest of the world
Please note: the EEA comprises countries from the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
To work as a dentist within the UK you first need to register with the General Dental Council. You will need to contact the General Dental Council (GDC) to gain information about the latest registration requirements. Full details are on their website at http://www.gdc-uk.org/.
Overseas Registration Examination (ORE)
If you have qualified outside the EEA you will probably have to pass the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) before you can register with the GDC. This has now superseded the International Qualifying Examination. Details about the ORE can be found on the GDC website.
If you have a qualification from within the EEA you will not have to take the ORE.
Finding a job
Once you are registered with the GDC you will have to decide how and where you wish to work. This could be in primary or secondary care, in the NHS or privately. Job advertisements can be found in the British Dental Journal.
Working in NHS Primary Care
If you wish to work in primary care NHS dentistry and have managed to find a position you will need to apply to the relevant Primary Care Trust (PCT) for that area to be included in their Performers list. The regulations that cover inclusion on a PCT list are in the National Health Service (Performers List) Regulations 2004 together with the 2005 amendment which applies solely to dentistry.
The application pack for inclusion on a Performers list is obtained from the PCT. You will have to submit several documents and you will have to show that you:
- Have completed Vocational Training, or
- Are exempt from vocational Training.
You will be exempt if you qualified in the EEA but not the UK. PCTs may nevertheless wish to have some form of assessment if you have had very limited experience of working in the NHS or have had a significant career break. You will also have to satisfy language requirements such as the International English Language Testing System or an equivalent if you are going to work in an NHS dental practice.
VT by Asessment / VT Equivalence
If neither of the above bullet points applies to you, you are eligible to apply for VT by Assessment (otherwise known as VT Equivalence).