Dental Core Training in London & KSS

Dental Core Training (DCT) is designed principally for the recent dental graduate, following on from the first year of Dental Foundation Training.

Across London and KSS London, there are posts designated as being DCT year 1, DCT year 2, DCT year 3, Academic and pilot 2 year Longitudinal dental foundation programme.

The vast majority of the posts are sited in hospital trusts, although a few are aligned to the salaried dental services or dental public health. In the hospital trusts, a large number of the year 1 posts are in one of London’s three dental teaching institutions, whilst the remainder are in District General Hospitals with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery or Dental departments.

The trust sites covered by DCT can cover can be found below.

Click this link to access further information about DCT recruitment and posts.

LINK: Dental Core Training Recruitment - COPDEND


The Dental Core Training year maps to the curriculum which defines what should be completed as part of the training.  


In addition, trainers are expected to report on the performance of the trainees during their training by recording various aspects of performance as well as providing support and guidance to the trainee, as outlined in the  Dental Gold Guide 2021 (


Dental Core Training Year 1 (DCT1)

Undertaking a DCT 1 post, which is entirely voluntary, offers the recent graduate the opportunity to work and train for a year in a setting very different from general dental practice. The trainee learns to work in a large, often multidisciplinary team, alongside specialists and consultants, many of whom have national or international reputations in their field of work. The trainee learns to manage patients referred from the primary care setting as well as, in many of the posts, the emergency treatment of victims of trauma and serious illness. Knowledge gained in dental school is applied and new skills learnt. The posts offer an excellent opportunity to study for the Membership examinations (MFDS) and to shape a “CV” for the benefit of future career progression. Many dental graduates choose to undertake a DCT1 year in order to help them decide upon a career pathway.

DCT1 continues the educational practices available in DFT. There are regular didactic study sessions and the trainee can apply for “study leave” to attend activities such as professional conferences and courses. The year can be spent on making a start with publications and with presentations to local and regional groups. Designing and undertaking audits is an essential part of the job role. In addition, many trainees begin to get experience of teaching either dental undergraduates or allied professionals.

In London and KSS, as with most of the rest of the country, the posts commence on the first Wednesday in September, with the recruitment held in the preceding spring. Entry is competitive and London & KSS, with its wide range of job and site options, is a very popular choice.

Nearly everyone who undertakes a DCT1 post finds it a rewarding and valuable experience. For many it is career defining, setting them on a path, rarely easy, that leads to the achievement of an ambition.


Dental Core Training Year 2 (DCT2)

Following a DCT1 training year, many dentists seek Associate positions in the GDS. Some enjoy mixed, part time, work in practice and in hospitals, as Trust Dentists. A significant proportion, however, wish to realise their ambition to become a dental specialist and for most, the next step is to acquire a DCT2 post.

DCT2 posts differ from DCT1 posts by being more closely aligned to a particular dental speciality. Across London and KSS, these include OMFS, Paediatric Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Community Dentistry, Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine. There is an additional, very specialised, post in Oral Pathology. Although the job opportunities are relatively few, it does give the DCT2 trainees the opportunity to expand their knowledge, skills and experience to be serious contenders for entry into dental speciality training.

DCT1/2/3 Programme Team for London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex

The DCT programme is led by the Postgraduate Dental Dean with support from the Associate Deans, Training Programme Directors and local Educational and Clinical Supervisors.

They are supported by the administration Teams at HEE and within the Trusts. 

The following flow sheet provides an overview of the current structure


Contact Details of TPD’s:

North London:                                  Zoe Killick                        Email: 

South London:                                 Dapo Akintola:                  Email: 

Kent, Surrey and Sussex:                Shrina Nathwani               Email:

Dr. Rui Albuquerque is the Dental Academic Regional advisor lead. He is a Consultant in Oral Medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital and an Honorary Reader at King’s College London. Please feel free to contact him via email at and

Contact details for HEE team:

All Trainees should contact the HEE team via PGMDE Support Portal (PSP)



DCT  Information/Resources

Please see headings below for further information and resources to support you through the year.


Axia Portfolio 

Introduction.  Please click here for an introduction to Axia for DCT’s.   

LINK: Introduction to the Dental e-Portfolio for DCTs - YouTube


Axia location. 

Please ensure your location is correct for your DCT post on your portfolio.  If it is not correct please amend. It is important you do this as this information will show up on your completion certificate.  If it is not correct your completion certificate will print incorrectly.

How to update Location on your Axia portfolio:

  • Click on the "Update Location" button.  Screen shot below.  Update location button circled in red.
  • Fill in your  location - The most important fields are the Practice name and Address Line 1 as it will appear on your certificate.

Axia Support sessions

The TPD’s will be running some training/support sessions. Dates will be sent round.


Axia Queries


For any Axia portfolio queries please contact the HEE team via PGMDE Support Portal (PSP)


Axia ‘how to’ instruction sheets and videos.

Please see following links/instruction sheets to help you with:


Patient satisfaction questionnaire. 

See file 6 below - Information sheet 6 PSQ 

See document file 7 below for Instructions on how to complete PSQs on paper and upload to Axia portfolio 


Timeline for meeting with your Educational supervisor  (ES)

You should have a minimum of four meetings with your ES throughout the year.




HEE Study days

The DCT year planned mandatory and optional study days can be found in file1 listed at the bottom of this page.  Link/attachment - File

This will be updated through the year so please check regularly for updates.


HEE Study Leave Guidance

Please follow this link for information about HEE study leave funding guidance and procedures.  LINK: Support : HEE-NHS

Please follow this link for the approved optional course list.  Click the ‘Dental’ box at the bottom of the page and a separate PDF will open.  LINK: Support : HEE-NHS

This is updated through the year so please check regularly for updates.  

RCP guidance Please follow the following links for RCP checklists


Interim RCP Dental Core Training guidance 2023

2023 guidance.  Link to be updated when available

IRCP 2023: 23 February 2023 

2022 guidance for your information can be found here.  LINK


Final RCP Dental Core Training guidance 2023

2023 guidance.  Link to be updated when available

FRCP 2023: 21 July 2023

2022 guidance for your information can be found here.  LINK


Educational Supervisors information 

ES Learning resources

E-Learning for Health Care is an excellent educators Hub for ES’s developed by NHS HEE.  Please find link here for a number of resources to support your educational development.

Link: Educator Training Resources - elearning for healthcare (

Educational supervisor resources & meetings

Please see links above for curriculum, gold guide & RCP guidance.

ES/CS AXIA Resources

AXIA guide video!AuVAr8U1ahy8nQlXJshuZ6gvVT_R?e=JXOsLU 


AXIA guide to completion of SLEs for CS/ES!AuVAr8U1ahy8n0jlgY2IfZESJ7ZH?e=x9rIbg


ES Axia Time line

September/ October

ES and trainee linked on Axia.

Induction agreement, checklist and meeting

By end November

Early review meeting. Record under generic meeting


Meeting prior to interim RCP

Release MSF & PSF. Please ensure minimum number of responses completed before you release

ES report. Record on Axia portfolio under review of competency progression

By mid-March

If DCT on 6 month rotation DCT will need a new initial meeting for second placement.

ES will need to start repeat for second MSF & PSQ.


Review prior to final RCP

Release MSF & PSF. Please ensure minimum number of responses completed before you release

ES report. Record on Axia portfolio under Final review of competency progression  


ES Study leave notes/summary

See link above for full study leave guidance

The Educational Supervisor has the responsibility of approving study leave requested by a trainee. 

Each trainee is entitled to up to 30 days of study leave per training year. 

HEE mandatory study days and local regular teaching sessions come out of this 30 day study leave allowance.

For example, if the DCT carried out a weekly afternoon teaching session, this is taken out of their study leave allowance, along with the mandatory study days. This equates to 6 days remaining study leave for the trainee.  This will be unit/year specific and needs to be calculated by each Trust team.

The remaining study days should be used for what the ES deems as relevant courses for the trainee in line with Personal Development Plan (PDP).

It is important that trainees are made aware that study leave is not a ‘given right’ and has to be approved.  If the ES feels that the requested study leave is not appropriate, then they can refuse the request.  In such cases the trainee can appeal to the ES who can then escalate this to the TPD.

The HEE-managed centralised study leave process makes accessing study leave and study budgets a transparent, equitable and streamlined process for all trainees.

There is now no limit to the study leave budget for trainees, but the ES will use their discretion in approving optional courses.

The study budget should be used to support individual professional development.

This includes:

  • Covering costs of educational courses/activities that support curriculum attainment
  • Agreement that NHS Trusts will cover costs of all mandatory training required to fulfil the trainee’s clinical role e.g. life support courses, safeguarding training
  • The study budget will not cover certain claims such as College examination fees
  • Provision of discretionary funding for individualised training opportunities.


Points for the ES to note:

  • Optional and aspirational courses must be evidenced in the trainees PDP
  • If a trainee would like to take up a leadership or management course, please direct them to the Edward Jenner Programme, LEEP or the Spiral leadership tool kit in the first instance.
  • Accent has a number of excellent courses as a CPD  resource.  Accent Course Manager (
  • The DCT optional Soft tissue course code does not include periodontal surgery courses
  • PG Cert in education will not be approved for DCT1 & DCT 2 trainees
  • Commercial aesthetic courses are aspirational, and will generally not be supported by the TPD.
  • If in doubt with any of the above please get in contact with your regional TPD.



For any other queries not answered above please follow the link below


Please visit the links and websites below for further information, regular training updates and support in light of our ever-changing landscape:

London HEE website               

KSS HEE Website                    

The National HEE website       

PGMDE Support Panel            


PSQs on Axia information sheet

 Instructions on completing PSQs on paper and Axia upload