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NHS Commissioning and tendering

The responsibility for commissioning local NHS dental services in England and Wales rests with commissioning authorities (local area teams in England and health boards in Wales). Commissioning authorities hold the budget and have powers to contract for the provision of dental services according to the needs of their local populations. When they wish to commission services, commissioning authorities will advertise an invitation for prospective bidders to express an interest in bidding for the available activity.

The timescales involved often last for many months and the process can be arduous.  Weeks of frantic activity alternate with weeks of waiting to hear the outcome of each stage, and you have no guarantee of success. Generally, you will need to convince the commissioning team that you are capable of delivering value for money, high-quality services from within a business-focused environment.

​BDA advice

Tendering in England and Wales 
Orthodontic tendering: hints and tips 

​NHS England guidance


Delivering Better Oral Health: and evidence based toolkit for prevention
Dental Assurance Framework
Guide for the commissioning of oral surgery and oral medicine
Guide for the commissioning of orthodontics
Guide for the commissioning of special care dentistry
Overarching introductory guide to the commissioning of specialist services
Securing Excellence in the Commissioning of Primary Care Dentistry Services

Guidance for commissioners

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and NHS Commissioners
Substantive guidance on the Procurement, Patient Choice and Competitive Regulations

​Expert template

Access to information held by the practice (v4)

Audit - health and safety self-assessment (v1)

Audit - healthcare waste (v2)

Audit - infection control self-assessment (v2)

Audit - oral cancer risk factors (v1)

Audit - patient waiting times (v1)

Audit - record keeping (v1)

Business continuity and disaster recovery policy (v3)

Cashflow forecast template (v2)

Confidentiality policy (v5)

Decontaminating laboratory items (v2)

Environmental policy statement (v1)

Health and safety policy (v3)

Healthcare waste disposal policy (v2)

Infection control annual statement - England (v2)

Infection control policy (v5)

Manual handling assessment (v1)

New patient - practice standards and questionnaire (v2)

New patient satisfaction questionnaire (v1)

Practice information leaflet (v5)

Pre-employment checks (v1)

Quality assurance policy (v2)

Recruitment policy (v2)

Risk assessment - dental practice (v3)

Safeguarding policy (v1.1)



See Expert templates for more template policies and protocols

BDJ In Practice

BDJ In Practice - features indispensable, practical advice and provides you with everything you need to know on all the latest ​​challenges facing our profession.​

​BDA Events

Training essentials courses for the dental team, including:
Achieving high standards in infection control
Business essentials
Employment law – the tricky issues
Leading a dental team
Reception and telephone skills for the whole team
Running a safe and compliant practice
Safeguarding children and adults
The essentials of staff management
iLearn webcasts – a selection of sessions filmed at the British Dental Conference and Exhibition

​One-to-one advice

Extra and Expert members have access to unlimited one-to-one advice via phone or email from our experienced dental advisers.
Email the advisors or call 0207 535 5864.

We may record telephone conversations that are advisory in nature to offer you additional security, resolve complaints and improve our service standards. Conversations may also be monitored for staff training purposes. You will be alerted to this when you call.