Foundation Dentists (FDs) spend a year in approved practices, working on standard contracts whilst undertaking training. Dental Foundation Training can provide new graduates with a broad overview of career choices and a good understanding of the NHS system.
DFT introduces new graduates to general practice and gives them a protected environment to work in for a year. Each foundation training practice has a trainer dentist, officially known as an 'educational supervisor’ (ES). In some practices, two dentists may share the ES role. The ES provides the FD with supervision and help whenever it is needed, as well as meeting with the FD for regular tutorials. The ES takes responsibility for the acts and omissions of the FD in NHS terms, but the FD, as a registered dentist, will be liable for their conduct and for patient wellbeing.
The dental foundation training programme is based on a centralised document, the DFT Curriculum. The latest version was published in 2015 and is now the basis for training and for future initiatives linked to DFT. View the curriculum on the
DFT Application process 2023
Important notice – Change to the 2023 Dental Foundation Training (DFT) national selection process.
For the 2023 Dental Foundation Training (DFT) National Recruitment Selection a Situational Judgement Test (SJT) only will be used for the selection process. Applicants will not be asked to undertake a communication station and the SJT will account for 100% of the overall assessment score.
This decision has been taken by The Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) Dental Subgroup following careful consideration of evidence from an independently commissioned Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) report on 2019-2021 DFT national recruitments.
For more information on the DFT recruitment application process, please visit the COPDEND DFT recruitment website.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT):
To successfully apply for Dental Foundation training, we have prepared an SJT mock exam course, available exclusively to final year dental student members.
The course consists of 50 cases which have been designed to practise a broad range of scenarios. Delegates will be able to compare their results with recommended answers. The mock exam follows the COPDEND format, with all scenarios and recommended responses having been reviewed and examined by young professionals and experienced dentists.
The course is hosted on our CPD hub and can be taken as many times as you wish. The login is the same as your BDA student member login. Your email address is your username. If you haven't activated it, please set it up.
Your BDA membership
The SJT course is exclusively available to our final year student members along with our First Job guide,
written specifically to help with the next step on your dental career path.
If you would like to become a BDA student member (only £2.67 per month) join online or give our membership team a call on 020 7563 4550.