Career pathways in dentistry

Structured Career Pathways for dentists and the whole dental team are at the heart of our vision for the future of Primary Care dentistry.

We are grateful for the support of Colgate in enabling the development of our Career Pathways programme.

Our approach is:

  • Patient- and profession-centred: recognising the mutual interest in a trusting and supportive relationship
  • Structured and evidence-based: drawing on the experience of other professions;
  • Consultative: involving practitioners who appreciate the different facets of practice;
  • Authoritative: engaging with the agencies and institutions whose recognition will enhance credibility of the professional standing we represent;
  • Accessible: meaningful and relevant to the dental team and the range of roles that individuals perform;
  • Embracing diversity within our professional constituencies.
  • Terminology has been updated slightly since first proposal of the scheme

Through consultation within the College and with FGDP(UK), we have developed an initial framework that is currently being populated.

  1. We have mapped Career Pathways for each of the professional constituencies in the dental team, in a coordinated way that recognises the importance of a team-based approach to patient care.
  2. Career Pathways are underpinned by a “Professional Framework“, which describes the breadth of capabilities of the practitioner at each stage of their career.
  3. The Career Pathways define a simple sequence of “career inflection points” – clear steps in a progression – to which specific capabilities will be mapped.
Programme leadership

The Career Pathways Programme Board is chaired by Professor Avijit Banerjee of King’s College London, and also includes Dr Roshni Karia, Vice President of the College of General Dentistry, and Simon Thornton-Wood PhD, Chief Executive.

The Programme Board has appointed a Reference Group, which will advise and guide the programme in the coming months.

Four work streams are in action, reflecting different constituencies in the dental team: 

  1. General dental practitioners and other dentists working in a primary care setting
  2. Dental Therapists and Dental Hygienists
  3. Dental Nurses and Orthodontic Therapists
  4. Clinical Dental Technicians and Dental Technicians
Reference Group

The members of the Career Pathways Reference Group are:

  • Shamir Mehta (Chair)
  • Andrew Dickinson
  • Sharon Hill
  • Andrea Johnson
  • Kirstie Moons
  • Fiona Sandom
  • Bill Sharpling
Dental Nursing & Orthodontic Therapy Group
  • Debbie Reed (Chair)
  • Ken Binnah
  • Jane Dalgarno
  • Amanda Knight
  • Sharon Morrow
  • Marie Parker
  • Tracey Rodgers
  • Tracey Taylor
  • Tracey Young
Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy Group
  • Frances Robinson (Chair)
  • Leon Bassi
  • Liam Ferguson
  • Shaun Howe
  • Sarah Murray
  • Emma Pacey
  • Kath Reynolds
  • Miranda Steeples
  • Kirstie Thwaites
Dental Technology & Clinical Dental Technology Group
  • Michael Brindle (Co-Chair)
  • Darren Ware (Co-Chair)
  • Stephan Avetoom
  • Mark Gilbert
  • Mark Maley
  • Steven Martin
  • James Neilson
  • Caroline Persaud
  • Stephen Wears
Dental Practitioners Group
  • Phil Dawson (Chair)
  • Sefa Ahiaku
  • Bilal Arshad
  • Ian Dunn
  • James Hamilton
  • Nyree Whitley

The Professional Framework

The Professional Framework describes the knowledge, skills and other attributes that primary care dentists and other dental professionals may aspire to at different stages of their career.

Professional Statement describes the typical level of a practitioner’s performance in each of those attributes, at the relevant career stage.

Our initial Framework identifies five “domains” to describe knowledge, skills and other attributes:

ClinicalThe capability to diagnose, to advise and to treat
ProfessionalismThe conduct and behaviour to engage patient trust and confidence
ReflectionAwareness of personal impact, abilities and limitations
DevelopmentCommitment and capability to improve the service to patients
AgencyThe ability to resolve solutions independently and through others

Each career stage will be accompanied by a description of the capability (identified in the Professional Framework) that is expected of the practitioner at that level.

Membership standing

College membership will provide clear evidence of career standing for every member of the dental team, and we are developing a Certified Membership scheme to underpin our recognition of progression.

We are planning to convene Faculties of the College for the various dental team roles, each of which will have a membership structure that reflects that same progression from “safe beginner” to “accomplished practitioner” – from Associate Member to Fellow. Membership of a Faculty will go hand-in-hand with College membership, for no additional membership contribution.

Watch this space for news of the development of our Faculties.

Live webinars

We are producing a series of webinars to support our Career Pathways programme, in partnership with ProDental CPD, which are free to view live for all members of the dental professions. Visit our events page for a list of upcoming live webinars and access recent webinar recordings.

Join us | Sign up for College newsletter | Member register | Register of supporters

Privacy policy | Cookie policy | Patients and public | Contact

College of General Dentistry (CGDent), Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX
Company Registration No. 2586636 | Registered Charity No. 1002769