Career Pathways in dentistry

Structured Career Pathways for the whole dental team are at the heart of our vision for the future of primary care dentistry and underpin our Certified Membership scheme.

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

The Professional Framework

The Professional Framework is the intellectual foundation of our Career Pathways in Dentistry programme.

It describes the knowledge, skills and other attributes expected of primary care dental professionals at each of five career stages, and in relation to each of five domains:

Clinical & TechnicalThe 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

The Professional Framework is available to download free of charge, however you will need to log in or register an account. Please explore it, test it out and consider how you might use it to support your development and that of colleagues, and send us your feedback here

To download our Professional Framework, please create an account on our website.
If you are a CGDent member, you will already have an account, and can use your current details to login.
If you are not a CGDent member, you will need to create an online account.

We are grateful to Colgate for supporting the development of our Career Pathways programme


Our Career Pathways in Dentistry programme is being developed through an iterative consultative process within the College, involving individuals from all regulated roles in the general dental team, and inviting external feedback on our work in order to refine it.

  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 our 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 have been mapped.
Programme leadership

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

The Programme Board appointed a Reference Group, which advises and guides the programme.

Four work streams reflect 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

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

Membership standing

College membership provides clear evidence of career standing for every member of the dental team.

We are convening 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 practitioner” 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.