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.



The College’s Career Pathways are underpinned by our membership structure and qualifications, fostering career-long professionalism.  For the first time, our members will be able to take an integrated approach to their development and progression.

For more information on the approach we have taken and the dental professionals who continue to work on the next stages of the programme, please see below.

Method

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

  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 is led by Janet Clarke MBE, Trustee of the College, and co-sponsored by Abhi Pal, Vice Dean of FGDP(UK). Janet and Abhi have convened a Programme Board together with Simon Thornton-Wood, lead executive for the College.

Kirstie McCulloch has been engaged as Programme Manager. Kirstie brings a wealth of experience in career development and education programme construction.

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:

  • Paul Banerjee
  • 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
  • Emma Pacey (Chair)
  • Leon Bassi
  • Liam Ferguson
  • Shaun Howe
  • Kath Reynolds
  • 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 Whitely

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 performance by a practitioner in each of those attributes, at one of those career stages

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.

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.

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College of General Dentistry (CGDent), Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX
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