Applying for Fellowship

You can apply for admission to Fellowship of the College – the mark of accomplishment in dentistry – by two routes:

  • By experience. You will need to:
    • Register and pay for Fellowship (unless you are already a member, in which case you can apply to upgrade your membership).
    • complete an online application form and
    • submit detailed evidence, and your application will be assessed by our Admissions Panel. We have “Gateway” criteria which require less evidence and will be processed more quickly, if you meet all these requirements. Your application must address the requirements clearly. Submissions with obviously missing (or grossly superfluous) information or evidence will be rejected.
  • By equivalence. If you already hold a Fellowship from an organisation that we have already identified as equivalent, you will need to submit evidence of that Fellowship (usually a Certificate of Admission).

New members: apply by signing up to membership, selecting “Fellow” as the category for which you are applying (you will need to pay the normal fee for membership as a Fellow). You then will be sent instructions on submission of your letter of application.

Current members: apply using the “membership > upgrade” option on the website. You will then receive instructions on submitting you application letter in the same way.

By experience

To apply for admission to Fellowship of the College by means of experience, you will need to:

  1. A copy of your latest registration certificate with your national regulatory body (unless registered with the GDC), unless retired from practice. You cannot be admitted with restrictions to practice, warnings or reprimand at the time of application.
  2. A summary CV, showing qualifications and professional career history, demonstrating that you have practised as a registered dental professional for at least ten years.
  3. Individual items of evidence in support of the case you have set out in your application.
  4. The names of two Fellows of the College, to whom you are not related, who will support your application (one if you are applying via the Gateway criteria).

Your application will be assessed on behalf of the College Council by the College’s Membership Admissions Panel, whose decision is final.

Criteria for Fellowship by experience

Fellowship is a high standard. You must provide evidence that you meet the criteria set out in three of the five following domains of practice. Please note the section on evidence which follows the criteria.

1. Clinical >

The criteria for the clinical domain of capability are:

  • Show that you have been a GDC recognised Specialist AND demonstrated activity as a referral practitioner; OR
  • Demonstrate that you have the training and/or experience to provide clinical care to the level of a practitioner with a UK clinically-oriented Postgraduate Diploma AND EITHER
    • That the training included an assessment of the clinical capability of the candidate OR
    • The practitioner can demonstrate being a referral practitioner (or having such experience for retired applicants). Non-UK qualifications will require specific assessment by the Panel.
Gateway criteria for the clinical domain

You will meet the clinical requirement if you provide evidence of holding any of the following:

  • UK regulated Postgraduate Diploma or Masters in a clinical subject (qualifying as 120 Credits minimum in the UK CAT scheme)
  • Masters in Clinical Dentistry (MClinDent)
  • CGDent Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Care Orthodontics
  • FGDP Diploma in Implant Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontics or Minor Oral Surgery from RCS England
  • Membership in Advanced General Dental Surgery, RCS Edinburgh (MAGDS)
  • Diploma in Implant Dentistry from RCS Edinburgh
  • Membership in General Dental Surgery from any UK Royal College, or RCS Ireland (MGDS)
  • Membership of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgery
  • Specialty Membership of a UK Royal College
  • Accredited Full Member of the British Association for Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Fellowship of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
2. Teaching, learning & assessment >

The criteria for the Teaching, Learning & Assessment domain are:

  • Demonstrate that you have at least four years’ experience in a substantive academic post related to dentistry OR
  • Demonstrate that you have at least four years’ experience in a role as an appraiser, assessor or mentor in an official capacity OR
  • Demonstrate that you have worked in a role where you have made a substantial contribution to the delivery of pre- or post-qualification training, including provision of CPD.
Gateway criteria for the Teaching, Learning & Assessment Domain

You will meet the requirements for capability in Teaching, Learning & Assessment if you provide evidence of the following:

  • One of:
    • A PG Certificate in Medical Education, OR
    • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), OR
    • Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Trainers (RCS Edinburgh)
  • AND evidence of at least four years’ experience in a paid teaching role, either
    • with a regulated UK Higher Education provider (including Visiting Lecturer status), OR
    • as a Educational Supervisor / Trainer in a recognised NHS Foundation or Dental Core Training or equivalent scheme
3. Leadership & management >

For the Leadership & Management domain, you will need to demonstrate:

  • Six years service in a role where the key qualities of leadership and management have been exhibited. The qualities we expect to be shown are:
    • Demonstrating personal qualities of effective leadership and management
    • Setting direction
    • Working with, and managing others
    • Managing services
    • Improving services

Examples of evidence may include the following, for which we will require evidence of specific leadership achievements in post:

  • Substantial experience in a Clinical leadership role in a corporate dental environment or Community Dental Service or Educational Institution.
  • Substantial service in a national committee or equivalent of a bona fide national dental organisation, for at least five years (for example BDA, GDC, FGDP, CGDent, RCS, BADN, SBDN,BSDHT, BADT, Committees of NHS bodies, indemnity organisations).
  • Chair or Secretary in a UK LDC for at least five years.
Gateway criteria for the Leadership & Management Domain

You will meet the requirements for Leadership & Management capability if you provide evidence of any of the following:

  • Fellowship of the Faculty of Leadership & Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma or Masters in a Leadership/Management subject
  • Acted as a Practice Principal for at least ten years (evidenced by reference from a Chartered Accountant) with evidence of a satisfactory external assessment within three years such as:
    • a CQC/NHS Scotland/HIW/RQIA (or equivalent body) report currently showing no areas for improvement
    • BDA Good Practice certificate
    • Denplan Excel certificate
    • Investors in People certificate
    • Foundation Training Practice Review certificate
  • UK Training Programme Director in Dental Foundation Training/Vocational Training for at least six years
  • Associate Dean for a NHS Education body for at least four years
  • Dental Tutor employed by an NHS Education body for at least six years
  • Holding a post as a Clinical Dental Advisor for at least six years:
    • NHS Clinical Advisor, OR
    • CQC/NHS Scotland/HIW/RQIA (or equivalent) Advisor, OR
    • Clinical Advisors for a UK-based dental corporate organisation
  • Holding the post of CDO or Deputy CDO of a UK nation OR
  • Holding the post of a Consultant in Dental Public Health for at least 6 years
  • Admitted as a Fellow of the International College of Dentists
4. Publications & research >

For the Publications & Research Domain, you will need to demonstrate:

  • Involvement in research related to Primary Dental Care, or activities contributing to the improvement of knowledge and the evidence base, by:
    • Publications in peer reviewed journals;
    • Receipt of research grants or awards;
    • Presentation and dissemination of the results of your research;
    • Contribution to working parties or guidelines;
    • Involvement in Clinical Audit (continuous involvement over a significant period of time).
    • Commissioned authorship of relevant, peer-reviewed textbooks.
Gateway criteria for the Publications & Research domain

You will meet the requirement for this domain if you produce evidence of any of the following:

  • Masters level qualification in a relevant dental subject or subject relevant to the enhancement of oral healthcare, including a research dissertation
  • MPhil or PhD in a relevant dental subject or subject relevant to the enhancement of oral healthcare
  • At least five publications, of which at least one must be a first author paper, in peer-reviewed publications relevant to dentistry or the enhancement of oral healthcare.
5. Law & ethics >

For the Law & Ethics Domain, you will need to demonstrate:

  • Substantial experience of one or more of the following:
    • Law, ethics, dento-legal issues and risk management as it affects patient care;
    • Providing ethical and dentolegal advice which can include: case handling experience in relation to complaints, clinical negligence or regulatory cases; providing or assessing performance and expert reports;
    • Contributing to the development or presentation of formal guidelines, or relevant educational resources in law and ethics or risk management.
Gateway criteria for the Law & Ethics Domain

You will meet the requirements of the Law & Ethics domain if you produce evidence of:

  • A postgraduate qualification (Certificate or Diploma) in a legally-related subject of relevance to dentistry, OR
  • a Law degree or LLM together with five years’ experience in any of the following:
    • a dento-legal advisor, OR
    • a decision-maker on a regulatory panel, OR
    • an expert witness – undertaking Part 35 compliant expert reports and giving live evidence (minimum 60 reports or giving live evidence as an expert on at least 20 occasions)
What sort of evidence must I submit?

For each Domain in which you are applying, we will need evidence of recognition of your achievement as specified, by a respected third party which itself is overseen or regulated by an appropriate authority. This might take the form (for instance) of a formal certificate of achievement (eg for a qualification or award by a regulated university), a letter of reference from a professional client (eg a solicitor, for the Law & Ethics domain), or an inspection report. If in doubt, if you want us to consider it, we will need independent evidence for it.

What are the possible outcomes from my application?

After we assess your application, we will determine one of the following outcomes:

  • You have demonstrated that (in the opnion of the Admissions Panel) you meet the standard, and will be admitted to Fellowship, or:
  • You have demonstrated that you partially meet the standards required for admission, and you will be guided by the Panel on action to address specific requirements before any resubmission can be accepted.

“I…realised that, over the years, I had gained quite a bit of the required experience, and now, I would meet almost all the criteria. Naturally, I jumped at the chance” Anoup Nandra FCGDent

Read the stories of four Fellows who gained Fellowship through the experience route.

By equivalence

You may apply for admittance to Fellowship of the College by means of equivalence if you were a Fellow of the former Faculty of General Dental Practice UK (FFGDP(UK)), if you have been Board Certified by the American Board of General Dentistry, or if you hold a fellowship elsewhere that we have deemed to be of equivalent standing:

  • UK & Ireland Royal Colleges or their Faculties of Dental Surgery (FDS)/ Dentistry (FFD)*
  • Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (FRACDS)
  • Royal College of Dentists of Canada (FRCDC)
  • College of Dentistry of South Africa (FCD(SA))

Other equivalent awards may be determined by the College Council over time.

In addition, Honorary Fellows of the College (FCGDent(Hon.) or former FGDP (FFGDP(UK)(Hon.)) who meet our standard requirements for admission to membership may be admitted to Fellowship.

*Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Trainers of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FFDT(RCS Ed)) is accepted solely towards applications by means of experience (see Teaching, Learning & Assessment domain)

Life Fellowship

Upon retirement, Fellows, and those whose careers meet the requirements of Fellowship, are invited to apply to become a Life Fellow. As a Life Fellow, you continue to enjoy the benefits of retired membership in addition to invitations to the regular Fellows’ Receptions and the chance to join the 1992 Circle. You may also continue to use Fellowship postnominals, FCGDent.

To apply for Life Fellowship, you must be:

  • at least 65 years old
  • no longer practising
  • no longer registered with the General Dental Council or any equivalent overseas regulatory or licensing body
  • in good standing within the profession.

Subject to these requirements, eligibility for Life Fellowship is automatic for current or former Fellows of the:

  • College of General Dentistry (FCGDent or FCGDent(Hon.))
  • former Faculty of General Dental Practice (FFGDP(UK) or FFGDP(UK)(Hon.))
  • Faculties of Dental Surgery (FDS) or Dentistry (FFD) of the Royal Colleges of the UK or Ireland
  • Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (FRACDS)
  • Royal College of Dentists of Canada (FRCDC)
  • College of Dentistry of South Africa (FCD(SA))

Eligibility for Life Fellowship is also automatic for those who have been Board Certified by the American Board of General Dentistry.

One-off membership fee

  • Dentists: £2,500
  • Dental hygienists, dental therapists, orthodontic nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians: £1,700
  • Dental nurse: £850

If you are interested in becoming a Life Fellow, please contact Sir Nairn Wilson, Honorary Founding President, at [email protected]

“Becoming a Life Fellow and member of the 1992 Circle allows me to stay in touch and continue to contribute.”

Alasdair Miller FCGDent talks to Sir Nairn Wilson CBE about becoming one of the College’s first Life Fellows – read Alasdair’s story

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