Updating postnominals

Professor Emeritus Nairn Wilson CBE FCGDent, Honorary Founding President of the College, encourages former members and fellows of the FGDP, together with colleagues who have recently joined CGDent, to update their postnominals.

While honours and university degree postnominals may normally be used throughout life, the use of postnominals linked to membership and fellowship of colleges, academies and other bodies, including memberships and fellowships earned by examination and assessment, is more complex.

The College has previously issued guidance on the continuing use of postnominals awarded by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP). This guidance states that, while postnominals relating to diplomas awarded by FGDP(UK) and the Royal College of Surgeons of England – i.e. Dip. MFGDP(UK), Dip. FFGDP(UK), Dip. MJDF, DGDP (RCS Eng.), Dip. MGDS (RCS Eng.), Dip. Imp. Dent. (RCS Eng.) and Dip. Rest. Dent. (RCS Eng.) – were not affected by the transfer of FGDP(UK) into CGDent, postnominals which conveyed ongoing membership or fellowship of FGDP(UK) – i.e. MFGDP(UK) and FFGDP(UK) – should no longer be used, as the FGDP(UK) no longer exists.

The only exceptions to these arrangements are honorary memberships and fellowships of FGDP(UK), i.e. Hon. MFGDP(UK) and Hon FFGDP(UK), which are honours rather than denoting ongoing, substantive membership.

Continuing use of the redundant, membership-specific Faculty postnominals MFGDP(UK) and FFGDP(UK) could be considered misleading, specifically to patients, and therefore to contravene the GDC’s guidance on advertising.

Equally, failure to use recently acquired CGDent postnominals – MCGDent, AssocFCGDent or FCGDent – contributes to the unhelpful misunderstanding that dentistry continues to lack its own independent standards setting body.

In addition, it fails to convey our professional standing, and our commitment to the CGDent Code of Conduct and, in turn, the standards established and promoted by the College, to other healthcare professions, and more importantly to patients.

In updating their postnominals, former members and fellows of FGDP(UK) who have not yet joined CGDent may replace their redundant FGDP(UK) postnominals with CGDent ones by doing so – former members and fellows of FGDP(UK) being eligible, respectively, for MCGDent and FCGDent.

In this process, there is opportunity for former members of FGDP(UK) who have obtained experience and postgraduate qualifications since obtaining their FGDP(UK)/RCS Eng. diploma to apply for Associate Fellowship (AssocFCGDent) or even Fellowship (FCGDent) of the College ‘by experience’ or ‘by equivalence’.

Also, all retired oral healthcare professionals (i.e. colleagues who are no longer GDC registrants) who wish to maintain a link with their chosen profession, are most welcome to join the College through its ‘by experience’ or ‘by equivalence’ processes, with opportunity for those who become Fellows (FCGDent) in retirement to join the College’s recently established 1992 Circle.

The College’s online register of current members can be used to confirm the membership status of any individuals using CGDent postnominals.

The College will be most pleased to assist former members and fellows
of FGDP(UK) in updating and possibly upgrading their postnominals, together with all other oral healthcare professionals, both in the UK and elsewhere, wishing to join CGDent, which is increasingly gaining recognition and standing as a ground-breaking, world-first for the dental team – just get in touch with us here

This blog is adapted from a Letter to the Editor published in the British Dental Journal on 10 February 2023.

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Fellows’ Summer Reception

Thursday 15 June 2023, 6pm-9pm, London

The College of General Dentistry Fellows’ Summer Reception took place on Thursday 15 June 2023, 6-9pm, at Cutlers’ Hall, Warwick Lane, London EC4M 7BR.

The event included a welcome by the President setting out progress to date in realising the vision for the College, as well as the admission of new Fellows – including all those whose applications succeed prior to the event – and the presentation of President’s Commendations and Honorary Fellowships.

An opportunity to network with peers, as well as to meet College Trustees, Council members and staff, the reception was open to all Fellows and Associate Fellows, those due to be presented with an Honorary Fellowship or President’s Commendation, those enrolled in Certified Membership and entrants to the research poster competition.

Fellowship of the College (FCGDent) is available by experience or by equivalence, and Associate Fellowship (AssocFCGDent) is open to those who hold the MGDS, a Specialty Membership of a UK dental faculty, or a Postgraduate Diploma level or Masters level qualification in a subject relevant to oral healthcare.

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1992 Circle summer gathering

Thursday 15 June 2023, 4-6pm, London

The summer gathering of the College of General Dentistry’s ‘1992 Circle’ took place on Thursday 15 June 2023 at Cutlers’ Hall, Warwick Lane, London EC4M 7BR. The event was open to members of the 1992 Circle, who have all received an invitation to attend.

The 1992 Circle is named in honour of the year the Faculty of General Dental Practice was founded, a key moment which brought together the members of the College of General Dental Practitioners (UK) and of the former RCS Advisory Board in General Dental Practice, with the shared ambition to create an independent College over time.

Thirty years on, the 1992 Circle aims to bring together, and recognise, those whose vision put the general dental profession in the UK on a journey towards independent collegiate status, and those whose ongoing commitment carried this through to the establishment of the College of General Dentistry.

All those who are retired from practice and were a Fellow of FGDP(UK) or are, or were, a Fellow of CGDent, are eligible to join the 1992 Circle and attend the periodical gatherings. There is no charge to become a member of the 1992 Circle or to attend the summer event.

If you meet the eligibility requirements detailed above and would like to join the 1992 Circle, we’d be delighted to hear from you – please contact us at [email protected]

If you know any retired Faculty Fellows who are not currently aware of the 1992 Circle, please encourage them to get in touch with us at [email protected]

Attendees at the 1992 Circle summer gathering who are members of the College were also invited to join the CGDent Fellows’ Summer Reception later the same evening at Cutlers’ Hall, London. 

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Fellowship by equivalence: update

The list of fellowships which qualify applicants for Fellowship of the College by means of equivalence has been formally expanded to include Fellowship of the former Faculty of General Dental Practice.

While previously denoted by the suffix ‘FFGDP(UK)’, this post-nominal can no longer be used as it would misleadingly imply that an individual remained a member, in good standing and held to a professional standard, of a professional body which no longer exists.

However, existing Faculty Fellows could move seamlessly to the College when the Faculty transferred into it in 2021, and former FGDP Fellows have in practice been accepted into College Fellowship ever since.

For the avoidance of doubt in relation to future applications by former Faculty Fellows, the FFGDP(UK) is therefore now explicitly articulated as one of the qualifications which demonstrate eligibility for admittance to Fellowship of the College “by equivalence”.

In addition, Honorary Fellows of the College (FCGDent(Hon.)) or former Faculty (FFGDP(UK)(Hon.)) who also meet the College’s standard membership requirements may be admitted to full Fellowship by equivalence.

Fellowships of the Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland, their Faculties of Dental Surgery (FDS) or Dentistry (FFD), the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (FRACDS), and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, are also deemed by the College to be of equivalent standing, and other equivalent bodies may be determined over time.

Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Trainers of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FDTFEd) is however accepted solely towards Fellowship applications by means of experience, providing significant evidence towards satisfaction of the Teaching, Learning & Assessment domain.

Full details of the requirements for Fellowship are available via the link below.

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Admissions to Associate Fellowship

The College has admitted over 150 dental professionals to date into Associate Fellowship in recognition of their high level of practice.

The membership grade, newly instituted in 2021, acts as a stepping stone to Fellowship. It is open to all dental professionals holding a qualifying award, and applicants do not need to be an existing member of the College to apply.

Qualifying awards include:

  • FGDP(UK) Diploma in Restorative Dentistry
  • FGDP(UK) Diploma in Primary Care Oral Surgery
  • FGDP(UK) or RCS Edinburgh Diploma in Implant Dentistry
  • Any other Level 7, 120 credit Postgraduate Diploma (or 180 credit Masters-level qualification) in a subject relevant to the enhancement of oral healthcare
  • Membership in General Dental Surgery (MGDS) of a UK faculty
  • Specialty membership of a UK faculty

Associate Fellows are entitled to use the post-nominal designation ‘AssocFCGDent’, are eligible to attend the College’s biannual Fellows’ Receptions, and are listed in the College’s online Member Register.

Should Associate Fellows wish to progress, their qualifying award for Associate Fellowship will automatically meet the requirements of the clinical domain of Fellowship – one of five domains, three of which must be satisfied for admittance.

Associate Fellows also have the option to enrol in the College’s Certified Membership programme, an enhanced membership which provides structured support with a trained facilitator to map out the next steps in their career. Those meeting the programme’s requirements over a period of two years would then be recognised as Certified Associate Fellows (AssocFCGDent(Cert.))

The following members have been admitted to Associate Fellowship of the College*:

Amir Hossein AbediDentist, Barrow-in-Furness
Mohanad Abu-MughaisibDentist, Brunei
Graham Richard AdlardDentist, Yelverton
Kelvin Ian AfrashtehfarDentist, Surrey, British Columbia
Ahmed Shihab Al MashhadaniDentist, Riyadh
Nibras AlnaimiDentist, Nottingham
Anoushiravan AriakishDentist, London
Nicholas Brian BakerDentist, Edinburgh
Caroline BatistoniDentist, Tonbridge
Louise BelfieldDental Nurse, Plymouth
Anuschka BenekeDentist, Waterlooville
Sarah Jane BottomleyDentist, York
David William Peter BrownDentist, Romsey
Darren BywaterDentist, Derby
Miguel Lains CardosoDentist, Edinburgh
Kevin CaruanaDentist, Stockton-on-Tees
Louisa Mary ClarkeDental Hygienist, London
Melanie Elizabeth ClarksonDentist, Stamford
Russell Stephen ColcloughDentist, Tynemouth
Padraic ConroyDentist, Jordanstown
Mario Arvino Joe CorreiaDentist, East Barnet
Orang DadashianDentist, Hayes
Jane DalgarnoDental Nurse, Sharnbrook
Brett DavidsDentist, Nottingham
Natalie Ann DunnDentist, Falmouth
Robert Joseph EadesDentist, Tadcaster
Jeremy Jameson EdmondsonDentist, Ellesmere
Marion Rose EnglishDentist, Broxbourne
Ekaterina FabrikantDentist, London
Peter FarrageDentist, Eaglescliffe
Timothy Graham FildesDentist, Guernsey
Alexa Caroline Fyfe-GreenDentist, Bognor Regis
Amanda Zoe GallieDental Therapist, Oakham
Santhira Kumar GanasanDentist, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Affar GhafoorDentist, Stockport
Daniel James GhentDentist, London
Chris GollingsDentist, Christchurch
Callum John GrahamDentist, Larkhall
Anthony James HandsDentist, Cullompton
Madalina HarmerDentist, Willington
John-Joe HartiganDentist, Belfast
Sami James HassanDentist, London
Hussein HassanaliDentist, York
Gareth John HattersleyDentist, Preston
Angela Heilmann MBEDental Nurse, Bedford
Sarah Suzanne HillDental Hygienist, Stourbridge
Elizabeth Joy HitchingsDentist, Wellington, New Zealand
John Alexander Ho-A-YunDentist, Cupar
Frances HodsonDentist, Seaton
Zhi Yen HoeDentist, Batu Pahat, Malaysia
James HudsonDentist, Huddersfield
John Francis Alexander Hume-SpryDentist, Derby
James Robert Robert HyslopDentist, Ormskirk
Charles Olajide IlesanmiDentist, Kaduna, Nigeria
Gaurav JamnadassDentist, Newcastle
Sherley Princess Deborah JohnDentist, Middlesbrough
Simon-Quentin JonesDentist, Swansea
Jimmy KafeeroDentist, Sittingbourne
Jasvinder Singh KailaDentist, Egham
Priyadarshini KarthikeyanDental academic, Chennai
Bashir Haji KassamDentist, Birmingham
Gurpreet KaurDentist, Wellingborough
Graham Roderick KeelingDentist, Rottingdean
Patrick Gerard KilkerDentist, Sunderland
Stamatios KioufisDentist, Athens
James KolankoDentist, Stafford
Paul James KolathingalDentist, Thrissur, Kerala
Raj KumarDentist, London
Matthew LambDentist, Alfreton
Caroline Frances LappinDentist, Belfast
Gareth LaveryDentist, Kelso
Georgios LazaridisDentist, Trowbridge
Kim B LeeDentist, Hong Kong
Stewart Keith LentonDentist, Rugby
Max LeslieDentist, Cambridge
William MaguireDentist, Belfast
Christopher John MaherDentist, Bishop Burton
Amit MaisuriaDentist, St Albans
Nadim Nadim MajidDentist, Blackburn
Usmaan Fazal MajidDentist, Dewsbury
Sarah MapplebeckDentist, Ludgershall
Stuart MarshallDentist, Adelaide
Dinesh MartinDentist, St Augustine, Trinidad
Oskar MasonDentist, Aylesbeare
Grainne Josephine McCloskeyDentist, Crumlin
Laura McCluneDental Hygienist, Southwater
Andrew David McDonnellDentist, Reading
Aine McIverDentist, Belfast
Martin McKinstryDentist, Kilmacolm
Panagiota MelitouDentist, Manchester
Richard MichaelDentist, Plymouth
Sanjay MiglaniDental academic, Delhi
Katherine Felicity MillsDentist, Benllech
Sharon Alice Johnson MorrowDental Nurse, Largs
Gulshan Kumar MurgaiDentist, Watford
Tan Minh NguyenDental Therapist, Melbourne
Amr NoseirDentist, Manchester
Keerut Singh OberaiDentist, Egham
Adedeji Daniel ObikoyaDentist, Athlone
Gemma Joanne O’CallaghanDental Hygienist, Southport
Jake O’ConnellDentist, Sandhurst
Margaret Omoemin OkonkwoDentist, Weybridge
Georgina Padgett-DuncanDentist, South Cerney
Kapil PaiwalDental academic, Kota, Rajasthan
Sonal PandeDentist, Horsham
Bhavin PatelDentist, Loughton
Vilas PatelDentist, Bolton
Anu Anna PaulDentist, Kochi, Kerala
Gordon James PenmanDentist, Kirkcaldy
Helen PeppiattDentist, Norwich
Noel John PerkinsDentist, Kirkby Lonsdale
Amith Joy PhilipDentist, Epsom
Richard PinsDentist, London
Robert PittackDentist, London
Manju PonnampalamDentist, Canterbury, New South Wales
Colin Alexander PrattDentist, Glasgow
Hong Ping PuaDentist, Singapore
Alison RaeDentist, King’s Lynn
Savithra RathinasabapathyDentist, Colchester
Paul William ReaneyDentist, Markethill
Philip John RedfearnDentist, Hamilton
Frances Claire RobinsonDental Hygienist, London
Vaibhav SahniDentist, New Delhi
Irfan SalimDentist, Peshawar
Azam SandhuDentist, Bridgetown, Barbados
Hasveer Singh SanghaDentist, Coventry
Elizabeth SebastianDentist, Kochi, Kerala
Shaun SellarsDentist, Bury Saint Edmunds
Amit SharmaDentist, Blandford Forum
Tarik ShembeshDentist, London
Richard SkeggsDentist, Nottingham
Sami StagnellDentist, Winchester
William John StanfieldDental Hygienist, Winsford
Anita StanforthDental Nurse, Gillingham
Thomas William Newell StapletonDentist, York
Miranda Clare Lydia SteeplesDental Therapist, Pevensey Bay
Carol SubadanDentist, Milton Keynes
Katerina SusickiDentist, Edinburgh
Anthony SweeneyDentist, Beckenham
Stephen Andrew TaylorDental Technician, Leyland
Calum Robert TevendaleDentist, Glasgow
Heather Jean Anne ToppingDentist, Lisburn
Priyanka Venkata VasantavadaDentist, Middlesbrough
Jacob VergheseDentist, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Andrew John WallaceDentist, Belfast
Michael WhiteDentist, Lindfield
John WillmottDentist, Nottingham
Chee-Siang YieDentist, Miri, Malaysia

*as on 8 February 2023

To join the College or upgrade your existing membership, visit our Membership pages

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Presentation of new Fellows

The College formally presented over 35 individuals with their Fellowship at the first CGDent Fellows’ Winter Reception, which took place on 18 January at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

CGDent President Abhi Pal congratulating Jacqui Elsden FCGDent on her admittance into College Fellowship

College Fellowship, which is denoted by the postnominal letters ‘FCGDent’, is the mark of accomplishment in general dentistry, indicating a dental professional’s commitment to professional development and reflective practice, diligence in upholding the highest standards of clinical care, and distinction across clinical and professional domains. 

The primary means of application to fellowship is by experience, a route launched last year to recognise a wide range of skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications relevant to dentistry and oral healthcare, offering has transparent criteria and a straightforward application process. Fellowship is open to all members of the dental team should they meet the detailed criteria, however a minimum of ten years’ registered practice is required for an application to be considered. Applicants do not need to be an existing member of the College, and all suitably experienced dental professionals are encouraged to apply.

Alternatively, Fellowship is available by equivalence to those already awarded Fellowship by the former FGDP(UK) or by any of the UK and Ireland Royal Colleges or their Faculties of Dental Surgery (FDS) or Dentistry (FFD), by the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons or the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Applications based on fellowship of other institutions may be successful if equivalence is established by the College’s Membership Assessment Panel.

The College Council can also award Fellowship where an individual has actively supported the College (and/or former FGDP) and its mission, and whose practice and career is deemed to meet the required standards. Honorary Fellowship can also be bestowed by the Council on those who have made an exceptional contribution to the profession, and entitles recipients to use the post-nominal designation ‘FCGDent(Hon)’.

The Fellowship presentations in Manchester were made in front of an audience of almost 100 Fellows and Associate Fellows of the College, members from the North West region and those enrolled in the College’s Certified Membership programme.

Those successfully applying for Fellowship over the coming weeks will have the opportunity to have their Fellowship conferred at the Fellows’ Summer Reception in London in June 2023.

A full list of those awarded Fellowship of the College since its launch will be published in due course.

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Why I have left the College a legacy in my will

Dr Shelagh Farrell FCGDent, a College Founder and Ambassador, talks to Professor Nairn Wilson FCGDent, President Emeritus of the College, about leaving a legacy to CGDent.

Nairn: Shelagh, may I begin by thanking you on behalf of the College for your tremendous support for the College as a Founder, one of its first Fellows, Ambassador and now one of its first legators. Such exceptional support is hugely appreciated and of immense importance to the College as it grows and develops. Also, thank you for agreeing to answer the following questions:

Why have you considered it important to support the College with both a Founder’s donation and a legacy?

Shelagh: The Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)), from the time of its foundation in 1992, always had the ambition of forming a College – Royal College of Dentistry. At the time, we promised the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS Eng) that the Faculty would remain part of the College for 10 years, filling a void left by the Faculty of Anaesthetists which had separated away to form what became the Royal College of Anaesthetists within a matter of a few years. Despite attempts to leave after 10 years, FGDP(UK) remained part of RCS Eng for 28 years.

The income of most, if not all, Royal Colleges comes from its members who pay subscriptions and fees to sit their examinations and benefit from postgraduate qualifications. Over the years, FGDP(UK) changed its qualifications to reflect the ways in which dentistry had moved on; for example, with the increasing use of implants. It is time to change again to create career pathways for all members of the dental team, which are challenging but achievable, thus enhancing standards in the provision of dental care.

When FGDP(UK) was established, it had one office on the ground floor of the RCS Eng. In a short space of time, it was obvious that more staff were needed to support and promote the Faculty’s activities and examination system. The Faculty was then allocated a redundant animal house on the top floor of the RCS Eng building. This became the Faculty offices for the remainder of its time at the RCS Eng.

The new College needs to acquire suitable premises in the process of becoming the Royal College of General Dentistry. This requires money and that is why, besides giving a Founder’s donation, I have left the College a legacy in my will.

N:  What would you like to say to colleagues who have not yet joined and donated to the College?

S: Some colleagues say that they will join the College when it receives Royal status. This, however, creates a “catch 22” situation. Unless the College expands its now growing number of Full Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows, it is unlikely to receive Royal status. Hence, I would urge colleagues of all ages, specifically younger colleagues to join, support the College and, in the process, benefit from a worthwhile career pathway, with mentoring, which will add to their enjoyment of dentistry and enhance their professional fulfilment.

N: In what ways has dentistry in the UK been compromised by not having its own, independent Royal College?

S: The UK has three Royal Surgical Colleges based in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, all with Faculties of Dental Surgery. Over the years there has been great competition between these Faculties to promote themselves and increase their influence and income both home and abroad. But more important is the opportunity they have to advise and influence (or not) governments, albeit that general dentistry, let alone members of the dental team are not well, if at all, represented in their memberships. Governments listen to Royal Colleges. When the College of General Dentistry becomes the Royal College of General Dentistry, dentistry will at long last have its own independent, UK-wide, collegiate influence, speaking for the whole of the profession. Dentistry, specifically general dental practice, which provides more than 90% of oral healthcare, certainly needs this, as it seems to me at the moment that this core provision of dental services is at the lowest ebb that I have seen over the last 50 years.

N: Shelagh, two more questions. Firstly, what do you see to be the immediate priorities of the College?

S: Recruitment is clearly the way to increase the membership and the influence of the College. Dentistry is the only major healthcare profession which has not got its own Royal College. The majority of dentists are in practice, even if they are specialists. All these dentists, together with the members of their dental teams, need to come together to strengthen their unified voice, to improve standards, and to enhance the care provided to the general public.

N: And finally, what would you like the College to achieve by 2030?

S: I would like to see the College granted Royal status, with the majority of the profession being part of the membership, reaping and continuously improving the benefits the College can provide, enhancing their enjoyment and fulfilment in the wonderful and great career that dentistry can bring. I also hope that the College, then Royal College, will have suitable premises where members, politicians, the media, members of the general public and others can contact and meet staff to enable the College to realise its potential as the much-needed collegiate home for general dentistry.

N: Shelagh, very many thanks for your insightful and thought-provoking answers to my questions. Hopefully, this interview will encourage others to follow your lead as an inspirational Fellow and legator.

With renewed thanks for your exceptional generosity to the College.

Any member wishing to make a legacy to the College is encouraged to contact Abhi Pal, President of the College, or Simon Thornton-Wood, Chief Executive of the College, at [email protected] or Nairn Wilson, President Emeritus, at [email protected].

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New Certified Membership programme: enrolling now

The College has launched Certified Membership, a new, enhanced membership scheme offering elevated professional recognition and ongoing one-to-one career support.

In June 2022, the College published Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework, which sets out the attributes which define each of five career stages – safe, capable, experienced, enhanced and accomplished – for each role in the primary dental care team, and for each of five domains within each stage – clinical and technical, professionalism, reflection, development, and agency.

Using the Professional Framework, Certified Membership offers structured support for individuals to map out their career journey, working with a trained facilitator to plan and document the staged acquisition of the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours necessary to enable them to fulfil their professional ambitions. With flexible scheduling of support, it will enable dental practitioners to make the right investment in training, build confidence in their practice, and maintain momentum in their career, all while carrying on with their jobs and busy lives.

Their Certified Membership status will aid them in their journey, offering formal recognition of their capability at each stage of their career, demonstrating their commitment to professionalism and high standards of practice, and signifying their dedication to further professional development.

Phase 1 of the programme, with a limit of 50 places, is now open to dentists. For details of how to enrol, click here

Those who have successfully registered with the GDC (or an equivalent) are recognised as having reached the Safe Practitioner stage of the Career Pathway, and are eligible for Associate Membership of the College.

Those who have successfully completed Foundation Training (or equivalent) are recognised as Capable Practitioners, and once they have enrolled on the Certified Membership scheme, held an initial session with their facilitator and produced a personal development plan, are eligible for Certified Associate Membership of the College (Assoc.MCGDent(Cert.)).

Certified Membership has four components – formal qualification, ongoing self-reflective journal, online study and the structured facilitator support – which work together to support the practitioner, and require the self-discipline and personal insight needed to succeed in dental practice. The programme continues for as long as a Certified Member wishes to retain that recognition.

Those who meet the requirements for Full Membership of the College, complete a minimum of two years within the Certified Membership programme, and meet the requirements of Experienced Practitioner status, are eligible to become a Certified Full Member of the College (MCGDent(Cert.)) and to be listed as such in the College’s public Member Register.

Those who meet the requirements for Associate Fellowship of the College, have completed at least two years within the Certified Membership programme, and meet the requirements of Enhanced Practitioner status, are eligible to become a Certified Associate Fellow of the College (AssocFCGDent(Cert.)).

Enrolment in Certified Membership is an enhancement of standard membership at an additional annual fee of £150, which includes two half-day one-to-one sessions per year with a facilitator. Standard membership fees are available to view here

The scheme will be rolled out to other dental professional groups as soon as possible.

Shaping Faculties for the whole dental team

It has long been a vision for the College to form distinct Faculties for the different professions within the dental team. Faculty Chairs, Louise Belfield, Bill Sharpling and John Stanfield, update us on the progress they have made so far.

Louise Belfield, Chair of the Faculty of Dental Nursing & Orthodontic Therapy

I am delighted to announce the formation of the inaugural board for the Faculty of Dental Nursing and Orthodontic Therapy.  Combined, Dental Nurses plus Orthodontic Therapists make up around 50% of the dental workforce, and it is our privilege to represent our registrant communities at the College of General Dentistry.

Our Board brings together a wealth of knowledge and expertise, along with a broad range of experience in general dental practice and beyond, including practice management, NHS and private practice, civilian and military, workforce, postgraduate education, academia, and research, as well as representation from the United Kingdom nations.

Our Board members are:

  • Louise Belfield (Chair and member of the College Council)
  • Debbie Reed (Vice-Chair)
  • Jane Dalgarno
  • Angie Heilmann
  • Amanda Knight
  • Kathryn Marshall
  • Sharon Morrow

All of our Board members are passionate volunteers, dedicated to the advancement of career opportunities, recognition of achievement, and parity of esteem for our Dental Nurses and Orthodontic Therapists.

Developing our new Faculty board presents some unique challenges, and with those come unique opportunities. Perhaps more than other registrant categories, Dental Nurse training is varied and diverse; there are multiple qualifications that can lead to GDC registration, and they are typically delivered outside of Higher Education Institutions, which can funnel graduates into well-established career pipelines. Combined with the lack of an obvious direction for career development once qualified, these factors can make the waters of career advancement rather muddy. Therefore, a key objective for our inaugural Faculty board is to implement the newly developed Career Pathways framework, led by our Vice-Chair Debbie Reed.

We have also prioritised development of the Faculty membership pathways for Dental Nurses and Orthodontic Therapists. Our newly developing Faculty membership criteria uphold the highest clinical standards and are relevant and accessible to our community of professionals. It is also important to note that for the first time, all levels of membership and fellowship of the College are open to all dental professionals, and we encourage our eligible members to consider application. Our Career Pathways framework can support our members to meet the different levels of Faculty and College criteria.

However, our Faculty is only as strong as its membership. It is imperative that we work together with our members at all stages of their careers, including trainees and newly qualified members, to develop the Faculty in a direction that serves our community. We are determined that both registrant categories within the Faculty have equivalent voice, and as such we are especially keen to engage with our community of Orthodontic Therapists.  We know that amongst our Dental Nurses and Orthodontic Therapists there are many experienced, talented, highly achieving professionals who have made significant impact on patient and public health, and the dental profession. Our ultimate aim as a board is to provide means to fully recognise those contributions, in parity with other registrant categories, and to provide support and guidance for our members to realise their career ambitions to their fullest potential.

Louise Belfield AssocFCGDent is a dental nurse, research scientist, lecturer, Health Education England Dental Clinical Fellow, and National Examination Board for Dental Nurses Trustee. Louise is a member of the College Council, the Professional Affairs Committee and the Membership Admissions Panel.

Bill Sharpling, Chair of the Faculty of Clinical Dental Technology & Dental Technology

It has been a pleasure to be involved in the College of General Dentistry since its very early days, after registering as a supporter in 2018. In 2020, I was invited to join the College Advisory Strategy Group and I built a team of Clinical Dental Technicians (CDTs) and Dental Technicians (DTs) who were keen to work together for the greater good of the College and the profession. I Chair the CDT and DT Working Group that has contributed to the development of the Career Pathway and Professional Framework and am a member of the College Council.

As soon as the opportunity arose to progress the creation of the four College Faculties, work began on assembling what would become the Board of our own Faculty, the Faculty of Clinical Dental Technology and Dental Technology (FCDTDT). It is worth noting that the actual final title of the Faculty is still under discussion by the Board and has not yet been finalised.

The Faculty Board members are:

  • Bill Sharpling (Chair and member of the College Council)
  • Steve Taylor (Vice Chair)
  • Mike Brindle
  • Lee Butler
  • Tony Laurie
  • Jiri Matl
  • Caroline Persaud
  • Emily Pittard
  • David Reay

The Board are a great bunch with a real mix of experience and huge amounts of enthusiasm to see real progression for our CDT and DT professions. Each member has shown such dedication to their role and have all taken on specific positions to enable progress. With such a small group it is not possible to replicate the structure and member roles of the full College Council but we have hopefully been able to cover most elements with this select group.

Each of the devolved nations has representation should it be needed. Mike, Jiri and Caroline have made themselves available to consider issues relating to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. Tony and Steve are overseeing the faculty’s CPD activities and Emily is the Early Careers representative. Membership admissions will be managed by Lee and David with Caroline and Mike having the extra responsibility for Career Pathways activity.

The Board has met a couple of times and is scheduled to meet at least three times each year just ahead of Council meetings. Each meeting will have a principal theme. So far, the schedule has included CPD, membership levels and Career Pathway work. During the CPD meeting, Board members were joined by Robert Dyas from ProDental CPD and good progress was made regarding arranging a CPD programme for both DTs and CDTs.

DTs and CDTs are encouraged to join CGDent and once they have done so, will automatically also become a member of the Faculty. Members will be able to apply to join the Faculty at a certain level which is dependent on qualifications and/or experience. The level that one can join then determines the post nominals that a Faculty member is entitled to use. Members will also be able to join a Certified Membership Scheme which will enable them to be supported and mentored at the same time as progressing through the Career Pathway, mapped against certain criteria.

These are very early days for the Faculty, but with the continued support from the Board and the guidance and direction from the College, progress will continue to be made and the profession will see significant benefits for the long term.

Bill Sharpling FCGDent is Associate Dean (CPD) and Director of the London Dental Education Centre (LonDEC) at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London and Honorary Professor at RAK College of Dental Sciences, UAE. Bill is a member of the College Council and the Careers and Training Committee.

John Stanfield, Chair of the Faculty of Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy

Throughout the formation of the College of General Dentistry, the creation of Faculties supporting each of the dental team groups, with membership levels that are attained by progression through the Career Pathway, has been a key vision.

The work that has been ongoing in a multi-threaded stream, has now allowed us to start to form the faculties.  To this end, we have appointed an inaugural board to the Faculty of Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy which will guide the Faculty until we have enough members to have elections.

The Board members are:

  • John Stanfield (Chair and member of the College Council)
  • Frances Robinson (Vice Chair)
  • Sarah Hill
  • Laura McClune
  • Sarah Murray
  • Fiona Sandom
  • Miranda Steeples
  • Deborah Stratford
  • Kirstie Thwaites

The Board, as you can see, brings together a huge amount of experience and qualifications to lead us forward in this historic and bold move for the profession.  Our tasks, as we go forward, enthuse each of us, knowing this can only improve our standing both within the dental profession and that of the general public.

Our Faculty has to grow, we require members to become part of our community, to set and raise standards, and to have input into how the Faculty and the College are run.  We have our voice on the College Council, with full voting rights, this task has been appointed to me until we vote for a chair of the Faculty who will then join the Council. 

Previously I had been involved with FGDP, both as a member and vice-chair of the DCP committee and as the editor of ‘Team in Practice’.  However, we couldn’t be full Members, nor did we have any voting rights.  I took on this role to support the vision of a College that would represent the whole dental team with an opportunity for all to be full Members.  We all have the same chance to be admitted to the community as Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows of the Faculty and the College.  Many have already been admitted as Associate Fellows of the College and we have just had our first Faculty member admitted as a Fellow of the College – my congratulations go to Fiona Sandom.

Currently, the Board is working on adapting the Career Pathways in Dentistry Professional  Framework to meet the needs of our constituents, mapping this against the expected career stages.

The Faculty will be expected to contribute to College publications, standards and guidance, to any of the press releases which involve our members and to this end we will be bringing on board those of you with particular experience and expertise.  We are very aware of the increasing academic achievements of our constituents and the research they are carrying out and want to make the most of this.

Joining the faculty and the college brings with it certain benefits:                                              

  • Recognition of postgraduate training and experience, your pathway from Safe Practitioner to Accomplished Practitioner
  • CPD via ProDental CPD (over 1000 hours)
  • Primary Dental Journal
  • Certified Membership Scheme
  • Belonging to a community of like-minded professionals

John Stanfield AssocFCGDent has over 40 years’ experience as a dental hygienist, and works in private dental practice in Cheshire. He was Editor of the FGDP’s Team in Practice journal and Vice-Chair of its DCP Committee, and now serves on the College’s Membership Affairs Committee. John is also a member of the College Council.

My journey to College Fellowship

In March 2022, the College launched its landmark new route to fellowship based on experience, and invited dental professionals to apply. We asked four members who recently gained Fellowship through the new “by experience” route, to tell us about their professional journey and how their experience led them to Fellowship.

Anoup Nandra FCGDent

Q. Can you tell us about yourself and your career?

A. I graduated from Birmingham Dental School in 2002 and completed my vocation training in London. I returned to Birmingham to become an associate in a mixed practice, Edgbaston Dental Centre, becoming a partner in 2006. Later in 2014, I set up Rock Dental, a private practice.

I’ve been fortunate to have amazing colleagues around me, and together we have pursued various forms of post graduate education. Over the years I’ve completed restorative training at the FDGP/RCS, along with implant training at the Eastman. I became involved in vocational training early in my career, and through this was encouraged to complete a certificate in medical education. Most recently, I have started an LLM in medical law. I guess I could be described as a bit of a dental geek!

I still have a huge passion for clinical wet fingered dentistry with my main interests being surgical dentistry and restorative dentistry. Over the years, I have learned about the management side of the business and how to adapt to the changing climate in dentistry.

Outside of dentistry, I can usually be found playing cricket somewhere, or watching my children play cricket!

Q. Why did you decide to apply for Fellowship of the College?

A. Very early on in my career, I embarked upon the FGDP career progression pathway with the ultimate aim of Fellowship being a personal ambition of mine.

Throughout university and my early career, I was mentored by amazing clinicians, many of which were Fellows, or had encouraged me to aim to achieve Fellowship in the future.

On multiple occasions I enrolled onto the FGDP fellowship programme, but for various reasons I simply did not have the time to begin. Life got in the way, and I had almost given up on having the time to complete my Fellowship.

When the College of General Dentistry was formed, naturally, being a huge supporter of the College, I transferred over my membership and joined the College. At this point, I was approached by one of my mentors who suggested that I look at the “by experience” route. I looked at the criteria, and 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 and the rest is history!

Q. Which three of the five fellowship domains does your professional experience meet?

A. Although meeting the requirement of only three domains out of the available five was required, I attempted to meet the criteria of all five.

For the Clinical Domain, I was able to use my MSc in Implant Dentistry along with evidence of having worked as a referral practitioner to meet the requirements.

I satisfied the criterial for the Teaching, Learning & Assessment Domain as I had completed a PG Certificate in Medical Education and could provide evidence of my role as an educational supervisor / trainer in the West Midlands Deanery for at least four years.

To meet the requirements of the Leadership & Management Domain, I used a reference from my practice accountant showing that I had been a principal for at least ten years, along with evidence of my practice meeting the BDA Good Practice Scheme over the last three years.

As evidence in the Publications & Research Domain, I used my Master’s research dissertation.

For the Law & Ethics Domain, I was able to demonstrate that I had completed the first two years of an LLM in legal aspects of medical practice (to certificate level) and was able to provide evidence of having completed at least 60 expert witness reports.

Q. What would you say to others who are considering applying for Fellowship through the experience route?

A. For all of you that meet the qualification criteria, the Fellowship is a great way of supporting your College and a way of recognising all the effort you have put into your career over the years!

To anyone considering applying for Fellowship through the experience route, I would say go for it! Give it a go, you will be amazed, as I was, how much relevant experience you will have gained over the years. The process of collating all the evidence itself is valuable – you will find that you have probably achieved so much more than you realise! The application route is fair and allows you to use a wide range of evidence to support your case. The College is also incredibly helpful in guiding you through the process and making sure that you are directing your efforts correctly.

I remain grateful for the guidance that I have been given over the years by my mentors, and by my peers. Although achieving the level of a Fellow was a personal goal, I think it also reflects the support I have received when following this structured career pathway over the last 20 years. I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone considering this route.

Wendy Thompson FCGDent

Q. Can you tell us about yourself and your career?

A. I have been a general dental practitioner based in Cumbria for ten years, but dentistry is actually my second career.

I started my working life as a Fast Stream Scientist at the Ministry of Defence, after graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in microbiology. At MOD, I delivered policy and big projects, such as being project planner for the new aircraft carriers and establishing the missile defence centre (a government-industry partnership).

After my family and I decided to move back to Lancashire, I spent some time working for Lancashire County Council on partnerships and community engagement. During this period, I decided to do some serious soul searching about what I valued and wanted out of life.

That was when I decided to embark on a new career and go back to university. Luck was on my side because UCLAN is not far down the M6 from home and they had just set up a new BDS course with University of Liverpool. It’s now ten years since I graduated and I still love treating patients. But just treating patients five days a week was never going to completely fulfil me. As a foundation dentist, I undertook an audit about antimicrobial prescribing, which due to my background became something of a route map for dental antimicrobial stewardship. It wasn’t long before I became a member of the NICE antimicrobial stewardship guideline development. And then someone said ‘You should do a PhD!’. Ha! Me? A PhD??

Anyway, next stop was a PhD at University of Leeds with Prof Gail Douglas, supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through a doctoral research fellowship (the first GDP to receive one). In hindsight, my PhD had the most ironic title – “Antibiotic prescribing towards a reduction during urgent dental care in England”. The pandemic hit just a few months after I graduated and antibiotic prescribing rose dramatically.

Throughout my PhD I continued to deliver clinical dentistry, as a GDP in Bradford, and feel that my academic work really benefitted from my clinical work (and vice versa). Following my PhD, I moved to University of Manchester as an NIHR clinical lecturer in primary dental care . The post is essentially 50% academic and 50% clinical dentistry (as a GDP in Kirkby Lonsdale). My first week coincided with the national COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. What an interesting time to start a new job – especially when your research interest is antibiotic prescribing and urgent dental care!

Over the years, I’ve taken on various national and international roles, including the College’s lead on Antimicrobial Resistance, a member of the College’s research panel and a College Ambassador.

Q. Why did you decide to apply for Fellowship of the College?

A. Fellowship of the College has a kudos; it’s a mark that you have achieved a certain level of expertise and breadth in your career. College Fellowship is valued in academia and demonstrates I have a broad influence within the profession. I went for the Fellowship by experience route because I could see that I would meet the criteria needed to qualify and it would be a straightforward process.

Q. Which three of the five Fellowship domains does your professional experience meet?

A. I chose the Publications & Research Domain, the Teaching, Learning & Assessment Domain and the Leadership & Management Domain. I managed to achieve the gateway criteria in all three domains which meant I didn’t need to provide a full portfolio of evidence.

On taking up an academic post at the University of Manchester, the New Academics Programme (NAP) is provided which leads to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Having submitted my NAP portfolio in January, I was pleased when my FHEA was confirmed as I could use it as part-qualifying for the Teaching, Learning & Assessment domain. The other part was providing evidence that I have been a visiting lecturer on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UCLan since 2015.

For the Leadership & Management Domain, I was able to reference my international work, including as a Fellow of the International College of Dentists (ICD). In addition, I referenced my work with the FDI World Dental Federation; I am a member of its science committee and chair of its antibiotics working group and early career research network, as well as lead author of its white paper on the essential role of dental teams at tackling antibiotic resistance which I’ve  repurposed as an online course (free via the FutureLearn website).

The Publications & Research Domain was achieved through evidencing my PhD.

Q. What would you say to others who are considering applying for Fellowship through the experience route?

A. Do it! The journey to fellowship has been hard work and enormous fun. Working towards gaining Fellowship through the experience route is a great way to plan out your career progression as you work towards broadening your skills, becoming a more rounded dentist, and enabling you to have a lasting impact on the profession.

Peter Martin FCGDent

Q. Can you tell us about yourself and your career?

A. After growing up in Portsmouth I moved to Liverpool to study dentistry, graduating in 1986. I became a father as an undergraduate and went into practice as an associate in a high-needs part of north Liverpool where I stayed for five years working almost entirely in the highly pressured NHS.

After this grounding and helping a colleague setting up a practice, I became a practice owner, buying a single-handed practice in St Helens in 1992. I was invited to be a Clinical Assistant in Orthodontics and expanded the practice by becoming a Vocational Trainer in 1998. After much toil and sacrifice, including a partial Denplan conversion in 2000, the practice grew. A part-time salaried position in a Dental Access Centre for three years helped to pay the tax bill.

I continued in Vocational Training and then Foundation Training and became a postnominal collector. I achieved membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) in 2002 and MFDSRCS(Eng) the following year. In 2004-6, I was in Cohort 1 of the DipRestDent at MANDEC. Lots of CPD and tutoring later, I still work in St Helens with a five-surgery practice, have a grown-up daughter, and live with my partner, while spending my little free time walking, quizzing and living a simple life.

Q. Why did you decide to apply for Fellowship of the College?

A. As mentioned above, I like to collect letters after my name. I received an email from the newly formed CGDent with details of the fellowship by experience path (having already been awarded AssocFCGDent because of my Postgrad Diploma), realised that I could tick the relevant boxes and applied. It is a nice feeling to be told that I am officially a senior member of the profession, despite still having a degree of imposter syndrome after more than 35 years in practice.

Many of my closest friends at Dental School had sat FDSRCS (the main means to have a career path prior to the FGDP) and developed specialist hospital careers before “specialties” existed. A feeling of inferiority was natural – it was implied that GDPs were lesser beings by our hospital-based undergraduate teachers – but it was also motivational.

 I have experienced many changes in dental practice – the expectations in 1986 were a job as an NHS dentist, possibly practice ownership, until retirement. Now we have huge opportunities to acquire skills and training and to enjoy fulfilling careers – the letters after our names massage egos, but the real joy is in knowing we have progressed in ways earlier generations couldn’t.

Q. Which three of the five fellowship domains does your professional experience meet?

A. The Domains I chose were Clinical; Teaching, Learning & Assessment; and Leadership & Management.

Having a large appetite for CPD meant I could demonstrate externally-verified clinical skills via the DipRestDentRCS(Eng).

To demonstrate my commitment to education I showed that I was awarded a PGCert in Teaching & Learning in Clinical Practice in 2017 and was Postgraduate Tutor in the Mersey Deanery/HEENW for 11 years. I was a Vocational Trainer/ FD Educational Supervisor for 20 graduates and a letter from Anne, one of my former Training Programme Directors was needed to verify this. I am also a member of the Faculty of Dental Trainers RCS(Ed).

Having been a practice owner since 1992, served on an LDC and experienced new contracts imposed by the NHS, the invention of the CQC, changes to employment law, the rise of the corporates and imposition of clinical governance, I had some experience of leadership and management in dental practice. This was accepted as satisfying the Leadership & Management Domain requirements. I also had membership of the BDA Good Practice Scheme and obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Dental Health Service Leadership & Management from the FGDP(UK) in 2010.

Q. What would you say to others who are considering applying for fellowship through the experience route?

A. The application process was straightforward and open, not like my experience of the assessment for Fellowship of the FGDP(UK). The criteria are clear and I believe, highly suitable for the purpose of demonstrating the range of skills and experience expected of “senior” practitioners. I would advise anyone with a suitable career history to apply and for those at an earlier stage to use the domains as a guide to career development.

Kaushik Paul FCGDent

Q. Can you tell us about yourself and your career?

A. I am a General Dental Practitioner in the Midland and London areas and the Clinical Director for MyDentist for the North West and Central regions, covering 150 practices.

Previously to this, I was an associate dentist at High Street Dental Practice for the past 11 years and have been a Foundation Dentist Trainer in general practice. I was also a Tier 2 Oral surgery Provider involving sedation in various practices within the Midlands region. I work part time at the Birmingham Dental Hospital as Speciality Dentist in Oral Surgery and as Clinical Lecturer in Oral Surgery at the School of Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham.

In these clinical roles, I am actively involved in the delivery of General Dental Services along with Minor Oral Surgery services.

I completed my BDS in India and then undertook the IQE examination in 2005 to register to work in the UK. Following this, I completed a Diploma in Conscious Sedation from Newcastle University and my MFDS and MJDF from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Royal College of Surgeons of England respectively. I gained the Certificate in Dental Practice Appraisal and Certificate in Minor Oral Surgery from the FGDP, along with a MSc in Oral Surgery from UCLAN.

I also hold a Post Graduate certificate in Dental Practice Appraisal and Leadership and Management. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy having undertaken a PG Certificate in Education.

I have a great passion for teaching and am actively involved in teaching, assessments, career planning and supporting undergraduate teaching and recruitment within Dental school and in Dental Foundation training and have taught on the MSc programmes at Warwick University. I’ve also tutored for the MJDF and am now on the Advisory Board for the MFDS examination with the RCSEd. I am currently involved in shaping the delivery of local dental services in the Staffordshire and Shropshire area as a member of the local LPN.

 I have been closely involved in mentoring and have worked as a Clinical Practice Advisor for 18 practices and as the CPD tutor within the Rodericks Group. Further, I have worked closely with the deanery to support colleagues through design and delivery of individualised mentoring pathways for clinicians with varied needs.

Outside of work, I relish food, traveling and shopping. I support a number of charities and am passionate about equality of opportunity for all.

Q. Why did you decide to apply for Fellowship of the College?

A. The fellowship of a college usually signifies a recognition of years of work and dedication to one’s professional career and also to the wider profession. Having been associated with the College from its inception and indeed from the times when it was FGDP, it was but natural that I seek to be a member and when the opportunity arose, aspire to be a fellow of the College. The “by experience” route allowed me to showcase years of work and use it to gain the fellowship.

Q. Which three of the five fellowship domains does your professional experience meet?

A. I applied for the fellowship under the Clinical; Teaching, Learning & Assessment; and Leadership & Management Domains. In the Clinical Domain, I was able to meet the gateway criteria based on achieving a Masters in Oral Surgery, along with other qualifications. Similarly, my teaching experience allowed me to meet the gateway criteria for the Teaching, Learning & Assessment Domain. My work as a clinical director and as a clinical advisor within corporate dentistry meant that I met the gateway criteria for the Leadership & Management Domain.

Q. What would you say to others who are considering applying for Fellowship through the experience route?

A. I think it is a fantastic opportunity for practitioners who have diverse and enhanced careers in general dental practice, to be recognised for it through the fellowship by experience pathway. Additionally, gaining fellowship associates them to a College that is progressive, inclusive and recognises all members of the dental profession. As a young College that is seeking to enhance and widen its membership and scope, this is the time for members of the GDP community to contribute through their experience and skills and make a difference in the dental landscape.

Congratulations to new Fellows Anoup Nandra, Wendy Thompson, Peter Martin and Kaushik Paul, and to all those who have been awarded Fellowship of the College of General Dentistry.

Dental professionals can apply for admission to Fellowship of the College – the mark of accomplishment in dentistry – by two routes: Fellowship by Experience and Fellowship by Equivalence.

To apply for Fellowship by the Fellowship by Experience route, you will need to submit a CV and detailed evidence showing how you meet the eligibility criteria for three of the five fellowship domains. The domains are: Clinical; Teaching, learning & assessment; Leadership & management; Publications & research; Law & ethics. We have “Gateway” criteria which require less evidence and will be processed more quickly, if you meet all these requirements.

Full details about routes to Fellowship and how to apply are available here.

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