College launches Professional Framework for dental careers

The College has launched its much-anticipated Professional Framework, which describes the expected level of a dental practitioner’s capabilities at each stage of their careers.

Aimed at providing recognition of professional development and promoting job satisfaction and workforce retention, Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework sets out the knowledge, skills and other 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.

The framework has been mapped out by four working groups – representing dentists, dental hygienists & therapists, dental nurses & orthodontic therapists, and dental & clinical dental technicians – working together through a programme board and reference group.

The creation of career pathways for general dental practice was a key founding purpose of the College, and the Professional Framework provides the intellectual foundation of our Career Pathways in Dentistry programme, which is supported by Colgate.

The College is also developing a Certified Membership scheme, which will provide dental professionals with the tools to guide their individual postgraduate development journey. This will present the opportunity to embark on a pathway that fits in with personal learning and training goals using a flexible, modular approach supported by a facilitated, reflective personal development plan. It will also provide a structure through which those already established in their careers can further develop their career aspirations and/or mentor less experienced colleagues. This unique proposition, which will be for all members of the dental team, will enable dental professionals to demonstrate that they have met the capabilities for each career stage as defined in the Professional Framework. Progressing along the scheme will be a journey of professional development, rather than an end-point examination, and one in which the individual will be supported.

Dr Abhi Pal, President of the College, and Professor Avijit Banerjee, Chair of the College’s Career Pathways Programme Board, said:

“Those who carve out a career in the primary dental care sector have been almost unique within healthcare professions in not having defined career structures to support their professional development, despite the presence of multiple training opportunities.

The CGDent Professional Framework adopts an innovative approach which encourages flexibility for dental professionals to meet their practice and career aspirations, whilst recognising milestones along their often varied professional journeys, by providing a clear and coherent supporting structure.

It is a product made for dental professionals and by dental professionals, and the College owes its thanks to the many dentists, hygienists, therapists, nurses and technicians who have contributed to it, as well as to Colgate for their generous support that has enabled it to be completed.”

Career Pathways in Dentistry: Professional Framework is available for all dental professionals to download free of charge.

The College is inviting feedback on the Professional Framework in order to refine it and make it as robust as possible, and encourages dental professionals to explore it, test it out, and consider how they might use it to support their own development as well as that of colleagues. Feedback should be submitted online here

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Two dentists, one award and 6,000 subscribers

Award-winning early-career dentist, Pouya Zohrabpour, features in the College’s new film and tells us about the innovative educational work he has been doing to support dental students and young dentists.

I remember the day I was studying with my friends for our final exams of dental school and we received an email saying that all our in-person exams have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 lockdown. This was right at the start of Covid. Being one of the Covid year graduates was a very odd experience and I never thought the start of my career would pan out the way it has. I am now a first-year associate dentist and have been lucky enough to start and work on many additional projects related to my dental work.

With my friend Dr Ali Gowie, I run a dental YouTube channel and Instagram account called Two Dentists. This was something we started during the lockdown as we both got bored of watching long one-hour webinars and wanted to create highly educational videos which were professional, concise and easy to understand. So much of dentistry can be complicated but we felt that if we did enough research, we could script videos and break down difficult concepts into bite-sized videos for young dentists and dental students.

Our first few videos, which have been some of the most popular on our channel, focused on the new patient examination. We have made videos on seeing your first patient as a dental student, best way to take a dental history, dental examination, essential diagnoses, radiology and treatment planning.

We have since expanded and released a variety of other videos such as our series on dental photography and Loupes, which have been very popular. After launching and committing to releasing one video every week, which we maintained for a full year, we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from everyone. My proudest moment of our YouTube journey was when a friend of mine sent a photo of a lecturer at the University of Bristol (where I graduated) showing my radiology video to a group of final year students.

The Youtube channel has allowed us to collaborate with many dentists and be in a continual state of learning. We have been lucky to be able to collaborate with Dr Shivam Divani who is the creator of the My Dental Care App. The app aims to educate the general public on the importance of good oral hygiene and to show you how to protect your teeth and prevent dental issues. With Dr Divani we created a six-part video series which accompanies the text and images in the app. These videos have also been released publicly on our YouTube Channel.

My progress on the YouTube channel was one of the factors that led to me winning the FGDP Foundation Dentist of the Year last year – which I am extremely grateful for. I am now extremely proud to also be an Ambassador for the College and to fulfil my role in spreading awareness of the new Career Pathways to support young dentists like myself.

In my foundation training year, I had to decide if I wanted to do Dental Core Training or not. This decision was based on speaking to my friends and colleagues but I found it difficult to make a decision as everyone had different opinions and I was unsure of the pathway I wanted to go down. I am sure many others have been in this position and this is where I believe the new Careers Pathways programme can come in. As a young dentist, having a career pathway which has been mapped by a professional body and shows clear steps in progression gives me security in knowing that I am on the right path for me to expand my knowledge and become a better dentist. Whilst doing so, it’s great to know that my progression will be recognised by the College and I can work my way up to becoming an ‘accomplished practitioner’. I believe the Career Pathway will be a must-use programme for every young dentist who is currently in general practice looking for a structured pathway for continual professional development, enabling you to move forward and enhance your career with confidence.

We plan to launch the College’s Career Pathways in dentistry, underpinned by the Professional Framework, in June 2022. Look out for details in the June issue of our monthly newsletter – sign up to receive it.

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CPD submission reminder

Colleagues are reminded that Sunday 28 August 2022 is the deadline for all dental professionals other than dentists to submit an annual CPD statement detailing professional development activity undertaken between and 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022.

Delegates at the CGDent Scotland Study Day, December 2021

The GDC requires dental therapists, dental hygienists, orthodontic therapists and clinical dental technicians to complete a minimum of 75 hours of verifiable CPD every five years, and dental nurses and dental technicians a minimum of 50 hours.

All dental professionals need to complete at least 10 hours of verifiable CPD during any two-year period, and must submit an annual CPD statement whether or not they have undertaken any CPD in the preceding 12 months.

The next submission deadline for dentists is 28 January 2023, covering education undertaken during 2022.

The College offers members access to a wide range of CPD opportunities:

CPD library

Free, on-demand access to a library of around 1000 hours of certified, GDC-compliant CPD. To access the content, log in to using the details sent to you following your transfer/entry into College membership.

Live webinars

Live, College-hosted webinars covering a wide range of subjects are available free to members every month, powered by ProDental. Recent subjects include practice ownership, managing traumatic dental injuries, sustainability in dentistry, leadership, professionalism and how to get the best from your career.

Members also have free access to all of ProDental’s weekly live webinars.

And if you miss a live webinar, you’ll find it in the online library within around 24 hours.

Details of all recent and upcoming webinars can be found here

Study Days

Members receive heavily discounted attendance fees for study days and events. The following are currently scheduled:

Details of all recent and upcoming study days and events can be found here


The courses for the College’s educational qualifications provide significant numbers of CPD hours. The following are currently offered:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics
  • Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Care Orthodontics

Stay up-to-date with news about our webinars, study days and educational programmes by ensuring you are signed up to the College’s monthly newsletter here

Third party resources

The College also recommends the following online resources developed by third parties, each of which offers free CPD:

Education partnership with the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show

The College of General Dentistry is delighted to be the Education Partner and headline supporter for the Core CPD Theatre at the 2022 British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show.

The Core CPD Theatre will feature 11 seminars over the two day conference, with experts in their fields sharing their extensive knowledge, and offering practical advice, on an array of essential, GDC-recommended, CPD subjects. The College itself will be hosting four of these, and we look forward to welcoming members and non-members alike to our seminars on:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Leadership in infection prevention and control
  • Information sharing in the digital age
  • Complaints handling: a step-by-step approach to resolving a dental complaint

Click here for further details

College representatives will also be available throughout the conference at Stand P56 to talk to you about our vision for the profession, the benefits of membership, and to answer any questions you may have.

Conference registration is free, and delegates will have access to over 250 seminars and workshop sessions in all, tailored to the whole dental team, across 14 lecture theatres.

The conference is co-sited with the Dental Technology Showcase, a major exhibition giving visitors the opportunity to discover the latest dental innovations and equipment from over 400 suppliers. And the Dentistry Show provides a great opportunity to network with thousands of dentists, practice managers, hygienists and therapists, dental nurses, technicians and laboratory owners.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Transforming oral health: A fellow’s journey

Dental Hygienist, Frances Robinson AssocFCGDent, has recently completed the Clinical Oral Health Transformation Fellowship with HEE. As the first ever dental care professional in any clinical fellowship role, Frances explains what was involved.  

A fellowship is a position, often combined with clinical work, that focuses on the learning and development of the individual taking part. Fellowship roles in the healthcare profession aim to expand opportunities for aspiring leaders; helping them gain the necessary experience and skills for future system leadership roles. As such, there are a range of opportunities to be involved with projects and programmes and to work in settings outside a clinician’s normal exposure. There can be specific goals of writing, submitting, and publishing papers, attending meetings and conferences, and working on particular projects, as well as networking. The balance of these is dependent on the host organisation.

I have just completed a one-year position with Health Education England (HEE) as their Clinical Oral Health Transformation Fellow. HEE’s purpose is to support the delivery of excellent healthcare to patients, by ensuring that the workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours. Thus, the areas I worked on related to the development of the oral health work force.

I was the first dental care professional (DCP) to be awarded the clinical fellowship, these roles are typically fulfilled by a dentist. I am extremely grateful for this innovative appointment both for my personal development and the development of my career, but also for other DCP colleagues, for now it has opened up new realms of opportunities for us to progress in system roles.

I applied for the role because of the potential to gain experience working in the public health sector, whilst allowing me to work clinically at the same time. Having completed a Masters in Dental Public Health in 2017 – spurred on by my interests in health inequalities research – I felt this position would be an excellent opportunity for me to develop my career.

At the CDO stand with Sara Hurley and other fellows at the BDIA showcase

During a fellowship there is flexibility to align the projects undertaken to individual interests, whilst working for the greater aims of an organisation. This means there is a real opportunity to tailor a role to where there is the most personal or organisational benefit. My aims for the year working with HEE were to work on projects that I’m interested in, for example oral health inequalities, oral health empowerment and promotion, increase my skill mix and exposure to multidisciplinary team working in primary care, as well and develop opportunities for leadership and management for all members of the dental team.

I am currently writing up multiple papers to be published; one evaluates the success of a pilot that aimed to reduce the number of paediatric patients sent to secondary care for dental extractions under general anaesthetic. A subsequent paper will evaluate the success of the “return to work” therapy scheme, a programme aimed at supporting Dental Therapists who have not been using their full scope of practice, back into therapy work by providing them with training opportunities, supervisor support and a practice placement. I will also be helping to write a concept paper for a Dental Hygiene postgraduate training programme.

During my time with HEE, I have had the chance to sit on various working groups like a “Managed Clinical Network” and interact with external organisations such as Public Health England, academic institutions, professional societies and local councils.

A clinical fellow may also have the opportunity to attend courses and gain qualifications that are not linked to their clinical work; I was selected to complete an Institute of Leadership and Management, level 7 qualification through HEE. I received three days of training with UMD Professional and then completed a research element which involved interviewing my colleagues at the HEE dental office.

Furthermore, I am currently completing a “Becoming an Expert Educator in the Healthcare Professions” course with the University of Nottingham. These additional skills and qualifications are important for demonstrating tangible outcomes from the year.

It has sometimes been a trying year due to the pandemic – working from home during a fellowship has meant less interaction with colleagues and difficulty integrating into an office very different from a clinical setting. Natural communication with colleagues is often stilted when working virtually. I subsequently created ice breakers for meetings with my peers to stimulate organic conversation!  

There are other fellows across the country with HEE and in other organisations for example with the Chief Dental Officer, General Dental Council, Care Quality Commission and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I). We have a clinical fellow networking group where collaborations across work streams can be facilitated and a journal club takes place. This has given me the chance to network with new professionals across medicine and dentistry which has been really enjoyable! The fellows try to see each other in person despite being spread out across the country– the most recent of which was at the BDIA Dental Showcase at ExCel London.

As I was the first fellow at Health Education England to be a DCP I was – and still am – in a unique position to be an advocate for DCPs, working hard to make our voices heard across a variety of settings. I was asked to do a presentation at the BDIA conference on workforce and skill mix. I focused on the skill mix in our systems, policy, planning, commissioning, leadership and management. I am passionate about DCP representation in all of these areas as I truly believe that if we are represented throughout the system we will have a more empowered workforce. If you’re interested in taking up a Fellowship position, keep an eye on NHS jobs, HEE jobs, FMLM for dentists and your professional society pages.

Presenting at the BDIA showcase

The College of General Dentistry has a unique structure with exciting opportunities to create connections between different dental professionals against an academic backdrop. There are no other organisations in the industry now that represents all dental registrants in this way. The careers pathway programme will be able to support individuals navigating their fields; there will be guidance, support networks and mentors available to enhance learning and progression. I personally am very excited to have a structure in which to work, with industry recognition of the level attained. I know that many DCPs have much to offer the wider industry with postgraduate qualifications and extensive experience in many areas, as well as evidence of enhanced learning. The College will enable these efforts to be verified through a framework where all dental professional are assessed equally. This certainly is an exciting time for us all.

Frances Robinson chairs the Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy Group on the College’s Career Pathways programme.

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President discusses dental careers at No.10

On 29 March 2022, College President Dr Abhi Pal visited No.10 Downing Street to attend a roundtable breakfast meeting on access to careers and progression in dentistry hosted by the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on healthcare policy.

Dr Pal commented:

“It is great to see recognition at the top of government that widening access to dental training, followed by career progression based on merit and not hindered by inequalities, are vital in order to recruit and retain a workforce reflective of the population it serves and able to meet the UK’s oral health needs.

For its part, the College of General Dentistry is committed to breaking down unnecessarily prescriptive and exclusionary professional barriers, and is developing a Professional Framework with accompanying Career Pathways that will offer all general dental professionals staged recognition of their knowledge and skills, and a range of routes to planning a fulfilling career in dentistry.”

The College will shortly be hosting a related live webinar:

Social inequalities when applying to study dentistry
Monday 4 July 2022, 7pm
This will discuss social inequalities and how they may affect students when applying to study dentistry. It will be free to view for all dental professionals on the day, and the recording will be available thereafter to CGDent members. Approx. 1.5 CPD hours. CPD e-certificates are free for CGDent members. REGISTER HERE

Related webinar recordings already available to College members in the CPD library include:

Why colour is the elephant in the room
A first-hand exploration of racial inequality and prejudice, with real life experiences from colleagues working in all areas of dentistry, and highlighting ways in which we can tackle inequalities and systemic racism. “This webinar was so, so important and impactful”
Approx. 2 hours’ CPD.

How to get the best from your career in dentistry
This webinar looks at career and development planning no matter your career stage, and for the whole dental team, exploring next steps and what courses and opportunities are available. It also provides information on CGDent’s development of Career Pathways to give your dental career a boost. 2 hours 15 minutes’ CPD.

College invites dental professionals into Fellowship by Experience

The College of General Dentistry has launched a landmark new route to fellowship based on experience, and has issued an open invitation to suitably experienced dental professionals to apply.

The community of Fellows lies at the heart of the College, providing leadership and collectively supporting the development of dentistry, as well as reflecting the values of the organisation and its focus on professionalism.

In line with the College’s ambitions and inclusive approach, applicants do not need to be an existing member of the College, and fellowship is open to all members of the dental team should they meet the criteria. However, a minimum of ten years’ practice as a registered dental professional is required for the application to be considered.

The College has set out transparent criteria for its new Fellowship by Experience route, so that prospective fellows can be confident in their application. A straightforward application process has also been designed to suit the busy modern dental professional, with applicants needing to submit only their CV, registration certificate and evidence of meeting the requirements of three of five fellowship domains.

For each of the five domains – Clinical; Teaching, Learning & Assessment; Leadership & Management; Publications & Research; and Law & Ethics – two sets of criteria have been published.

Evidence for capability in a domain using the standard criteria will need to be accompanied by a reflective account of professional development covering that domain, which will be assessed by the College’s Membership Admissions Panel.

However, meeting the ‘gateway’ criteria will automatically qualify the applicant under that domain.

For example, automatic satisfaction of the Clinical domain of fellowship is available to anyone who holds the FGDP(UK) Diploma in Implant Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry or Minor Oral Surgery, a Masters in Clinical Dentistry (MClinDent), RCS Edinburgh’s Diploma in Implant Dentistry or Membership in Advanced General Dental Surgery (MAGDS), a Membership in General Dental Surgery from any UK Royal College or RCS Ireland (MGDS), membership of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgery, a Specialty Membership of a UK Royal College, Accredited Full Membership of the British Association for Cosmetic Dentistry, or any UK-regulated Postgraduate Diploma or Masters in a clinical subject qualifying as at least 120 Credits in the UK CAT scheme.

Anyone who already holds a fellowship with one of the UK or Ireland Royal Colleges or their faculties of dental surgery or dentistry, with the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgery, or with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, will not need to apply for Fellowship based on experience, but can instead apply for Fellowship by Equivalence, which succeeds the Faculty’s Fellowship ad eundum route.

Successful applicants will be entitled to use the postnominal designation ‘FCGDent’, and as members of the College will receive access to live CPD events and an online library of over 900 hours of content, an online Personal Development Planning tool, quarterly print copies of the Primary Dental Journal and online access to an archive of 90 past issues, heavily discounted access to study days and local and national networking opportunities.

Those applying in the coming weeks will have the opportunity to have their Fellowship conferred by the College President at the CGDent Fellows’ Summer Reception in London on Wednesday 15 June 2022.

The College has also recently launched its innovative new Associate Fellowship membership grade, which acts as a stepping stone to Fellowship. This confers the postnominal designation ‘AssocFCGDent’, and 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 the enhancement of oral healthcare.

Full details are available at

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NIHR Career Progression Fellowships now available to GDPs

The NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) is currently inviting applications for their annual Primary Care Clinician Career Progression Fellowships, which this year are available to primary care clinicians practising in the UK, including general dental practitioners.

Aimed at primary care clinicians who want to start or continue a career in primary care research, the part-time, one-year Fellowships are an opportunity to further develop an academic portfolio in preparation to apply for and conduct a PhD.

The Fellowships can be undertaken at any one of the School’s nine member universities and applicants do not have to be employed by a member university when applying for the Fellowship. Details of each of the universities and their available research programmes can be found here.

In addition to the research opportunities available at each SPCR university, successful applicants will have access to a range of benefits offered by SPCR, including specialised training opportunities, networking, additional funding, mentoring and NIHR Academy membership.

Before applying for a Fellowship, applicants are advised to check that their proposed research project is compatible with the NIHR remit and are encouraged to contact their preferred university to discuss hosting their planned research.

Anyone wishing to apply can download the application form and find more information about the application process here.

Applications close on Monday 25 April 2022 (midnight), online interviews will be held on Thursday 9 June 2022 and the awards start from August 2022.

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CGDent Scotland Study Day – 2 December 2022

Save the date: Friday 2 December 2022, Glasgow

One of dentistry’s most popular large-scale study events in Scotland, the CGDent Scotland Study Day 2022 is scheduled for Friday 2 December in Glasgow – save the date.

Headlining some of the profession’s top speakers, and showcasing state-of-the-art dental technology and equipment from leading suppliers, the annual event attracts around 400 delegates each year. Previous study days have featured presentations from Carol Tait, Iain Chapple, Steve Bosnor, Avijit Banerjee and Tara Renton, to name just a few.

Watch this space for further details about the 2022 line up and registration details.

To read a review of the 2021 CGDent Scotland Study Day, visit our blog.

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