Dental trainees in hospital posts

Dentist with child patient

Training for dentists is different to training for doctors and, as such, their pay arrangements are different. This page explains exactly what trainees should be paid, including the fact that some trainees’ basic pay will go down.

Dental Foundation Training

Following their dental qualification, for work in NHS primary care it is compulsory for dentists to undertake a year of training with a primary care provider.  This year is called Dental Foundation Training (previously known as the Vocational Dental Practitioner year). During this period they are paid an allowance which is higher than the salary payable at medical foundation training level. This allowance is detailed in the latest Medical and Dental Pay and Conditions Circular.

Dental Core Training

Pay for Dental Core Training (previously Dental F2/SHO) is still governed by the DH letter of 2008.

When a trainee leaves Dental Foundation Training (formerly VDP) and enters Dental Core Training year one, their basic pay should be set as follows:

    - If their post has a banding supplement: point 1 of the MN21 scale.
    - If their post is unbanded: protected on the Dental Foundation Training (VDP) rate.

This means that if DCT year one trainees receive a banding supplement, their basic pay will go down on entry to DCT1.

These arrangements apply for the whole of DCT year one. For example, if the first six months of the placement are banded and the second six months of the placement are unbanded, the trainee should be put on point 1 of the MN21 scale plus banding for the first six months, and then protected on the Dental Foundation Training rate for the second six months.

Dental Core Trainees should not be placed on any point above point 1 of MN21 unless they have previous experience in the DCT/SHO grade or higher.

We are aware that this rule has not been applied uniformly and so we recommend that on entry to DCT1 and DCT2, all trainees’ previous service should be checked in order to avoid perpetuating overpayments.

Longitudinal dental foundation training is a more complex scenario so please contact us at if you have any questions over pay.

Dental StR

Some trainees will go into the Specialty Registrar (StR) grade following Dental Core Training.  Please contact us to discuss how pay should be set in this circumstance.

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