What is DCT Equivalence?

COPDEND and their stakeholders brought in a new process last year called DCT equivalence... but what is it and who should apply?

What is DCT Equivalence?

This process to facilitate applications for people wishing to do speciality training, but may not have 'ticked the boxes' of two years of DCT posts, but who have the necessarily and equivalent skills to apply. The idea, echoing the recommendations of the Advancing Dental Care report, is to promote more flexible routes to specialist training - for example encouraging people in salaried hospital jobs, community roles or those working at enhanced levels in general dental practice to become specialists. 

Until this change, applicants for all specialist training pathways needed to demonstrate 2 years of DCT training i.e. complete a DCT1 and a DCT2 post. But it was argued that many other routes will give the necessary competencies of a DCT2 level applicant and hence why this formalisation of recognition of skills has been introduced. 

Once you are given a DCT equivalence you can therefore use this to apply for specialty training and hit the essential requirement to having the competencies of a DCT2 on commencement of a specialist training post. 

How do I Apply?

The applications are annually released around August time and applications are streamlined and assessed centrally. They will be open for around a month, with outcomes again around a month later. Please check specific dates on the COPDEND or NES website. 

In order to apply you will need to have completed DCT1, have 36 months as a minimum working as a dentist and could then use evidence from the following (this is not exhaustive) posts to show equivalence:

  • Specialty Dentist/Doctor or Salaried posts in hospital 
  • Community Dental Officer or PDS dentist 
  • Salaried dentist or self-employed dentist working in GDS providing more complex care (e.g. completing post grad qualifications, Level 2 service provision, sedation, domiciliary care) 
  • Posts such as fellowships with split roles between clinical and non-clinical work 
In order to apply you will need to submit evidence to be assessed. Evidence can be any of the following:

  • CV
  • Post grad qualifications e.g. MFDS
  • Clinical logbook
  • CPD log and certificates
  • Personal Development Plan
  • Quality Improvement projects
  • Structured Learning Events (SLE)
  • Multi-source feedback (MSF)
  • Reflections
  • Patient Surveys 
  • Teaching evidence
  • Leadership and Management evidence
  • Presentations
  • Publications

For more information including FAQs, dates and links to apply please see the COPDEND or NES websites.

Have to considering applying for DCT equivalence? What was your experience of it? Please leave them in the comments below.

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