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Dental students appeal to COPDEND to reconsider the movement of DFT National Recruitment

This petition had 1,600 supporters

Please sign this petition if you believe that COPDEND should reconsider moving the DFT recruitment process. The consultation closes on 31st October 2017 so please sign and pass on to other students! We need as many individual responses to COPDEND as possible, contact them yourself here - .

Please read below if you need any more information on proposed changes.


Dental Foundation Training (DFT) recruitment has traditionally been held in November since it became a national process in 2011. COPDEND, the Postgraduate Dental Deans, have arranged a consultation on the proposal to move elements of the process to after UK Dental School’s release their Finals results.  

At the present time, the national recruitment process occurs a significant time before most UK applicants take their finals - dental national recruitment is in November with majority of schools holding finals in May/June. Please note – this is in line with other medical professions such as Medicine and Pharmacy who hold their National Recruitment in December and September respectively. The DFT start date has recently been moved from August to September, increasing the time period between the announcement of Finals results and the start of DFT to approximately 8 weeks. COPDEND believe that this change makes holding recruitment after UK undergraduate finals a real possibility.

National recruitment consists of a Situational Judgement Test (SJT), Communication Station (role-play with actor) and a Professionalism, Management and Leadership Station.

Many undergraduate students have raised serious concerns over these potential changes, some of which have been outlined below.

Potential Issues raised by Consultation:

  • Inadequate time for dental graduates and their families or significant others to relocate to an unfamiliar area in the UK
  • International students studying in the UK may be unable to apply for a VISA without a job offer in place
  • There may be insufficient time to raise funds for accommodation deposit away from home if students are not allocated their first choice location
  • Stress and burnout are real risks to students performance in both finals and DFT recruitment
  • Consideration that experience of the National Recruitment system would be beneficial to any students that failed their BDS
  • Despite these changes, there still may not be enough DFT places available for every student that graduates
  • DFT allocation in July would mean any unsuccessful candidates are no longer students and would have no support from University staff

COPDEND do not consider DFT National Recruitment to be an exam/test and so do not expect students to either revise or become stressed as a result of this process despite the SJT being held this year in Pearson Vue National Test Centres with approximately 1000 of the most intelligent students nationally applying for a position.

We the students believe COPDEND are closing their eyes and being naïve to the realities of being a modern day dental student – ignoring the real possibility of damaging mental health from stress and burnout in new graduates. 

We do not believe that COPDEND have considered that students may already be in financial difficulty after 5 years of student debt and that these changes to DFT allocation may reduce the opportunity for recent graduates to accept positions where they cannot be supported by family and friends.

We do not believe that COPDEND have considered students opinions at all in creating this proposal for change and implore them to take the signatures on this petition seriously along with the issues raised.

Please sign this petition if you believe that COPDEND should reconsider moving the DFT recruitment process for the welfare and benefit of those students undertaking National Recruitment in future years. 

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