National Dental Core Training (DCT) Recruitment 2021 

This page details the DCT recruitment processes for posts commencing in September 2021.  If you will be applying for posts commencing in September 2022, this page should be referred to for information only.  When the 2022 DCT recruitment processes have been agreed, this page will be updated with this information.

Recruitment to Dental Core Training (DCT) posts in the UK is through a national selection process led by Health Education England's East Midlands Office (The DCT National Recruitment Office).

Please click on the following link to view the person specifications for each level of training (DCT1, DCT2 and DCT3).

All DCT recruitment queries should be directed to 


ONLY information published on this webpage, along with information published on the COPDEND, Oriel and Pearson VUE websites can be relied upon as accurate sources relating to the DCT recruitment processes.  The DCTNRO does not endorse information provided via any other source.

2021 DCT Recruitment Plans

The following recruitment plans apply to DCT1, DCT2 and DCT3 applicants.  Plan B will be enacted if there becomes a shortage of Interview Panellists, due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic.

Recruitment Activity

Plan A

Plan B


In the event that eligible applications exceed 510 (DCT1), 360 (DCT2), 180 (DCT3), the SJT score will be used to shortlist.

As Plan A.


A 2 panellist virtual interview will last 15 minutes and consist of a clinical scenario and a clinical governance, quality improvement & professional skills aspect.

As Plan A, but with one panellist per interview.

Ranking and Offers

Applicants will be ranked and offered based on the scaled SJT score and weighted interview score.  Applicants must achieve 40% of the total marks available to be considered appointable.

The following weighting will be applied:

  1. Clinical Governance, Quality Improvement & Professional Skills – 33.5%
  2. Clinical Scenario – 33.5%
  3. Situational Judgement Test – 33%

In the event of tied rankings, scores will be differentiated using the scores from the following 3 aspects of the selection process, in the following order:

  1. Clinical Governance, Quality Improvement & Professional Skills
  2. Clinical Scenario
  3. Situational Judgement Test
As Plan A.

Please note that the selection process outlined above, does NOT include an assessment of applicant portfolios.


NHS Jobs/Oriel Adverts Appear

Tuesday 12th January 2021

Applications Open

Tuesday 19th January 2021 (10:00)

Applications Close

Tuesday 9th February 2021 (16:00)

SJT Booking Opens

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

SJT Booking Closes

Thursday 25th February 2021

SJT Assessment Window

Wednesday 17th March 2021 - Wednesday 24th March 2021

Interview Invites Sent AND Preference Ranking Opens

Tuesday 13th April 2021
Interview Booking Deadline

Thursday 15th April 2021

Virtual Interviews on Microsoft Teams

Wednesday 21st April 2021

Thursday 22nd April 2021

Friday 23rd April 2021

Tuesday 27th April 2021

Wednesday 28th April 2021

Thursday 29th April 2021

Preference Ranking Closes

Friday 14th May 2021 (14:00)

Inital Offers Released

Wednesday 26th May 2021

Hold Deadline AND Feedback to Applicants

Thursday 3rd June 2021

Upgrade Deadline

Thursday 10th June 2021

Post Preferences and Descriptions

The DCT post preferences and descriptions are available to download below.  For 2021, the information is contained within a single Excel document and there will NOT be separate post descriptions provided in addition to this.  You should be able use the filters on the spreadsheet to find the information that you are looking for.  All details are subject to change at any time (including during the post).

The DCTNRO is unable to endorse or confirm the accuracy of any of the information contained within the Excel document, as each region has responsibility for this.  Therefore, if you have any queries, please get in touch with the named contact for the post or the relevant region for further information.

Below is a map of the UK, which outlines the 12 regions.