New to NHS Dentistry in England


Dentists who have graduated outside the UK


Dentists in this group fall into two categories depending on whether you qualified inside or outside the EEA and the two groups have different pathways to primary care dental practice in the UK.

The rules governing dental practice in the UK are complex. You should contact the General Dental Council (GDC) to gain information about the latest registration requirements.  We would also advise you read the latest government information on working in the UK.

If you have qualified outside the EEA you will probably have to pass the Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) before you can register with the GDC. 

Once you are registered with the GDC you will have to decide how and where you wish to work.  If you wish to work in primary care NHS dentistry, once you have found a position within a practice, you will need to apply to join the national Performers List.

When applying for the Dental Performers List you will have to show that you:

  • have completed Dental Foundation Training/Vocational Training or;
  • can demonstrate experience equivalent to Dental Foundation Training or;
  • are exempt from the requirement to undertake Dental Foundation Training.  You will be exempt from the requirement if you have qualified in the EEA (unless you qualified at a UK dental school).

If none of the above  applies to you, you can apply for entry to the Performers List by the Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE) process.  

  • At the present time Health Education England is not able to consider applications into PLVE from dentists who cannot provide clinical references relating to two recent* posts (one of which will usually be a current post) each of which lasted at least three months (continuous period) without a significant break, or where this is not possible, a full explanation as to why that is the case and the names and addresses of two alternative referees.  *Recent is defined as 'working within a dentist's full scope of practice within the previous two years' and is based upon the AoMRC Return to Practcie Guidance (2017 Revision).

For any further enquiries, please contact or click here to access guidance from the Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors (COPDEND).  

Performers List Validation by Experience, guidance for HEE Local Offices and applicants.

Validation by Experience Dentist application form for the north east and north Cumbria.

Validation Supervisor application form for the north east and north Cumbria.

Practice self assessment checklist for the north east and north Cumbria (to be submitted with the Validation Supervisor application form).