Returning to Dental Practice

Returning to dentistry in any role can be a daunting process. We hope this information will be a starting point for your exciting journey back to work in the dental team.

When you are ready to return to work you will need to decide how and where, whether part time, full time in primary care practice or in secondary care. You will also need to be feel confident you can work safely in the patients’ best interest and may need to take some courses to refresh your knowledge or skills. NHSE South West Dental Education arrange varied courses for the dental team which will support you when returning to dental practice. These are available to book our maxcourse site

GDC registration

You will need to ensure you are registered with the General Dental Council. The process will depend on if you are registering as a dentist or a DCP, are re-joining the register or joining for the first time and where and when you qualified as a dental professional.

How to join the register

How to re-join the register (If you have been registered with the GDC previously)

Enhanced CPD Scheme (Check your registration is up to date and that you fulfil the enhanced CPD requirements.)

Route to registration (If you are new to the GDC register)


To be registered with the GDC it is a requirement that you have appropriate indemnity in place

Finding a job

There are many agencies, dental journals and magazines and websites including the British Dental Journal Jobs website who advertise roles. It may be worth contacting the BDA or the LDC- Local Dental Committee, in the area you wish to work in for advice and to meet some local colleagues.

Working in the NHS

Primary Care Support England State:

“If you are a dentist wanting to provide dental care for the NHS in England, you need apply to join the Dental Performers List for England.
This includes foundation dentists, dental practitioners from the rest of the UK who are moving to England to practice and dentists from abroad. Inclusion on any other Performers List is not transferable and a new application is necessary.”

New Performers

Performers List Applicant Guide

Performers List Quick Guide

All dental applications to join the NHS (England) (Dental) Performers List will be managed in accordance with the existing NHS England Policy for Managing Applications to Join the England Performers Lists (published 11 February 2022).

You will need the following supporting documentation:

  • Your CV
  • Photo ID – Copy of your current passport, or driving licence photocard (UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands or EU). Other acceptable forms of ID can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.
  • Enhanced DBS Certificate (or DBS application reference number). Please upload both pages and ensure that all information is visible*. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 
  • Professional indemnity or insurance certificate*
  • CPR, adult safeguarding and child safeguarding and graduation professional qualification certificates (where applicable)
  • Certificate of graduation or postgraduate training
  • Occupational Health Clearance Certificate
  • A copy of your most recent appraisal/outcome statement (if you have had an appraisal)
  • If you have not studied or trained in the UK or Irish Republic, you will be required to submit alternative documentation. Please see the Performers Lists page of the PCSE website for further information. 

Once you have submitted your application you will have a face to face meeting with primary Care Support England (PCSE) to undertake identity and document checks.

All applicants who are not exempt from foundation training under Regulation 34 (4) (c) and who would previously have been assessed by the HEE Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE) scheme will instead be invited to engage in a structured conversation process to assess their knowledge, skills and experience.

The structured conversation will be conducted jointly by an NHS England Dental Advisor and a representative of the Post-graduate Dental Deans. If learning or support needs are identified, an educational/clinical support plan (ECSP) will be drawn up jointly by the Dental Advisor and representative of the Dental Deans and offered to the applicant using Agreement Terms to enable the applicant to practice under the terms set out in the Agreement. The Agreement will set out how success against the terms will be monitored and the process to be followed if for whatever reason the agreement terms are not satisfactorily completed. Until any amendment to the Regulations is enacted, the assessment of equivalence under Regulation 34 (4) (c) will be linked to the requirement of the ECSP and will be used to bring forward evidence of equivalence at the end of the Agreement Term period.