Access keys used on this site are:

Supporting Practitioners & Returning to Practice

GDP Appraisal Pilot Schemes / Introduction to NHS Courses / Returning to Practice / Coach-Mentors / Supporting Dental Educators

GDP Appraisal Pilot Schemes – Thames Valley and Wessex


Health Education Wessex manages the Dental Appraisal Scheme for Southampton, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight (IOW) and Portsmouth.  This funded scheme is for General Dental Practitioners (GDPs) included on the National Performers List and working in practices across Hampshire and the IOW.

The appraisal scheme has been a real success since it started in 2011, when it was led by NHS Hampshire (The PCT).  Feedback received from both appraisers and appraisees has been very positive overall.  Over 160 dentists have already taken part in the pilot schemes, telling us they found the process to be a constructive and positive experience.  In particular, individuals being appraised appreciated the structured opportunity to reflect about all areas of their work, recognising appraisal as a valuable tool in the process of professional development.  In addition, effective appraisals can clarify appropriate standards of behaviour and care and inform an individual’s Personal Development Plan (PDP).

The appraisal process seeks to fully support practitioners in achieving career goals and preparing them for eventual GDC revalidation.  It sits well within the concept of “Lifelong Learning” and is vital in developing a clinical governance culture to ensure high standards and best outcomes for patients.

Practitioners preparing for appraisal will typically be asked to provide:

  • A reflective commentary about their practising life
  • Critical reflection about their continuing development needs
  • Information about short, medium and long term goals including ways of meeting them.


This is part of producing a meaningful PDP.


Tel: 01962 718436


Thames Valley

We are now running an identical pilot scheme for GDPs working across Thames Valley.

27 GDPs have now been appointed as appraisers and we are currently recruiting volunteer appraisees within the area.

For information about the Thames Valley scheme contact:

Roz Tritton, Appraisal Lead - Thames Valley



Introduction to NHS Courses

Introduction to NHS Courses are available as individual days or as a programme of 10 day long courses run over three months, commencing in January, April and October each year. These courses are aimed atdesigned primarily for dentists who have graduated outside the UK and who haven’t worked in NHS Primary Care for some time. This includes:

  • Dentists who are working towards Foundation Training by Equivalence
  • EU dentists who have been referred by their Area Team
  • Dentists who have not practised in NHS primary care recently
  • Dentists who need targeted training as advised by the GDC or indemnity provider
  • Private Practitioners returning to the NHS


The subjects are varied and are based around the core competencies that are required to work in the NHS, e.g. 

  • Current NHS rules and regulations
  • Complaints handling
  • Record keeping and standards guidance
  • Treatment planning including patients’ options and how to deliver good quality care within your NHS contract 
  • Quality assurance
  • Clinical governance
  • Health and safety
  • Communication skills and how to avoid problems with patients
  • Employment law and how it affects you in your working life
  • Practical Radiography / IRMER
  • Management of vulnerable adults and children
  • Infection control and decontamination
  • Antimicrobial prescribing


Having completed this programme dentists will feel more confident working within the framework of the NHS and will have had the chance to meet and learn with new colleagues.

If you are a dentist undertaking Foundation Training by Equivalence you will need to produce a portfolio of evidence. We will show you what to do and also help you create your own bespoke Personal Development Plan (PDP).

If you would like to know more about these courses then please contact:

Lauren Kirk

Tel. 01962 718436

Noel Davies (Training Programme Director)

Back to top

Returning to Practice

Where do I start?

Personal development plan

Dental School's PDP Template - This will guide through your career break and help you to a successful return to practice.

Not registered?

It is essential that you contact the General Dental Council (GDC) for information on your individual requirements for getting back on the register: GDC Home Page, GDC Registration Requirements Page.


Fulfilling the GDC's mandatory CPD requirement is obligatory for continued registration. Check the current requirements online to ensure that you’re up to date. Remember you need to keep certificates and aims, objectives and learning outcomes for up to 10 years from the start of your CPD cycle. If you’re a member of the British Dental Association you can get help with CVs, contracts, and a wealth of advice sheets.

Working in the NHS?

You will need to join the NHS Performers List (

Back to top


Health Education England, Thames Valley and Health Education Wessex, works with dental practitioners for whom further support is needed, as a means of resolving concerns about practice or supporting a return to work programme. The concerns might relate to knowledge or skills gaps or behaviours and might have been identified in a variety of ways. There might have been a significant career break or a period of illness or time away from normal practice because of exclusion or suspension.

The coach/mentor programme has been developed to provide trusted support to a practitioner when completing an action plan for their remediation and in working with them to complete the action plan to a satisfactory standard.

Dentists may be referred advised to contact usto the programme by a number of routes, including:

  • NHS England Area Teams
  • Practitioner Advice and Support Schemes
  • Local Dental Committees (WISDOM and PASS schemes)
  • General Dental Council
  • Dental defence organisations (indemnity providers)


For more information about the programme contact:

Sue O'Sullivan, Education Programme Officer


Tel. 01865 785566

Back to top

Supporting Dental Educators

Learning how to Teach and Train

Many dentists and DCPs are educators, either in every day practice supervising and supporting members of the team, or as trainers and teachers on formal educational programmes.

Standards for Dental Educators have been published by COPDEND that describe the areas of knowledge and skills that dental educators need.

Deanery dental educators include Tutors, Trainers, Educational and Clinical Supervisors and Training Programme Directors. Health Education Thames Valley provides short courses for those wishing to be recognised as Trainers and also run a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education programme that is awarded by Oxford Brookes University, for those who wish to make education a significant part of their career.

Developing Dental Educators is a four-day course that runs each June and is a preparatory course for those wishing to be approved as dental foundation, core and therapist foundation trainers and is also suitable for those with a more general interest in training and teaching. The Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education Course is a year-long programme with ten days of formal teaching delivered in three residential modules. Places are limited and priority is given to those with a proven commitment to teaching and training.

Back to top

Bottom Border

A note to our visitors
AcceptWe have updated our Privacy Policy in compliance with EU cookie legislation. Take a look at our Privacy Policy to learn how we use cookies to collect anonymous site usage information. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our Privacy policy.
You'll keep being notified until you click the “Accept” button