Would you like to develop your skills as a dental therapist whilst being supported in General Practice?

The Dental Therapists Foundation Training Scheme (DTFT) excellent opportunity for you to develop your undergraduate skills and become confident in clinical dentistry. As you transition from graduate into the world of work, Dental Therapy Foundation Training gives you the time, encouragement and guidance to succeed in your career as a Dental Care Professional.

The scheme also aims to emphasise the importance of critical thinking and evidence-based practice; whilst promoting successful team working in a general dental practice environment.

Dental Therapist Foundation Trainees will be employed by an approved training practice in an NHS Practice within the Yorkshire and Humber region for 3 days a week.

Foundation training gives you the advantage of being supported by a dental team in practice and mentored by experienced clinicians. Your learning will be targeted towards your own clinical needs and personal development goals; and you will be part of a training cohort where your peers will give you strong social support.

Taking part in the training scheme gives you job and financial security throughout your first year in practice. The salary will cover your working days in practice, training and any study days that fall within your practice hours. This assured income allows you to manage patients free from financial pressures; as well as having the flexibility to seek additional work on other available days in the week.


About the programme

The Dental Therapy Foundation Training scheme aims to equip newly qualified dental therapists with the necessary training and education to build confidence in their clinical skills. The scheme also aims to emphasise the importance of critical thinking and evidence-based practice; whilst promoting successful team working in a general dental practice environment.

The scheme runs for one academic year, September to August, and will typically deliver:

•  A minimum of 15 days of formal education mapped to the curriculum (COPDEND DTFT Curriculum, 2015)
•  Employment within a supportive primary care setting for 3 days each week
•  Tutorials and Case-based discussions periodically throughout the year
•  Work-based assessments to provide structured formative training
•  Certificate of completion


  • Introduce the dental therapist in training to general dental practice
  • Encourage the dental therapist to identify personal strengths and weaknesses, and balance them through a planned programme  of training;
  • Enable the dental therapist in training to practise and improve skills free from undue financial pressure;
  • Promote the implementation of peer and self-review; and
  • Establish the need for professional education, training and audit as a continuing process.


By the end of the training period the dental therapist in training should be able to:

  • demonstrate the clinical skills, knowledge and values relevant to the work of Dental Therapist;
  • demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills for the organisation and management of successful practice;
  • manage the psychological aspects of patient care;
  • work successfully as a member of the practice team;
  • make competent and confident professional decisions with an awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, including the  need to refer when appropriate;
  • demonstrate that he or she is working within the relevant guidelines regarding ethics and confidentiality of general dental practice;
  • implement regulations and guidelines for the delivery of safe practice;
  • know how to draw on the wide range of advice and support available to general dental practitioners and Dental Therapists; and
  • demonstrate that he or she understands that continuing professional development should be a lifelong commitment.


Satisfactory Completion of Dental Therapy Foundation Training:

  • Attendance at all designated study days
  • Completion of the e-Portfolio
  • Participation in a minimum of 20 Tutorials in your training practice
  • Completion of a minimum of 10 ADEPTs
  • Completion of a minimum of 6 Case-based Discussions (CbD)
  • Completion of a broad range of NHS clinical activities throughout the year         



Practice placements

Practice placements:

You will work at an NHS practice that has been approved for training by Health Education England. The practices can be anywhere across the Yorkshire and Humber region and these locations can change each year depending on the applications we receive.

In the 2020/21 scheme our training practice locations were in Sheffield, Rotherham, Worksop, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Richmond and Moortown.

In the 21/22 scheme our training practice locations remained in Sheffield, Rotherham, Dewsbury and Richmond; and gained two further practices in the Wakefield region.

For the upcoming 22/23 scheme, the training practices have not been confirmed.

Further information will be released once we have confirmed the approved practices.

Working days:

You will be required to work three days a week in your training practice. On these days you should expect to treat patients across your full range of skills outlined in the GDC’s ‘Scope of Practice’ document.

At quieter times you should fully immerse yourself into the practice environment, taking opportunities to learn from the entire dental team.

Your clinical days will be determined and agreed by yourself and the training practice.



This is an employed position, as such the salary is currently* based on the NHS Agenda for Change salary scale band 6.23.

*This salary scale may differ upon/after application.

Core competencies

The curriculum for Dental Therapist Foundation Training can be accessed here

Below is a list of the core competencies we would expect to see from the Foundation Dental Therapists during their training period. There is no targeted number per procedure but what we would expect is a varied experience across their entire scope of practice.

We would expect the Foundation Dental Therapists to see a range of patients to demonstrate different patient management techniques and approaches to treatment planning. These typically include:

  • Adults (routine care)
  • Children (routine care)
  • Adults in pain
  • Children in pain
  • Patients with complex medical histories 
  • Anxious patients

The Foundation Dental Therapists may also be exposed to dental & medical emergencies; and the referral pathways in place for oral cancer. The Foundation Dental Therapist should be supported with these by their Educational Supervisor and will aim to broaden their experience.  

Study days

The study day programme is an essential part of Dental Therapy Foundation Training and therefore holidays must NOT be taken during the study day programme. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. illness or family bereavement) the Associate Postgraduate Dean may approve a variation on this. Such approval is not automatic and will not normally be given retrospectively.

Most study days take place virtually and can take place any day of the week. Where necessary, sessions will be face-to-face and held across various locations in Leeds. Expenses will be reimbursed for public and private travel to study day locations. 

A typical study day programme would include further training on medical emergencies; emotional intelligence and building resilience; anterior and posterior composite techniques; ‘Healthy Gums Do Matter’ toolkit; and tooth whitening and clinical photography.



About the team

Training Programme Director: Joanne Ward 

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Graduate Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy, 2009

Tel: 07399 785 605 


As the Training Programme Director (TPD), I will be your key contact within the programme for all matters relating to Dental Therapy Foundation Training (DTFT).

My role is to ensure the delivery of the DTFT curriculum in accordance with the standards set by the General Dental Council.

I have over 15 years experience of working within clinical dentistry and multi-professional education. 

I started my career as a trainee dental nurse in 2005 and quickly progressed to qualify as dental hygienist and therapist in 2009. I have worked across many sectors of dentistry such as; NHS and private practice; specialist referral practices and within the salaried service where I worked with vulnerable adults and children with physical, emotional and social additional needs.

I have taught pre-registration dental nurses for a large training corporation and regularly deliver post-graduate education as part of workforce development. 

In 2018, I became a teaching fellow in the BSc Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy team at the University of Leeds and shortly after began my role within the DTFT programme as a Training Programme Director.




Those who have completed Foundation Training have found it extremely useful and would recommend it to all newly qualified dental therapists. This scheme will not only offer unrivalled support in your first year after graduation, but provide the flexibility to explore other opportunities within dentistry.

Here’s what our trainees thought of their training:

“Having this experience taught me to not be afraid. The Dental Therapy Foundation Training scheme really built my confidence and reassured me in my own abilities and knowledge/skills I learnt at university.”
Fatema, 2020


“I found the study days really useful and I have learnt so much more from them. I would encourage anyone to do foundation training”
Lydia, 2020


“I would just like to say thank you for accepting me onto the course, it has been a brilliant start to my career, I feel I would have felt very overwhelmed had I gone straight into general practice without the support of the FT Scheme. I have gained confidence, skills, and experience that I doubt I would have achieved had I not been on the FT Scheme, so thank you for the opportunity. I really hope the scheme continues, as I think it is perfect for therapists straight out of university, to not only give them the confidence when starting out, but also to help prevent de-skilling, especially in therapy work.”