Since April 2006 dentists, who are not already on the National Performers List, have had to apply for a Performer Number from the Local Area Team of NHS England (NHSE). This includes dentists working as locums who are not already on the National Performers List.

Those dentists who do not have a Dental Foundation Training (Vocational Training) Certificate, or who have not completed an appropriate period of Foundation Training as defined in the Regulations, must be assessed by Primary Care Services England in consultation with the Health Education England (HEE) local office to decide whether the dentist can be admitted to the list based on having previous experience and training including NHS primary dental care.

Deaneries ceased to exist in 2013 and are now part of Health Education England's regions. Primary Care Trusts also ceased to exist and in their place, NHS England (formally the NHS Commissioning Board) now manages a National Performers List.

To join this national performers list you are required to apply via a central NHSE system PCSE (CAPITA) who work closely with local teams of NHS England.

The National Performers List website is a useful source of information and contains a postcode search tool, which allows you to easily identify the area team that covers the region in which you wish to work. The search results also provide contact details.

Who may need to be admitted by PLVE
  • Dentists who do not have a Foundation Training (Vocational Training) Certificate
  • Dentists who have not completed, or who are not undertaking, Dental Foundation Training
  • Dentists who do not qualify for exemption under para 31 (5) of the Performer List Regulations.

These Regulations state that:

A dentist will be exempt from requirement to undertake Foundation Training under para 31 (5) of the Performers List Regulations if:

a) He/she is a national of a member state of the European Economic Area other than the United Kingdom with a diploma recognised by the General Dental Council; or

b) He/she has practised in primary dental care for a period of at least two years in aggregate in either:

  • The community dental service or
  • The armed forces or
  • The personal dental services (PDS) prior to 1 April 2006,

and part or all of that period must fall within the period of four years of the date of the dentist's application to the AT Performers List.

Entry Points and Timeline

New applications are now being accepted or processed from dentists who can evidence a minimum of 3 months continuous experience (full-time, or the equivalent period part-time) in the full scope of practice as a dentist within the last 2 years.  Where the placement practice requires an inspection, the Validation by Experience Dentist (VED) should not commence work until it has been possible for that inspection to take place.

Applications from dentists who cannot demonstrate the above requirement cannot be progressed at the present time

Application Process for PLVE Dentists

New applications are now being accepted or processed from dentists who can evidence a minimum of 3 months continuous experience (full-time, or the equivalent period part-time) in the full scope of practice as a dentist within the last 2 years.  Where the placement practice requires an inspection, the Validation by Experience Dentist (VED) should not commence work until it has been possible for that inspection to take place.

Applications from dentists who cannot demonstrate the above requirement cannot be progressed at the present time

1. All dentists wishing to apply for Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE) should look at the National Performers List application form, available for download via

The dentist initially applies to the regional Primary Care Support England (PCSE) office to enable entry onto the relevant Performers List. The process. between HEEYH and NHS England is detailed here

2. NHS England or its agent processes the application and informs Heath Education England, working across Yorkshire and the Humber (HEEYH) if the applicant is suitable for PLVE. 

3. HEEYH send an application form, Supervisor application form and a list of charges. The application form and Supervisor application form must be returned in electronic format. On receipt of these documents, HEEYH  convenes an assessment panel of three representatives or, if required, four members who consider the application.

4.  If the application is approved, the Dean for Postgraduate Dental Education HEEYH makes an educational recommendation and this will be sent to the NHS England.

5. NHS England or its agent will write to the dentist formally shortly after, by confirming the Performer status.  Once this notification is received, the dentist and supervisor should advise Health Education England of the start date for the PLVE programme.

6. Please note that HEEYH does not have funding to support this PLVE programme and the applicant or practice will be required to provide payment at the nationally agreed rate for PLVE.

10. If the proposed PLVE practice and/or the PLVE Mentor are not approved as suitable for supervised training, HEEYH will notify PCSE so that alternative arrangements can be sought. The applicant will normally have to find another potential PLVE practice and/or Mentor. Charges will not be refunded.

  • All application documents need to be submitted in electronic format - paper copies will not be accepted.
  • Should you have not worked as a dentist within the last 2 years there will be an additional clinical skills assessment process which must be completed by the Supervisor and Dentist at a local clinical skills centre prior to the start of clinical practice.  There is an additional charge for this.

Charges applicable to PLVE Applicants can be found in the National Charging Structure.  Applicants will be asked to submit an initial fee of £400.00  to cover assessment of their documentation by the Panel.  Other charges that may be applicable prior to commencement of the training programme are Practice Assessment Visit and Supervised pre-start assessment by Mentor in CSU.

Health Education England asks that Applicants allow up to 4 weeks for review of their documentation by the Assessment Panel before contacting the support team for an update on progress, and in all cases are asked to use for all communication. 


PLVE Programme completion

All clinical evidence will now be held on the Axia electronic platform, with local management and support provided by Health Education England.

In order to quality assure our PLVE programme, we will be requesting that all VEDs complete the HEEYH mandatory exit survey at the end of the mentoring period prior to receiving their certificate.

Further Information

You may also wish to refer to the fact-sheet 'Working and Postgraduate Training as a Dentist in the UK', produced by COPDEND.

Managing Performer Concerns Framework:

Please also note that any documentation submitted to Health Education England YH will not be returned.

Being a Validation Supervisor
  1. The Supervisor will be required to provide supervision in practice for a minimum of 3 days per week.  The Supervisor must be prepared for the time commitment which this role necessitates.
  2. Approval as a Supervisor with limited experience will require close supervision, i.e. observing all patients over the first six week period, with an associate trainer commitments.
  3. If not already approved as a Dental Foundation Trainer, the Supervisor should have attended an approved introductory course for mentoring, e.g. “So You Want to be a Trainer” (booked via Maxcourse) within the last 3 years, or equivalent offered by another HEE office.  Further support in booking courses can be obtained from
  4. The chosen practice will need to be compliant with HEE requirements for Dental Foundation Training – please see practice specification document.
  5. The PLVE Dentist must have worked in the last 2 years clinically as a dentist.  Where this is not the case, he/she will be asked to attend a half-day session of hands-on assessment along with the Supervisor at Leeds Dental Institute.
  6. On completion of the hands-on clinical skills assessment, written evidence must be provided to say that the Dentist is fit for independent practice.
  7. Where a Practice Visit is required, it is imperative to the process that both Dentist and Supervisor are available at the visit.
  8. Normally a UDA target range of between 4,000 and 5,000 is set for PLVE to allow adequate competencies and portfolio requirements to be met whilst affording appropriate time to allow the Dentist to demonstrate appropriate levels of quality, experience and reflection.
  9. The focus of PLVE is on the Dentist demonstrating consistent quality in the full breadth and depth of competencies necessary for a GDP working in the NHS. 

Documents with which you must familiarise yourself before applying for the position as a PLVE Supervisor (the requirements are the same as for Dental Foundation Training):

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What experience will be taken into consideration when applying for the PLVE scheme? 

Applicants applying for the PLVE scheme will need to be able to evidence their recent dental experience from any country where they have provided dental services. All dental experience will be reviewed but it is useful to be able to evidence competencies in relation to a range of treatments such as; Crown preparations, Endodontics, fillings, bridges etc. 

Q2. How do I know if I will be successful in my application for PLVE?

Your application is considered by a panel based on the information supplied in your application form. The panel recommendations are made looking at a combination of the following:-

  1. Length of postgraduation experience working as a general dentist.  This means experience as a dentist in all areas of general dentistry such as prosthodontics, endodontics, advanced restorative techniques, oral surgery, oral medicine etc and not just in your speciality. The longer the experience the better chance of success in the application
  2. Length of time away from general practice (anything over 4 years is likely to require some additional training or experience prior to PLVE application to be approved). The longer the time away from general dentistry the less likely you are to be approved for PLVE.
  3. The support being offered by the proposed Validation Supervisor (VS) and practice including the level of VS experience as a mentor or trainer. A career gap of between 2 and 4 years is likely to be approved only if the proposed  VS is experienced
  4. Any other recent training and experience such as training and working as a therapist or a private dentist with satisfactory references

Q3. Can my partner be my mentor?

As PLVE requires independent and unbiased assessment for completion then we are unable to authorise the applicant’s partner or relative as a mentor

Q4. How long will the application process take?

As there are many variables, and each application is considered individually, the recommendations and routes can be quite varied in length. Once the application has been considered by NHSE the applicant’s details are sent to the HEE panel.  The panel decision is usually made within 4 weeks but can be slightly longer at busy times of the year where staff are involved with DFT applications.

Following the panel decision, a visit is normally required and sometimes a hands on skills assessment at Leeds Dental Institute.  The length of time is usually a few months but can be shorter depending on practice and VS/VED (Validation by Experience Dentist) availability.

The whole process, from being offered a position in practice and applying to be on the Performer List to starting training, can be up to a year in some cases. PLVE is not a quick process for employing a new dentist in a practice.

Q5. Is the PLVE programme always a year long?

Not always, if you are a specialty dentist who is applying for PLVE in HEE Yorkshire and The Humber, and you are proposing to limit your scope of practice to your specialty, then the length of PLVE training is likely to be 3 months.

Q6. What do you mean by ‘an experienced’ supervisor?

An experienced VS is not just someone who has been on a mentoring course.  To be considered experienced the proposed VS would be expected to have successfully supervised either a DFT or a Dental Foundation Therapist or an undergraduate dentist in hospital.

Q7. Can any practice be considered for PLVE applicants?

Any practice can apply, but to be approved the practice will have to have been assessed as a training practice and met certain specifications (see training practice spec)

Q8. Do all practices have to be visited?

If the proposed practice and VS have been approved for training in the last couple of years and there are no material changes then a practice visit is not usually required. An interview with the applicant and proposed VS will still be required to discuss the training.

Q9. Can any dentist be a Supervisor?

Any dentist with 4 or more year’s full time postgraduate experience can apply to be a VS for PLVE providing they meet the person spec for the role.

Before applying they should have attended a ‘So You Want to Be A Trainer’ course or similar to understand the requirements and responsibilities of a trainer/supervisor.

A brand new trainer is unlikely to be approved to Supervise a very inexperienced applicant.

Q10. Can joint Supervisors apply?

A trainer can apply jointly with another trainer and this is useful where one person on their own does not meet the requirements (e.g. for time available) but together they are effectively able to cover the role.

Q11. Is there any funding for this?

No, the PLVE scheme is completely self-funded by the applicant and practice.

Q12. What other options are there if I’ve had a long career break?

At present, in HEE Yorkshire and The Humber, there are no ‘return to work’ schemes running.

Axia ePortfolio

Axia e-Portfolio.

All evidence will be shared on an e-portfolio system, hosted by Axia. Evidence should be collected and uploaded regularly throughout the year. 

All trainees will be set up on e-Portfolio prior to their start date. Once set up, you will receive an automated email with your log in details. Please log in prior to your first day to ensure that your log in works. 

It is your responsibility for keeping your e-portfolio up-to-date.

For any post or supervisor changes, please email 
detailing the updates you would like making on your e-portfolio. All updates will be actioned within one week. 

For any technical problems, please contact in the first instance

Here is a link to an instructional video on using the PLVE Dental e-Portfolio for VEDs (Validation by Experience Dentists) and VSs (Validation Supervisors). 

COPDEND guidance on training and guidance with close family members