Medical Training Initiative / Tier 5 Programme

Tier 5 International Training Fellows

The Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) of the Royal College of Surgeons of England is able to sponsor suitably qualified postgraduate dentists to come to the UK for clinical training in an approved hospital training post. All enquiries must be made via the NACPDE – email:

Criteria for acceptance on a tier 5 programme

All applicants must:

  • have gained suitable experience in their home country
  • have no rights of residence in the UK or EEA
  • be proficient in English, with satisfactory IELTS English language score or have English as their first language, having had their dental tuition in English and have practised for at least 2 years in a country where the predominant language is English (please see below for the English language requirements for Temporary Registration with the GDC)
  • have been offered a tier 5 training opportunity in the UK
  • have a scholarship or means of financial support from their employer (hospital, university, college)
  • intend to return to their home country after training to put into practice the training that they have received in the UK

Refugees and those applying for asylum in the UK or another EEA country are not eligible to apply.


Candidates must:

  • possess a primary dental qualification recognised by the GDC for temporary registration
  • meet the English language requirements
  • have completed a recognised higher dental qualification
  • have completed a minimum of 4 years postgraduate dental clinical practice with at least one year in the specialty in which they are seeking further training in the UK
  • provide the GDC with a certificate of good standing and medical information at the time of applying for temporary registration


Applicants are advised to look at the UK Visa and Immigration website for details of the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange, Medical Training Initiative (MTI).

The mechanism for setting up these posts is not the same for dentistry as it is for medicine.

Suitable posts

Posts should be offered by a consultant working in an NHS hospital or University Department in the UK and should be agreed by the postgraduate dental dean. Posts must have a minimum duration of three months. The maximum duration is two years. Please note that short term training experience in a tier 5 post covers a specific subject and is not regarded as the same as a UK specialist training post and cannot contribute to specialist training in the UK. Suitable posts would include:

  • one tailored to the specific training requirements of the international training fellow
  • a locum appointment for training (LAT) of longer than three months but which does not have an NTN or lead to a CCST or FTTA.
  • an international fellowship or scholarship (commonwealth, overseas government, etc)

Temporary registration with the GDC

If you are successful in being accepted for a tier 5 post in the UK, you will need temporary registration from the GDC to cover the period of clinical training. The NACPDE will contact the GDC to inform them that you have been allocated a post under a tier 5 visa and will supply the GDC with specific details of the post. At this stage you should apply to the GDC for temporary registration. The GDC requires the following forms to be sent to them:

  1. a correctly completed temporary registration application form which is available on request from the GDC
  2. UK NARIC certification of your primary dental degree.
  3. confirmation letter from NACPDE
  4. an original certificate of good standing
  5. appropriate registration fee for temporary registration with the GDC
  6. an Academic IELTS Certificate, no more that 2 years old, showing an overall score of not less than 7.0 with no individual score below 6.5.

To avoid any delay in starting your post the GDC requires the above information in order to grant temporary registration. Failure to provide the above information and any further information requested will result in a delay in the start of your training.

The following posts would not be deemed suitable for the tier 5 scheme:

  • posts that are more than 50% research
  • posts leading to a CCST or an FTTA
  • posts in private hospitals
  • posts in primary care
  • locum appointments for service (LAS)

Funding of posts

Posts may be funded by scholarships, by overseas hospitals, colleges and universities or be extant funded posts not filled by an EEA dentist.

I meet the criteria – what next?

If you feel that you meet the criteria outlined overleaf then you should email the NACPDE at with a copy of your CV and the name of the Consultant who has agreed to supervise you. The NACPDE will then contact them and request details of the post including a timetable.

We will then request the following from you:

  • A completed form setting out your personal details (which will be sent to you by the NACPDE).
  • A letter from your financial sponsor. This should be on letterheaded paper and signed. It should include the amount of your financial sponsorship. This cannot be less than the UK national minimum wage (NMW). From 1 April 2016 a premium come into effect on top of the NMW, taking the National Living Wage for those aged 25 and over to £7.20. The NMW of £6.70 will continue to apply for those aged 21 to 24, with the premium added on top for those aged 25 and over.
  • Copies of your IELTS certificate.
  • Certified copies of dental examinations together with English translations if the originals are not in English (the originals can be shown to us when you arrive in the UK – you do not need to post these to us).
  • A letter from the UK hospital confirming your appointment.
  • An application fee of £150 (please note that this fee will increase to £500 with effect from 1 April 2016).  This should be sent by cheque or bankers draft made out to “The Royal College of Surgeons of England” to the NACPDE.
  • Names and contact addresses for two recent clinical references in the specialty you wish to study.

The NACPDE collects all this information and once satisfied that the applicant and placement meet the criteria they will contact the Postgraduate Dental Dean for the region where the proposed training is due to take place to ensure they are happy for the placement to go ahead. The NACPDE requires this confirmation to be in writing for our records.

Once confirmation is received from the Postgraduate Dental Deanery, the NACPDE applies for a CoS with the UK Border Agency. The NACPDE does not receive a physical certificate to send to the overseas dentist – but it does receive a code which is then emailed to the applicant. This code is then used by the applicant to apply for the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa in the applicant’s home country.

At the same time the NACPDE writes to the GDC (General Dental Council) to let them know that you will be coming to the UK for a placement. They will then be expecting your application for Temporary Registration. It is the overseas dentist’s responsibility to make their application to the GDC. You should contact them as soon as possible ahead of your arrival as it can take some time to process applications for Temporary Registration. It is important that you clarify with the GDC exactly which documents they require in order to grant your Temporary Registration and ensure that you bring them with you when you travel to the UK.

When applying for Temporary Registration with the GDC under the MTI you will now need to provide UK NARIC certification of your Primary Dental Degree. This can take some time to process so please do this with in good time. Failure to do this can result in a delay in receiving your Temporary Registration which means you will be unable to work in the UK.

The NACPDE while you are in the UK

Ahead of your arrival in the UK, we will contact you with a pre-starting questionnaire which we ask you to complete and return to us by email. This provides the NACPDE with useful information regarding what you hope to gain from your period of training in the UK. It is important for us to understand the motivation of overseas dentists coming to the UK so that we can run the scheme efficiently. It will also be useful for both the NACPDE and you to look back upon after the training period has completed to see whether your training needs have been met and to highlight any lessons for the future in regards to the scheme.

When you arrive in the UK, you will need to make an appointment to come and see us at the NACPDE. You must bring certain documents with you so that we can make copies, but it is also a chance for us to meet you and for you to meet us.

Throughout your placement, the NACPDE will contact you to make sure that everything is going well with your placement. This will be done by email. We will also be in touch with your supervisor to ask for progress reports throughout your training. Your supervisor is required to inform us if you do not attend your placement for 10 consecutive days. In these circumstances the NACPDE is required to contact UK Visas and Immigration and inform them of this.

When you are getting towards the end of your placement the NACPDE Administrator will contact you again to invite you to a certificate presentation and exit interview.


The General Dental Council (GDC) is the organisation that regulates dental professions in the UK. All dentists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians, dental hygienists, dental therapists and orthodontic therapists must be registered with the GDC in order to work in the UK.

The GDC’s purpose is to protect the public by regulating the dental team.

As a Tier 5 International Training Fellow you will be eligible for temporary registration with the GDC.

Temporary registration allows dentists who are not eligible for full registration to practise dentistry in the UK in supervised posts for training, teaching, or research purposes only,
and for a limited period.

Read further details on temporary registration with the GDC.


If you think that overseas dentists could be accommodated in your unit please complete Form B and return it with the following information:

  • a timetable together with details of the supervisor for each session
  • contact details for your human resources/medical staffing unit
  • details of your postgraduate dental deanery

Next stages

The NACPDE will consider applications and may request further information.

Remember that these posts require time to set up – so please plan ahead.