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Registration of DCPs who qualify overseas

07 February, 2024

The DCP titles are dental nurse, dental hygienist, dental therapist, orthodontic therapist, dental technician, clinical dental technician.

DCPs with overseas qualifications can apply to register in the UK. Their applications are assessed by an independent panel. Prior to 2019, we received around 300 such applications a year.

​In 2023:

  • 6,653 DCPs joined the register with a UK qualification.
  • 19 DCPs joined the register with an EU qualification.

843 DCPs joined the register having had their application assessed by an independent panel. Of these, 469 registered as a dental hygienist and 648 as a dental therapist (some individuals registered in both categories).

Prior to 8 March 2023, dentists who qualified overseas could also apply to register as a DCP in the UK. We received very large numbers of applications before this route closed as a result of legislative changes, resulting in a backlog.

To put this into context, a total of 300 dental care professionals joined the register from overseas in 2019. Following the pandemic-related suspension of the ORE, we received 2,400 overseas applications to the DCP register. In 2023 an additional 3,300 were received, two-thirds of them in the week before this route was closed. All applications that we received before 8 March 2023 will be assessed.

From October 2023, we doubled the number of dedicated case workers, and we have increased the number of independent assessors so we can more quickly process the outstanding DCP applications.  

This expansion of capacity means that we have already reduced the 5,700 applications down to 2,500 and we anticipate most of the remaining backlog being cleared by the end of 2024.