Information for refugee dental professionals
To work as a dental professional in the UK you must first register with the General Dental Council. Part of our role is to ensure overseas qualified professionals joining the register meet the same rigorous standards set for those qualifying in the UK.
We understand that, as a refugee arriving in the UK, one of the first things you may wish to arrange is your ability to work in your profession.
Routes to registration as a dental professional in the UK are set out in legislation which is designed to ensure public safety. The legislation provides no ‘fast-track’ routes to registration specifically in relation to your status as a refugee, and we are required to charge fees to sit the Overseas Registration Exam and to register you as a dental professional in the UK.
The usual routes to registration are, however, open to you and we are keen to support you in your application wherever possible.
We will require certain information and documents as part of your application (see information below). We understand that you may face difficulties in providing original documentation and, if that is the case, we encourage you to get in touch with our team who will help you to consider how you might go about meeting the requirements.
Routes to registration for dentists
- For dentists with UK or European Economic Area (EEA) qualifications, these are recognised for the purposes of registration and are unaffected by your status as a refugee. This is also the case for recognised overseas qualifications. Further information is available on our route to registration page.
- For dentists with qualifications gained from anywhere else, you will need to pass one of following examinations before you can apply for registration:
- The Overseas Registration Exam (ORE). When you submit your ORE application, please provide evidence of your status as a refugee. If a refugee support organisation is assisting you to pay the exam fees, please let us know this once the exam booking is published.
- The Licence in Dental Surgery (LDS) exam, offered by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
- Where the offer of an approved supervised post has been made, an overseas qualified dentist can apply for temporary registration. Further information about the specific requirements for this route are available on our temporary registration page.
Detailed guidance for dentists is available via our route to registration page.
Route to registration for dental care professionals
- The UK’s dental team is made up of dentists and dental care professionals. Recognised dental care professional titles are dental nurse, dental technician, dental therapist, dental hygienist, orthodontic therapist and clinical dental technician.
- For dental care professionals with UK qualifications, these are recognised for the purposes of registration and are unaffected by your status as a refugee. Further information is available on our route to registration page.
- Dental care professionals with overseas qualifications can apply for individual assessment.
Detailed guidance for dental care professionals is available via our route to registration page.
Organisations which may provide support
A number of organisations offer to support refugees who hold professional qualifications. You may wish to get in touch with them to see if they can provide assistance.
- The Refugee Council provides free advice and information to refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK.
- The Refugee Assessment and Guidance Unit (RAGU) provides specialist careers advice and guidance as well as employability training for all refugee health professionals.
- Dental Mentors UK offers free advice and mentoring support for refugee dental professionals in the UK.
- The British Dental Association offers free membership for refugee or asylum-seeker dentists until registered with the General Dental Council.
- The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) provides information, advice and practical help to refugee academics to assist them in rebuilding their lives and careers in the UK.
- The Bridges Programmes supports the social, educational and economic integration of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and anyone for whom English is a second language, living in Glasgow.