Registration as a dental care professional for individuals with a formal qualification from overseas
The information on this page is only relevant to you if:
- you have never been registered with the GDC before, and
- you hold a dental care professional qualification from overseas.
How do I apply for registration?
As a dental care professional (DCP) holding a DCP qualification from overseas, you can apply for assessment. If your assessment is successful you will be eligible for registration. You will need to complete an assessment application form and ensure you have all the additional documents we need.
Requesting an assessment application form
You can request an assessment application form online via eGDC by selecting ‘Apply to register’. Please note, you will be asked to complete the route to registration questionnaire. Once you have submitted this, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your proforma. Please allow 10 working days for us to assess your details. The proforma is not an application form.
The information submitted will be reviewed and you will be notified by email of the appropriate application form and guidance you need to submit to apply to register with the GDC. The application pack contains further details about the information you are expected to provide with your application.
For more information regarding the assessment process, read our FAQs below.
How long does the assessment process take?
The GDC has a maximum of four months from receipt of a complete application to inform you of its decision. A complete application means an application that is ready to be assessed without any missing documentation. This includes Health and Character certificates, and a certificate of current professional status, plus an IELTS certificate (if applicable).
You must provide all required documentation as specified in the guidance notes. If your application does not meet our requirements or is incomplete we may reject your application. Alternatively, we may write to you informing you of the missing documentation/information you must provide to us.
What happens in the assessment process?
Once the applications are sent to the assessors, the GDC will not be able to include any more applications for assessment until the next panel meeting. The role of the panel is to provide advice and recommendations regarding each applicants knowledge and skills to the Registrar – the panel is not a decision making body. Following the panel meeting the GDC executive will review the recommendations of the panel and make a decision whether or not to grant registration.
Following this you will be informed of our decision in writing normally within four - six weeks after the panel meeting.
Can I practise as a dental care professional during the assessment process?
No, it is illegal to practise dentistry in the UK without being registered with the GDC, unless under certain circumstances you are a doctor who is registered with the General Medical Council.
For further information please refer to Section 37 of the Dentists Act. Please note that the GDC cannot provide individuals with legal advice.
Can I work under temporary registration during the assessment process?
Temporary registration is only available for overseas qualified dentists.
Can I start searching for a job?
Use of Qualifications and Professional Titles
Please ensure any qualifications and professional titles you use are not misleading to patients in relation to your application status or GDC registration held. Please familiarise yourself with the GDC’s Guidance on Advertising.
Do I have to pay to have my application assessed?
There is a registration application fee for your first registration on the UK’s registers of dental professionals.
This fees cover the costs relating to applications and is made up of two parts; a flat rate to cover processing costs, and a variable rate to cover the costs of assessing the type of application.
You can find out more on our Registration
application fees page.
I have two dental qualifications and would like to work in both areas. Can I apply for registration of two titles at the same time?
My profession isn’t registered in the country where I qualified as a dental care professional, who can complete the certificate of good standing?
If there is no competent authority which you were required to be registered with, in the last country where you practised as a dental care professional, please arrange for the ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ document to be completed by your last employer where you practised as a dental care professional.
Do I have to translate ALL of my documents?
Why do I have to provide a full syllabus?
If it is not relevant to the period of your training you will need to provide a letter from the awarding institute verifying that the course content is the same or outlining any differences. Additional dental care professional qualifications can also be considered therefore you should also provide as much supporting information about these as possible.
I have a transcript of marks for the qualification I have obtained, is this enough?
How do I provide evidence of English Language Competence?
Will you cover the cost of certifying and translating documents?
Who can translate my documents into English?
Who can certify my documents?
- A first generation photocopy (i.e. a photocopy of an original document, not a photocopy of a photocopy or of a fax)
- on which the person certifying has confirmed in writing, in English, that they have inspected the original document and the copy and that the copy is true
- where the person certifying is a person entitled to practise law in their country, an authorised officer of an embassy or notary public
- where the person certifying is not the applicant himself/herself, his/her spouse or a close relative
- a copy that bears the name, signature and address of the person certifying.
Can my postgraduate experience from the UK and overseas be considered in the assessment of knowledge and skill?
Yes, the GDC can take into account dental knowledge and experience wherever acquired. You must provide us with evidence of this in order for us to consider it during assessment.
Does acceptance of my qualification in another European State entitle me to automatic registration?
What are the possible outcomes of a decision after my application has been assessed?
Applications assessed under Matter C Section 36C (4) of the Dentists Act 1984 (as amended).
One of the following decisions can be made by the Registrar:
- You have the requisite knowledge and skills for registration in the UK and the registrar is satisfied that you have the necessary knowledge of English, you are of a good character and that you are of good health, both physically and mentally, your application will be recommended for registration.
- Further information is required: In some cases, the assessors may require further information/clarification from the applicant before they can make a recommendation.
- You do not have the requisite knowledge and skills for registration in the UK . If it is determined that your DCP training and/or experience significantly differs from that which is required for registration, then your application will be refused.
Can I provide additional documents or evidence after my application has been refused?
If my application is refused can I appeal the decision?
What documents will I need to send with my application?
It is advisable that you do not compile any documentation until you have received your application pack and read through all of its contents. Along with your completed application form, you will need to send:
- a completed learning outcomes form relevant to your DCP title (this will be issued with your application pack);
- a certified copy of your valid passport clearly showing your photograph and personal details as well as the expiry date of the document;
- a passport sized photograph of yourself that has been signed on the back by your character referee;
- a certified copy of your qualification certificate;
- a certificate of current professional standing, otherwise known as a certificate of good standing;
- a certified copy of the syllabus from the course you were studying;
- a certified copy of the transcript of marks for your course;
- references from colleagues and employers referring to your experience and knowledge as a dental care professional;
- evidence of any relevant postgraduate qualifications;
- evidence of any relevant training courses or CPD;
- a certified copy of your change of name document, if necessary;
- translations of documents which are not issued in English;
- one photocopy of your whole application.
- evidence that you have the required English language standard necessary for registration. Details on the requirements can be found in our English language controls guidance.
The application pack contains detailed guidance for the information required with your application. Incomplete applications will be closed and returned without assessment.
The 'Preparing for Practice' curricula found here details the learning outcome requirements for Dental Care Professionals (DCP) in the UK. These learning outcomes are used in the assessment of overseas qualified DCP applicants wishing to apply for registration.
How long will it take?
When we receive your application, we will:
- contact you by email to confirm we have received your application within five days;
- check your application and documents within four weeks of receipt of your application;
- contact you if there is a problem with your application, this could include returning your application if it is considered incomplete. A complete application means an application that is ready to be assessed without any missing documentation;
- forwarded your application to the next available assessment panel if it is considered complete;
- inform you of our decision on your application (in writing) - the Council has a maximum of four months from receipt of a complete application to inform an applicant of its decision.
It is an offence under section 39 of the Dentists Act 1984 (as amended) to use a DCP title without being registered with the GDC.