The Dental Foundation Interview Guide

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The Dental Foundation Interview Guide
with Situational Judgement Tests
The Dental
Interview Guide
with Situational Judgement
Zahid Siddique
Shivana Anand
Helena Lewis-Greene
Developing Young Dentists
This edition first published 2017 © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Siddique, Zahid, 1985- , author. | Anand, Shivana, 1990- , author. |
Lewis-Greene, Helena, 1954- , author.
Title: Situational judgment tests for dentists : the DF1 guidebook / Dr.
Zahid Siddique, Dr. Shivana Anand, Dr. Helena Lewis-Greene.
Description: Chichester, West Sussex ; Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons Inc.,
2016. | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2015043956 | ISBN 9781119109143 (pbk.)
Subjects: | MESH: Education, Dental, Graduate–Great Britain. |
Dentists–psychology–Great Britain. | Educational Measurement–Great
Britain. | Employment–Great Britain. | Judgment–Great Britain.
Classification: LCC RK76 | NLM WU 20 | DDC 617.60071/141–dc23 LC record available at
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may
not be available in electronic books.
Cover image: © Getty/Westend61
Set in 9/12pt, MeridienLTStd by SPi Global, Chennai, India.
1 2017
Preface, vii
Acknowledgements, ix
1 What is dental foundation training?, 1
2 The application process, 3
DF1 recruitment process, 3
How to apply, 4
Key dates, 5
DF1 schemes – where to work, 5
DF1 interview – format, 9
Scotland applications, 11
3 The SJT exam, 13
What is an SJT?, 13
Format of the exam, 13
Marking format of the exam, 14
4 Definitions and legalities, 15
Definitions, 15
Legislation for the dental team, 17
Clinical governance, 19
5 Important notes for revision, 25
Standards for the dental team, 25
Consent, 26
Confidentiality, 29
Complaints, 31
Scope of practice, 32
Continued professional development (CPD), 33
Raising concerns, 34
Child protection and vulnerable adults, 35
A checklist of sources to consult during revision, 37
6 Practice scenarios, 39
Introduction, 39
Professionalism, leadership and management scenarios, 40
Patient communication scenarios, 54
7 Situational judgement test practice questions, 57
Introduction, 57
Ranking-based SJTs: Questions, 58
Ranking-based SJTs: Answers, 86
‘Best of three’ SJTs: Questions, 111
‘Best-of-three’ SJTs: Answers, 144
8 How to write a dental CV, 165
Introduction, 165
Format, 166
Some dos and don’ts, 168
The meet and greet, 168
Some useful questions to ask, 168
Index, 171
There are several books available on medical situational judgement tests (SJTs)
but none for dentistry. Situational judgement test questions were introduced as
part of the DFT application interview process in 2013. A relatively new concept in
dentistry, SJTs have been widely used in industry as part of the selection criteria for
professionals. We wanted to provide students with a selection of subject-specific
SJT questions to help with their DFT preparations. Guidance for preparation has
been put together by recently qualified dentists who understand the pressures
that undergraduate study can impose. We hope that this book will be useful in
helping all students gain experience with SJTs, leadership and management as
well as clinical scenarios.
The DFT application process is highly competitive. Simply put, the higher the
ranking the better the chance of getting your first choice placement. We hope that
this book gives you all the information that you need in order to achieve this goal.
The SJTs in this book were verified and standardized by a group of dentists and
are answered in accordance to their opinion and expertise.
Thank you to Mr Raj Rattan for his continued support and mentorship throughout
this process. Thank you to Professor Dunne our Professor in Primary Dental Care
at King’s College London Dental Institute for his support and guidance from the
A huge thank you to some of the panel members who include:
Dr Razaullah Ahmed BDS
Dr Keshvi Patel BDS MJDF RCS(Lon)
Dr Nirupy Shanmugathas BDS MJDF RCS(Lon)
Dr Simrun Chowdhary BDS MJDF RCS(Lon)
What is dental foundation training?
Dental foundation training is a year when dental graduates across the United
Kingdom embark on a period of relevant employment general dental practitioners
under a contract of service by approved educational supervisors to provide a wide
range of dental care and treatment. The successful completion of the DF1 year is
mandatory for those who want to work in the NHS as part of their future dental
career. Dental foundation training (DF1) introduces new graduates to general
practice and gives them a protected environment in which to work and enhance
the basic dental skills achieved through their BDS degree under the supervision
of a educational supervisor practitioner. The educational supervisor’s role is to
help and support the dental foundation trainee in all aspects of employment
and provide continuous academic development through tutorials. The DF1
trainees also attend weekly study days outside of their general practice with
the aim and objective of enhancing clinical and administrative competence and
promoting high standards through relevant postgraduate training. The following
competencies are included within the DFT curricula:
• to enable the dental practitioner to practise and improve dental practitioner’s
• to introduce the dental practitioner to all aspects of dental practice in primary
• to identify the dental practitioner’s personal strengths and weaknesses and
balance them through a planned programme of training;
• to promote oral health and the quality of dental care for patients;
• to develop and implement peer- and self-review and promote awareness of the
need for professional education, training and audit as a continuing process;
• to demonstrate that the dental practitioner is working within the General Dental
Council’s (GDC’s) standard guidelines.
Excerpts from the National Health Service (Performers Lists) (England) Regulations 2013, found at
20130335_en.pdf (accessed 24 February 2016).
The Dental Foundation Interview Guide: with Situational Judgement Tests, First Edition.
Zahid Siddique, Shivana Anand and Helena Lewis-Greene.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The application process
DF1 recruitment process, 3
How to apply, 4
Key dates, 5
DF1 schemes – where to work, 5
DF1 interview – format, 9
Scotland applications, 11
DF1 recruitment process
All DF1 training vacancies are allocated through a centralized process for England,
Northern Ireland and Wales. The online application process usually opens in the
month of September for all UK-based year 5 dental students and EU graduates
or overseas dentists.
The recruitment process is split in two stages:
• First stage – trainees are first allocated a particular DFT (dental foundation
training) scheme. This is based on their DFT interview score ranking. The higher
the candidates’ ranking scores, the greater is the likelihood of them obtaining
their first scheme preference and so forth.
• Second stage – trainees are allocated a particular practice in spring / summer
of the following year. The individual practices are allocated through the DFT
interview ranking scores, so those with the highest scores will receive their
first preference practice and so forth. Some schemes carry out second-round
interviews, where an algorithm is used to pair up trainee preferences with educational supervisor preferences.
The Dental Foundation Interview Guide: with Situational Judgement Tests, First Edition.
Zahid Siddique, Shivana Anand and Helena Lewis-Greene.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The dental foundation interview guide
Table 2.1 data collected for the application years 2011/12 and 2012/13 from
Places Total
Applicants Total
Applicants eligible
and short listed
Applicants offered
accepted offer
Applicants not
accepted offer
Applicants not
offered a place
Notes: *EEA – European Economic Area; ROW – Rest of the World
It is important to understand that the DFT application process is competitive. The
number of DFT training places is generally linked to the number of final-year students but places cannot be guaranteed for all UK graduates and it is therefore
of utmost importance that all students give themselves the best opportunity to
secure a place.
Over the past few years the number of candidates applying has exceeded the
number of DF1 positions available with EU and oversees dental applicants also
Table 2.1 shows the data collected for the application years 2011/12 and
2012/13 from the Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors
How to apply
London application process
The London deanery and COPDEND change the application process on a yearly
basis. It is always beneficial to look at the guidance notes released by COPDEND on
the London deanery web site beforehand at (accessed
22 November 2015).
The application process
Scotland application process
See below.
Key dates
COPDEND has the right to change the recruitment process on a yearly basis.
Table 2.2 is a proposed timeline for recruitment with guideline months.
Table 2.3 gives the selection centre interview venues across the United Kingdom.
DF1 schemes – where to work
A component of the DF1 application process involves choosing DF1 scheme area
preferences around the United Kingdom. In 2014, applicants were asked to rank
Table 2.2 Proposed recruitment timetable.
Applications open
Applications close
Interview window
Preferencing of schemes opens
Preferencing of schemes closes
Initial offers out by
2nd round offers
Placements commence
25 August 2015
22 September 2015
16 – 20 November 2015
8 December 2015
15 December 2015
06 January 2016
06 July 2016
March 2016 and September 2016
Table 2.3 Selection centre interview venues.
Dental schools covered
London Recruitment Events Centre
King’s College London
Queen Mary
University of London
Bristol Marriott Hotel, City Centre
Bristol University
Cardiff University
Peninsula College of Dentistry
Reebok Stadium, Bolton
University of Central Lancaster
University of Liverpool
University of Manchester
West Bromwich Albion
University of Birmingham
University of Sheffield
Ramada Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast
Queen’s University, Belfast
Newcastle United Football Club
Newcastle University
University of Leeds
The dental foundation interview guide
their scheme preferences via the UK Offers System, which was done separately
from the submission of their online application form for their original DF1 application. Candidates will be emailed with information regarding their interview date
(which they must confirm within 48 hours) and full instructions on how to complete scheme preferences, including use of the UK offers system. This involves
logging into the system approximately 3 weeks after the interview and submitting
their scheme area preference. The submission for schemes is open for 7 days – after
this period submissions cannot be made.
The London Deanery usually produces an information sheet about the available schemes for that year. It is of utmost importance that candidates take time to
consider all the schemes and their locations. Due to the competitive nature of the
application process it is imperative that the candidates give themselves the best
possible opportunity to obtain a DF1 job offer. These opportunities can decrease
if candidates limit the number of schemes they are willing to work in. If they do
not rank one of the schemes they will automatically forfeit their place, even if a
position is available. However, it should also be noted that there is no point in candidates ranking a scheme if they are absolutely certain that they are not willing to
work in that region. The rationale for this is that if they do rank such a region and
are offered a place within it, they will not be offered an alternative, or be given an
opportunity to swap, if they decline the offer. We therefore advise candidates to
try to be as flexible as possible when ranking schemes to give themselves the best
opportunity to secure a DF1 job.
It is also important to note that, at this stage of the application process,
candidates will only be given information regarding their scheme locations and
not the locations of the actual training practices as they are not approved until
spring / summer and can change on an annual basis. Some schemes cover a large
geographical area and the distance between practices within a scheme can take
over an hour to commute. The deanery will only provide detailed information
about practices once they have all been approved; however, it might be possible to
see the previous year’s information regarding individual practices on its web site.
Once candidates have accepted their scheme in the beginning of January, they
will have an option to ‘upgrade’ or ‘accept’ the offer. If they choose to accept, their
deanery will be notified of their acceptance and their place for the DF1 year will
be confirmed. If they choose to ‘upgrade’, then on the last day of January their
scheme will either be upgraded to a higher choice or the candidate will stay in the
same scheme.
Here are some useful points to consider when choosing where to work:
1 Travelling to work
∘ How far are you willing to travel to work?
∘ Do you drive? Will it be feasible to drive to work – Congestion charge?
The application process
∘ If you don’t drive will you need to relocate close to a train / tube station? Will
you need to relocate to make your commute to work easier?
2 Finance
∘ How expensive will your living accommodation be in certain regions?
∘ Will living at home be more suitable?
∘ How expensive will your commute be?
∘ Do you have any family commitments or are supporting any children? If so,
consider childcare and school arrangements.
3 Social life
∘ It is important that the location and environment you choose to work in
provide a suitable social lifestyle outside of work, which caters for your
individual needs.
4 It is only for one year
∘ Always take into consideration all factors. However, this is your opportunity
to shine, build your CV, gain extra experience and make mistakes from which
you will learn.
∘ Chose an environment in which you will feel comfortable to grow professionally and personally. Flexibility is key and it is only for one year.
5 Location
∘ It is important to consider the region you want to work in.
∘ Do you want to be living at home? Do you want to stay in the same city as
your university? Do you need to support a family? Are you someone who
enjoys living in rural versus coastal areas?
∘ Speak to family and friends to aid and advise you.
∘ Speak to older dental colleagues to give you further information about
regions within the United Kingdom.
The list below gives the schemes that are available for DF1 applications. They
may be subject to change in the forthcoming year. The HE region or deanery is
displayed in bold and scheme names are displayed below them. A virtual map
of DF1 schemes in the United Kingdom may be found at
(accessed 13 November 2015).
HE East Midlands
Chesterfield Scheme
Leicester Scheme
Lincoln Scheme
Loughborough Scheme
Northampton Scheme
Nottingham Scheme
HE East of England
Basildon Scheme

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