Dental Core Training Assessment Process


Assessment of Dental Core Trainees




Learning in the workplace


The Timeline for assessments

There are two kinds of assessment in the DCT programme:

  • Those that are made of the trainee’s performance in the workplace over time – the formative assessment using multiple inputs over the training placement to evidence progress and competence. These are specific to the needs of the trainee and the placement.
  • The summative assessments made at defined time points during training and reviewed by a formal process which is consistently applied across all HEE local teams/Deaneries against a quality management framework.


This brief description highlights the key steps and expected timeline.

  • The Initial Appraisal meeting with the Educational Supervisor is a key meeting and discussion which underpins the process of training. This should take place as soon as possible after the start of the placement and certainly within the first month. The meeting should result in a clear learning agreement and PDP with SMART objectives
  • The early review meeting with the Educational Supervisor should take place at 3 months after the start of training and should use the trainees PDP, Portfolio and objectives as a framework to assess progress made in the first three months.
  • The Interim Review of Competence Progression (RCP) at 6 months is a summative assessment of all the evidence accumulated to date and allows a decision to be made regarding progress of the trainee at that point.
  • The end of placement review (Final) will take place at or around the tenth month of training and will result in a Certificate of Achievement following a summative assessment of all the evidence of progress during the placement.
  • The Certificate of Achievement (Outcomes of DCT1, 2 and 3) - At the end of each Dental Core Training year trainees will receive a Certificate of Achievement which is formal acknowledgement of the trainee's attainments during their training. The certificate will list the specified outcomes that have been met and define the areas of development for outcomes that were specified in the learning agreement but not yet acquired during this year of training. Outcomes that were planned but not achieved through lack of opportunity rather than lack of competence will also be identified.


Assessments in the workplace

Trainees will need to complete an early stage self-assessment at the start of their placement, which will support them in constructing an effective and realistic PDP. This will form the basis of the initial appraisal meeting with the educational supervisor.

Over the duration of the placement, trainees should accumulate at least 24 SLEs in each 12 month period. These must be varied according to the learning opportunities outlined above and should capture the breadth of training experiences. The assessments should be of different types for example (Clinical Based Discussion, mini Clinical Evaluation exercise, Direct Observation Procedure and patient questionnaires) and should be undertaken with as many different trainers as is practical. Trainees and trainers should work together to ensure these are accumulated throughout the period of training and not bunched together prior to RCP review. A minimum of one multi source feedback would be expected to be undertaken in the last 6 months of each DCT training year. A SLE related to developing the learning of others would also be expected.

Trainees should not simply complete 24 assessments as a tick box exercise. In order to gain the best learning and development from each post, trainees should expect to carry out a MINIMUM of 24 assessments and trainers should encourage them to exceed this figure significantly during a 12 month period when opportunities arise. This will inevitably strengthen the final record of attainments within the Certificate of Achievement at the end of the training placement.


Review of competence progression (RCP)

RCP represents a formal process by which a panel assesses evidence provided by the trainee relating to his/her progress in the training programme and makes judgements on progress against the expected learning outcomes of DCT.

The RCP process is applicable to all trainees and is aimed at ensuring that the required competences are being gained at an appropriate rate and through appropriate experience.

The reviews are not in themselves a means or tool of assessment but have been designed to:

  • provide a means whereby the evidence of the outcome of formal assessment (e.g. SLEs and other assessment strategies) is coordinated and recorded to provide a coherent record of a trainee’s progress
  • make judgements about the competences acquired by a trainee at the relevant level, provided adequate documentation has been presented
  • make recommendations about the development of further competencies during the remainder of that year of the training programme (Interim RCP panel)
  • provide a final statement of the trainee's successful attainment of the curricular competencies, areas of development and completion of the training programme. This will enable recommendations to be made regarding the trainee's future PDP and further training requirements (Final RCP panel)


A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded by the Final RCP panel which will detail the progress made and define the areas of development for outcomes set for that year of training but not yet acquired during this period of training.

There are two types of RCP Review each with its own Panel composition – an Interim Review at six months and a Final Review at ten/eleven months.  Reviews may be undertaken at other times in exceptional circumstances at the request of the Training Programme Director/ Associate Dean for DCT or the trainee.


The RCP Panels


The purpose of the RCP Panel is to consider and approve the adequacy of the evidence and documentation provided by the trainee which, as a minimum, must consist of a review of the trainee’s educational portfolio including a structured report from the educational supervisor documenting assessments (as required by the appropriate section of the DCT curriculum) and other achievements. Evidence should also include a current PDP, CPD log, involvement in audit, multisource feedback outcomes and patient feedback.



  1. Interim RCP Panel

Interim RCP Panels will have a local composition and should consist of at least the following two panel members:


  • Local HEE/Deanery TPD (or equivalent) for DCT
  • Senior clinical trainer from the same Deanery/ HEE local team
  • Educational Supervisor from the trainee’s programme in attendance where practical


  1. Final RCP Panel

Final RCP Panels should have an element of externality and should consist of at least three of the following four panel members:

  • HEE local team/Deanery Training Programme Director (TPD) (or equivalent) for DCT
  • Senior clinical trainer from the same Deanery/HEE local team
  • TPD/Lead for DCT or equivalent from another HEE local team/Deanery
  • Lay member
  • Educational Supervisor from the trainee’s programme in attendance where practical

All members of RCP panels (including the lay member and those acting as external members) must be trained in equality and diversity issues and in the RCP process. This training should be kept-up-to date and should be refreshed every three years.


How the RCP Panels work


RCP Panels will be convened by the HEE local team/Deanery and will normally be chaired by the HEE local team/Deanery TPD (or equivalent) for DCT.

The RCP Panels will review and assess the evidence which should be provided by the trainee at least 2 weeks in advance of the RCP Panel meeting. Outcomes and recommendations will be recorded on the appropriate RCP Panel Outcome Form. In the case of the Final RCP Panel a Certificate of Achievement will be issued if appropriate.

If the trainee has supplied incomplete or no information, the RCP panel will be unable to make any statement about progress or otherwise. If this occurs, the trainee should be given the opportunity to supply the panel with the required documentation by a designated date.

Once the required documentation has been received, the panel may then consider it and issue an appropriate outcome. This should take place “virtually” if practicable. Alternatively, if no information is subsequently provided a Certificate of Achievement may not be awarded.

Trainees should not normally attend the RCP Panel review but should receive feedback from HEE/Deanery TPD (or equivalent) for DCT as soon as is practicable.

Trainees may also request the opportunity to meet with the panel chair or panel representative after the review has been completed to discuss any recommendations for further development and training in the future.

For operational purposes a panel may review trainees from more than one training location at a sitting.


Evidence for RCP Panels

The following evidence may be appropriate for a trainee to provide to an RCP Panel for review:

  • Educational portfolio
  • Structured Educational Supervisor report
  • Trainee assessment form
  • Clinical activity log
  • Audit activity
  • Evidence of completed SLEs
  • Teaching and research involvement
  • Personal Development Plan (PDP)
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) log
  • Multi-source feedback (for the Final RCP review)
  • Patient feedback (for the Final RCP review)
  • Trainee Assessment form


RCP Indicative Outcomes within DCT

Interim Review Panels may record the following Outcomes:


  • Predefined competencies being demonstrated at an appropriate rate
  • Development required with specific recommendations regarding the development of further competencies during the remainder of that year of the training programme being made
  • Incomplete evidence provided


Final Review Panels may record the following Outcomes:

  • Predefined competencies successfully demonstrated
  • Development required with specific recommendations regarding competencies that were specified in the original learning agreement but not yet demonstrated during this year of training.
  • Incomplete evidence provided.


Benchmark for the successful completion of a DCT placement


  • Evidence of PDP, with evidence of progress made against that PDP. (Please mark as "NOT PRIVATE")
  • Record of attendance at Study Days, minimum of 10, for DCT1 only.
  • DCT2 and DCT3 record of attendance at 8 study half days.
  • 24 SLEs, this must be staged throughout the year and not clustered, 2 per month with a spread across types, minimum of 5 DOPS, 5 CEX, 5 CBDs, 2 Dev Clin Teacher.  50% SLEs undertaken with consultant or equivalent.
  • MSF, at least one per training year, ideally started at 6 months.  For trainees in split posts one from each post is advisable.
  • No requirement for a logbook, but DCTs will be encouraged to use the e-logbook  export report, with no patient identifiers, and this can be uploaded to ‘certificates and achievements' section in the portfolio.
  • One audit with preferably a 2nd cycle.
  • Record use of study leave.
  • Evidence of meetings with ES at beginning, interim and end, including Final sign off/meeting with ES and DCT.
  • ES Report.
  • Poster Presentation at the Final Study Day, this can be of a case report, audit project or research undertaken during the year.  Date for this presentation to be confirmed (likely June/July) (Final Assessment only).
  • Online training survey,(Final Assessment only).



RCP Dates 2021


8th February 2021 Panel A, trainees not required to attend.

23rd February 2021 Panel B, trainees may be required to attend.



13th July 2021 Panel A, trainees not required to attend.

30th July 2021 Panel B, trainees may be required to attend.


Additional progress checks

In addition to the expected formal and documented meetings between trainee and supervisor, it is likely that in most placements there will also be informal “catch up” discussions over the placement between trainee and supervisor. This type of meeting is to be encouraged, as it allows for a more in depth understanding of trainees needs and is often a useful way to discuss issues such as career plans and aspirations.

Some of the Workplace based assessments (particularly CBD and Peer Assessment Tool (PAT) / Multi Source Feedback (MSF)) will generate a meeting for discussion with the supervisor and again are a useful opportunity to touch base on the broader aspects of progress as well as completing the SLE that is the trigger for the meeting.



Overall, the expectation of trainees is that they will drive their training against an agreed set of objectives and timeline in order to maximise their training opportunities and development. Clinical Supervisors, Educational Supervisors and members of the Deanery teams all have a role, but the primary responsibility for training progression sits with the individual trainee. Similarly, it will be expected that the trainee is able to adequately evidence outcomes against the agreed areas of the DCT curriculum at each of the formal reviews in the timeline.