New dental diploma exams launch

RCSEd initiative set to enhance career pathway for GDPs in the UK and across the globe

12 February, 2024 / editorial
 Professor Grant McIntyre  

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) will be introducing a new suite of Dental Diploma Examinations in 2024 on a staged basis.

These examinations have been developed from the desire for the Faculty of Dental Surgery to enhance the career pathway for general dental practitioners in the UK and across the globe.

I recognise in conversations with colleagues in general dental practice how hard they work and, moreover, both their desire to develop specific specialty-related skills and the lack of recognition of such expertise within the professional arena. 

Across the UK, the NHS is becoming increasingly fragmented and our dental journals are
regularly filled with items related to contractual issues and professional development.

Many courses have laudable aims and aspirations but unfortunately do not link to a clear milestone that confirms the attainment of specific knowledge, clinical and professional skills that the dental profession, the NHS, and indeed patients and the public recognise. 

The RCSEd is the oldest and largest surgical royal college, with our roots in Edinburgh and operating across 110 countries across the world. The Faculty of Dental Surgery is recognised across global dentistry as a leader in quality assurance and an awarding body for professional recognition.

With this in mind, the new dental diploma examinations will credentialise general dental practitioners who have developed skills in the following specialty areas:

  • Endodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Paediatric dentistry
  • Oral surgery
  • Oral medicine
  • Dental sedation.

What will the examination format be?

Each examination will comprise a series of single best answers and a clinical aptitude test involving unseen clinical cases. The examination format is designed for dentists to be able to undertake these examinations online as many dentists have not sat a professional examination since their university days. 

Why should I sit a Dental Diploma Examination as a UK dentist?

On completion of the examination process, dentists will become an Associate Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery and will be entitled to use the following RCSEd post-nominals in their professional practice:

  • Dip Dent Sed RCSEd
  • Dip Oral Surg RCSEd
  • Dip Oral Med RCSEd
  • Dip Endo RCSEd
  • Dip Perio RCSEd
  • Dip Pros RCSEd
  • Dip Paed Dent RCSEd.

The RCSEd’s Faculty of Dental Surgery advocates continually on behalf of the profession and specifically on behalf of RCSEd members.

Completion of these examinations professionally will have the potential to form a key part of a general dental practitioner’s portfolio for recognition as a Tier 2 dentist in England and Wales and, in time, the Faculty of Dental Surgery will champion a similar framework for professional practice and recognition in the other devolved nations throughout the UK. 

Why should I sit a Dental Diploma Examination if I currently work outside the UK?

As the Dental Diploma examinations develop, the Faculty will run these examinations internationally. As other countries progress towards a post-qualifying examination, the Faculty and wider College will work with Ministries of Health and key stakeholders concerning the recognition of the Dental Diploma Examinations as part of wider professional practice.

How do I prepare to sit a Dental Diploma Examination with RCSEd?

The RCSEd is the home for the whole dental team and provides a rich source of professional education for our membership base. We recognise the range of education available to dentists in each of the specialty areas provided by both the NHS through a range of courses and self-directed learning. As such, dentists will not need to have undertaken a specific programme of study towards these diplomas and can sit them when they feel they are ready, in the same way that people plan and prepare for their advanced driving test.

How do I find out more about the Dental Diploma examinations?

The Faculty of Dentistry will be running webinars to help candidates prepare for these new and innovative exams in 2024. 


The Author

A portrait of Proffessor Macintyre

Professor McIntyre is Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Find out more on the RCSEd website.

Tags: College / CPD / Diploma / Edinburgh / Education / Royal / Surgeons

Categories: Feature / Magazine

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