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Vocational Training by Equivalence

What is vocational training by equivalence (VTE) ?

There are special rules surrounding overseas dentists practicing in England. Those dentists who are graduates within the European Union are free to enter England, register with the GDC, and apply to join the National Performers List(NPL). This means that they are eligible to work within the NHS and contract with practices  as associate “performers”. This application process starts with the completion of an NPL1 form.

Non-european union dentists are not eligible to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) without passing the Oversee’s Registration Exam (ORE). Once they have passed this exam, they are eligible to register with the GDC. A dentist who is registerd with the GDC can obtain professional indemnity and can practice as a private dentist. They cannot however join a performer’s list to work under NHS arrangements. Such dentists need to be supervised for an agreed period. That agreed period is determined by a local assessment panel.

The process however starts with the completion of an NPL1 application to a local area team (LAT). The LAT then appoints a local assessment panel to consider the application.

VTE applications within Antwerp Dental Group

Antwerp Dental Group supports Vocational Training by Equivalence. Every year, our group agrees to mentor 1-4 non-european qualified dentists by one of our excellent dentists. Dr.Raj Wadhwani selects VTE dentists and provides a training curriculum to complete over the training year.

The selection criteria is very rigorous, and VTE dentists will only be considered under the following conditions :

  • Excellent spoken/written English
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills
  • Evidence of postgraduate training/certification
  • Evidence of thorough experience in dentistry
  • Evidence of strong postgraduate interests

ADG only supports applications that will commit to training and a period of associateship to treat NHS and Private patients. The minimum contract period is 2 years, with the initial training period being 9-12 months.


There is no funding for Vocational Training by Equivalence. As a result, the VTE dentist is paid a notional rate for his/her units of dental activity. From the contract activity of the VTE dentist, a mentor is paid for mentoring services. As the VTE’s income during the mentoring period will be small,  the VTE dentist will therefore need to have some financial resources in place to support them during the 2-year contract.

It is also possible to obtain an interest-free loan from Antwerp Dental Group, with agreement to repay this during the associateship period following the period of mentoring.

VTE Curriculum

Dr.Raj Wadhwani leads the VTE curriculum with his VTE Academy Faculty. There are some essential elements to the curriculum. Unlike Foundation Dentistry, the curriculum is very innovative and will train the VTE dentist to become proficient with NHS care within the general dental services . The curriculum will also teach some more advanced skills that will enable the VTE dentist to thrive within a mixed economy practice.

The VTE dentist will be given many pearls of wisdom that exists within Antwerp Dental Group which has made our group one of the most successful and respected dental groups in England.

If you are interested in joining Antwerp Dental Group as a VTE dentist, then fill out the following application procedure and join one of the most forward-thinking group’s in England.

Good luck with your application !

Local Assessment Panel

Local assessment panels usually recommend a period of supervision from 9 months to 1.5 years undertaken by a suitable mentor. That mentor will need to demonstrate his/her knowledge and experience of working as a dentist within the General Dental Services. This process is known as Vocational Training by Equivalence.

The mentor needs to complete a PLVE application

Suitable Mentor, and PLVE (Performer’s List Validation by Experience) application

The mentor completes an application process to be considered by Health Education England (HEE) as to his/her suitability as a mentor.The mentor usually has an interview by the local assessment panel. Assuming the panel approve the mentor’s application, arrangements can commence at a designated practice where both the mentor and VTE dentist can work together for a minimum period of 3 days per week.

Application form


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