DFT Programme: What Happens After the SJT?

DFT Application Specialists

The Waiting Period and What It Means

After taking the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), candidates enter a waiting period that usually lasts a few weeks. This is the time when the test papers are evaluated, and scores are calculated. It’s a period of anticipation, but it’s also an opportunity to continue your professional development. Engaging in further study, attending workshops, or gaining additional clinical experience can be beneficial during this time.

Release of SJT Results

The results of the SJT are typically released in late autumn. Candidates receive a score that contributes to their overall national ranking. This ranking is crucial as it determines your eligibility for training posts. It’s important to review your results carefully and understand how they fit into the broader context of your application to the Dental Foundation Training Programme. Assuming you’ve prepared adequately with question banks and the right resources, you should have nothing to worry about!

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National Ranking and Its Significance

Your national ranking is not solely based on your SJT score; it also includes other factors like academic achievements. However, the SJT carries significant weight in determining this ranking. The higher your rank, the better your chances of securing a preferred training post. This ranking is used in the subsequent preferencing process, where you’ll be asked to list your preferred training posts in order of priority.

Preferencing Window Opens

Shortly after the release of the SJT results and national rankings, the preferencing window opens. This is a critical phase in the DFT application process. You’ll be required to submit your preferences for training posts through an online system. The choices you make here are pivotal, as they influence the next steps in your dental career.

Preparing for Post Allocation

While waiting for the preferencing process to conclude, it’s advisable to prepare for the post-allocation phase. This involves researching the training posts you’ve preferred, understanding their requirements, and even considering accommodation if you’re looking to move. Being well-prepared can ease the transition into your training post and set the stage for a successful tenure in the DFT programme.

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Post Allocation and Next Steps

Once the preferencing process is complete and the matching algorithm has done its work, candidates are notified of their allocated training posts. This is a momentous occasion that marks the beginning of your professional journey in dentistry. Upon receiving your allocation, you’ll need to confirm your acceptance and complete any remaining administrative tasks, such as contract signing and submission of additional documents.

Orientation and Induction

After confirming your training post, the next step is usually an orientation or induction program. This program is designed to introduce you to the training environment, the supervising staff, and the expectations of the DFT programme. It’s an essential phase that helps you transition smoothly into your new role. Make the most of this opportunity to ask questions, understand the training curriculum, and familiarise yourself with the clinical setting.

Commencement of Training

Your official training typically begins shortly after the orientation period. This is when you start your clinical practice under the supervision of experienced dental professionals. You’ll also begin attending study days, workshops, and other educational activities that form part of the DFT curriculum. It’s crucial to engage actively in these activities, as they contribute to your overall assessment and professional development.

Continuous Assessment and Feedback

Throughout your training, you’ll undergo continuous assessment to evaluate your clinical skills, professional behaviour, and overall competence. These assessments can take various forms, including direct observations, case presentations, and written tests. Feedback is an integral part of this process, providing you with insights into your performance and areas for improvement. Take this feedback seriously and use it as a tool for continuous improvement.

Planning for Life Post-DFT

While immersed in the DFT programme, it’s also wise to start thinking about your career path post-training. Whether you’re considering specialisation, academic pursuits, or private practice, early planning can give you a head start. Networking with professionals in your desired field, attending relevant conferences, and seeking mentorship are some ways to prepare for the next phase of your career.

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