Dental Public Health.

Dental Public Health specialists work in the community preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health.

A Dental Public Health Specialists' knowledge and skills cover public health administration, research methodology, the prevention and control of oral diseases, and the delivery and financing of oral health care.

Dental Public Health offers a strategic and consultative role. Specialists work closely with members of the dental profession, the NHS, other government health agencies and relevant bodies, such as universities. They are involved in research, lobbying, education and strategic direction, as well as contributing to the debate and understanding of important topics such as fluoridation.

Specialising in Dental Public Health offers opportunities to develop one’s professional profile by working with and influencing communities, health trusts and independent bodies. 

"We are a small specialty and work very closely as a team to deliver a high quality specialty training programme in dental public health. Trainees have the opportunity to train in urban and rural locations hosted within health and social care organisations and the university.

Training Programme Directors

Dr Gail Douglas (North)

Dr Kate Jones (South)


ARCP Dates


Timeline for ARCP

ARCP Checklist


All trainees will be subject to an annual ARCP, as per the Dental Gold Guide (fourth edition, 2016). The ARCP provides a formal process which uses the evidence gathered by the trainee, relating to his/her progress in the training programme (Dental Gold Guide, fourth edition, 2016 p21). 

The ARCP process is applicable to:

  • specialty trainees
  • academic trainees
  • trainees that are out of programme
  • post CCST trainees

Trainees will, wherever possible, be given twelve weeks notice of the date of their ARCP to collate their evidence. The timeline for the ARCP process is available here. 

The following documents should be completed and sent to prior to the ARCP:

Academic trainees will also be required to complete a Report on Academic Progress

Please note that all documents require a handwritten or an electronic signature. Typed signatures will not be accepted by the SAC. 

For further information please go to:

Curriculum and Training

Higher specialist training programmes in Dental Public Health normally require four years’ study. Trainees will be expected to complete three years of NHS training and one year of formal academic training at master’s level or equivalent.

The purpose of the training programme is to give trainees supervised experience in the theory and practice of Dental Public Health and the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and overall competence required by a consultant in the specialty.


Formal Academic Training

Trainees must undertake 12 months of academic training at master’s level or equivalent, for example: an MSc in Dental Public Health or Master of Public Health (MPH), which includes specific dental modules.  

Individuals with these academic qualifications, who enter the specialist registrar grade, will normally only be required to undertake a further three years of specialist training.

MPH courses must be approved by the Specialist Advisory Committee in Dental Public Health and the Examination Board for the Diploma in Dental Public Health (DDPH) as being adequate to enable individuals to sit the DDPH Examination (although they will not be required to do so).


Completion of Training

Trainees must pass the Intercollegiate Speciality Fellowship Examination on completion of the training programme and achievement of satisfactory structured assessments. Trainees can then be recommended for the award of a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in Dental Public Health (CCST).  

You may start working as a locum or acting consultant before a substantive post is available.  The person specification is available at:

There are a few academic posts in universities.  Posts funded jointly by the universities and NHS are sometimes available.

To be appointed as a Senior Lecturer, you are expected to have substantial publications and a record of obtaining research funding, as well as being a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Please click here for further details:

Consultants in Dental Public Health sometimes also hold honorary academic or research posts in universities. These posts can include: honorary teacher, lecturer, senior lecturer, senior research fellow or honorary research fellow.  

After obtaining your CCST in Dental Public Health, you can also become a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health without examination. Please click here for details

Some of you may be interested in becoming a Director/Deputy Director of Public Health.  Further information on senior public health appointments is available at

There is no formal on-call, except for those involved in Health Protection.  However, out of hours working is required occasionally, for example, evening meetings.


The Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme Website

This site houses the curriculum for the dental specialties and, in a secure area, trainees’ electronic portfolios and the learning agreements which support training.

All trainees will eventually use the e-portfolio but this will be done on a rolling programme by specialty. Consultants and other professionals who will be training, assessing and supervising training will also need to register.


Useful Links


For information regarding ongoing recruitment and vacancy numbers please visit our recruitment pages at /recruitment/


Trainees in dental public health must undertake 12 months of academic training at master’s level or equivalent, for example: an MSc in Dental Public Health or Master of Public Health (MPH), which includes specific dental modules. This will involve training in research skills and potentially a poster or journal publication.

There are a few academic posts in universities.  Academic dental public health posts funded jointly by the universities and NHS are sometimes available.

Study Leave Arrangements

Trainees will be supported to attend courses and educational opportunities that are required to satisfy the curriculum.

Please visit the Study Leave Guidance


Testimonial from former trainee:

"I have been a trainee in Dental Public Health since April 2009. I wanted to be in a training programme that would educate, engage and challenge me and that’s exactly what I got. The first two years of my training grounded me thoroughly into the fundamental principles of Dental Public health both through working in the Primary Care Trust environment and also through the Masters in Dental Public Health course that I did in Sheffield. I am now in the final year of my training and am using these principles at every opportunity I get.  My trainers have been extremely supportive and very friendly which has contributed greatly to my progress.

I have enjoyed every minute of the training programme so far and will do it all over again if I have to!"

Vidya Ventakesh
Trainee in Dental Public Health

Period of Grace

Every specialty trainee whether in pre- or post-CCST training is allowed to request a Period of Grace (PoG). This period, which is generally six months, is part of the Terms and Conditions of the StR contract of employment. The aim of the PoG is to allow time to look for suitable employment.

Once a trainee has accepted a Consultant post or Locum Consultant post, they must resign from their training programme with effect from either their end of training date or following the appropriate period of notice (See Termination below for full details). In doing so the trainees National Training Number (NTN) is relinquished and the right to a Period of Grace is given up. There is no option to return to training after this.

The standard Period of Grace is six calendar months. There is no pro-rata modification for less than full time working. The period of grace will start on the CCST/end of training date whether or not a CCST has been applied for by the trainee.

You can apply for a period of grace by using this form.

Patient Feedback

The decision has been made to include patient feedback in to the ARCP requirements for dental specialty trainees.

This should be completed in ST1 - and ST4 if you are in a post-CCST training programme.

The process will be as follows:

  1. Place your name on the patient feedback form (attached) provided and prints out 30 copies. Please also provide self-seal envelopes with the name of your Educational Supervisor written on them.
  2. The forms and envelopes are handed out to 30 consecutive patients (by either you or the clinic nurse) to complete and hand in to the Receptionist.
  3. Receptionist collects and forwards/internal posts on to the Educational Supervisor named on the envelopes.
  4. A minimum of 20 responses is required for validation. Once that number is received, the Educational Supervisor hands them back to you to collate and tabulate the responses including comments. You should then share and discuss this with your Educational Supervisor at one of your routine meetings. Any development needs identified can be added to your PDP.
  5. Trainee uploads collated and validated responses to ePortfolio (if not a specialty that has an online portfolio).

You can find a patient feedback template here.

Escalating Concerns

HEE want to ensure that your training is enjoyable and that it allows you to fulfil your curriculum requirements.

Should you experience any problems or have any concerns during you training, there are a number of people in place to help.

If you wish to raise concerns please follow the process described in this flowchart.