By law, to practise as a dental technician you must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC).
Many entrants start as trainees in a commercial dental laboratory, a dental practice or in a dental hospital, and combine on-the-job training with part-time study towards an approved qualification that are currently set at either level 3, 5 or 6. The DTA vision, detailed on diagram 2, is that the baseline qualification to register as a dental technician is an approved foundation degree at level 5.
ROUTES TO REGISTERING
There are currently a number of different routes to gaining a GDC-approved qualification and this is demonstrated in diagram 1.
Be aware that course entry requirements vary, so check carefully with individual institutions and individual employers set their own entry requirements for Apprenticeships, but for Higher Apprenticeships you normally need A level or equivalent qualifications.
Have you considered offering an apprenticeship, traineeship or kickstart placement? The Education and Skills Funding Agency has shared this One Pager with our membership which identifies choices for people over 16 years of age. It describes each programme and includes employer costs, incentives, training, duration, eligibility, progression route, links to additional information.
Hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for any organisation to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. The majority of the time apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship enabling your business to grow. You can now employ apprentices at all different levels, from school leavers to people that want to further their careers or change career direction completely. An apprentice can be aged 16 or above.
You can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment. Read more about the benefits to your organisation and how much it is going to cost on the Government website.
Health Education England have produced a booklet 'Apprenticeships in Dental, Pharmacy and Optometry '
STUDENTS AND DENTAL TECHNOLOGISTS
The DTA provide members with a one stop shop including a range of benefits and packages to suit and support students throughout their education; newly qualified individuals taking their next steps starting their career; and experienced professionals, making it easy for you to stay compliant no matter where you are in your journey. Student membership is just £10 per year and open to UK based students currently studying for a dental technology qualification. Watch the DTA professionalism video to understand more about what is expected of a registered dental technologist.