Evaluating dental vocational training: how does Scotland compare to the rest of the UK?

D. Bonetti, L. Young, J. Rennie, J. Clarkson

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    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background UK dental graduates complete a 12-month vocational training programme, but only in Scotland is there mandatory assessment. Aim To evaluate the effect of mandatory assessment. Method Pragmatic experimental design. UK dental trainees (Cohort 1: 2003-2004; Cohort 2: 2004-2005; Cohort 3: 2005-2006) completed questionnaires assessing stakeholder-identified clinical and non-clinical outcomes pre-and post-training. Results Response rate = 84%: Scotland (n = 247); other UK (n = 308: 156 (England) + 102 (Wales) + 50 (Northern Ireland)). Compared to other UK trainees, trainees in Scotland were significantly more confident in clinical skills (F(1,555) = 15.49, p < 0.001), continuing professional development (F(1,552) = 4.37, p < 0.05), felt better prepared for keeping track of new technology (F(1,551) = 9.03, p < 0.01) and new evidence (F(1,551)= 3.71, p < 0.05); showed more positive attitude toward training (F(1,554) = 5.82, p < 0.01), continued professional development (F(1,552) = 4.71, p < 0.05), and their job (F(1,553) = 6.93, p < 0.01). They also found mandatory assessment significantly more beneficial (Scotland mean = 5.6 (1.9); other UK mean = 4.0 (1.9); F(1,546) = 60.87, p < 0.001), more useful (Scotland mean = 5.3 (1.5); other mean = 4.9 (1.7); F(1,549) = 7.474, p < 0.01) and more comforting (Scotland mean = 4.1 (1.6); other UK mean = 2.7 (1.6); F(1,547) = 57.47, p < 0.001). Conclusion Results suggest it does matter where dental graduates spend their training year in the UK. Support for training under the Scottish mandatory assessment system was robust over three cohorts. This study has shown the value of evaluating different training systems and may inform the development and standardisation of future professional education programmes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-202
    Number of pages8
    JournalBritish Dental Journal
    Volume204
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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