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Overseas Registration Exam (ORE)

What is the ORE?

The GDC’s Overseas Registration Examination (ORE) must be passed by graduates whose qualifications are not eligible for registration in the UK.

The ORE is in two parts :
Part One consists of written papers on (i) clinical applied dental science and clinically applied human disease and (ii) aspects of clinical dentistry, law and ethics, and health and safety.

Part Two consists of an examination on a dental manikin, examinations to test clinical skills, diagnostic and treatment planning skills, and a medical emergencies examination.

Candidates applying to sit the ORE must demonstrate that they have at least 1,600 hours clinical experience where they have personally treated patients in the dental chair. This experience can be gained during the undergraduate degree, during post-qualification experience, or a combination of both. Candidates will have to verify this experience by providing references from University Dental Deans or employers.

To practice dentistry in the UK you must hold a full registration with the GDC. You may eventually be able to work as a dentist if you pass the ORE and have the correct visa to remain and work in the UK. The ORE examination is held by the GDC and replaced the International Qualifying Examination (IQE).

To see if you are eligible to appear for the ORE please contact GDC. The ORE is based on the UK dental curriculum. Candidates are advised to read the GDC document :-

The First Five Years: A Framework for undergraduate Dental Education.click Download PDF

The GDC also provides a list of useful text books. You may have used some of these books already so you will need to make a judgment as to whether you need to buy or borrow new text books.

Dentists who complete the ORE and have no clinical experience may need to do up to 1 year Dental Foundation Training (DF1) in order to be able to work as a general dental practitioner for the NHS. Success in the ORE does not mean you will automatically secure a DF1 place or a job in the NHS. It has become very difficult to find a DF1 training place as there is a lot of competition from UK and European graduates.

Definition of Prior Clinical Experience

"The overseas dentist must have 1,600 hours clinical experience where they have personally treated patients in the dental chair. The number of hours of this clinical experience will either be hours spent by the overseas dentist undertaking appropriate investigations and administering dental treatment during their dental degree, during post-qualification experience, or a combination of the two. It could also be undertaken during temporary registration. It will not include time observing other dentists or assisting other dentists/dental students in undertaking diagnosis/treatment planning or provision of treatment."

Verification of the Prior Clinical Experience

Prior clinical experience will be verified. The GDC will request signed references from university dental teams for the undergraduate experience and from employers for the post-qualification experience.. The GDC reserves the right to undertake spot checks to verify references where appropriate.

It is important to be aware that if you arrive in the UK having less than the minimum 1,600 hours of clinical experience and being unable to sit the ORE, you may put yourself in a very difficult situation. Although the GDC website states that you could obtain experience in a post offering temporary registration, you need to be aware that under current circumstances obtaining such a post will be extremely difficult. You should not rely on obtaining such a post in the UK in order to obtain sufficient experience to enter the ORE.

In addition, please check if you have any restrictions on your visa preventing you from applying for training posts. You will not be able to apply for training posts if your visa has restrictions such as-no employment as doctor or dentist in training - or similar wording.

If you know that you have not achieved the 1,600 hours of clinical experience required to enter the ORE, you would be advised to seriously consider obtaining a clinical post in the country where you qualified before coming to the UK.

For any ORE examination queries, please contact Laura at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IndDEC runs training programs for those dentists wishing to appear for the ORE. Our faculty for ORE training is drawn from experienced tutors who have firsthand knowledge of the examination process. To book a place please complete and return the relevant application form along with your payment to the Admissions Team.

Lunch and refreshments are provided on all ORE revision courses. For further details of our ORE training programs please contact Admission Team This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ORE examination details may be obtained from the General Dental Council. Please Contact the ORE Examinations teams.

Q) What does ORE stand for?
Ans.) ORE stands for the Overseas Registration Exam.
Q) Who is required to sit the ORE?
Ans.) Dentists who gained their primary dental qualification from a university that is not in either the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland will usually be required to pass the ORE before being able to register with the GDC. Dentists who fall into this category but qualify as an exempt person are eligible to have their degree assessed on an individual basis. This is known as Individual Assessment: however, you should be aware that this is not a guaranteed route to registration and unsuccessful applicants are required to sit the ORE. Further information is available to help you find your route to registration.
Q) Will there be a time limit in which I have to complete the exam?
​Ans.) The ORE candidates will have to pass Part 2 within 5 years of first sitting Part 1.
Q) How many centres run the exam?
Ans.) Part 1 is run by King’s College, London
Part 2 is run by a consortium group and the four components of the exam are held at separate venues in London. All four venues are situated near to each other.
Q) How many times can I sit each Part? What are the options if I fail four times?
​Ans.)Candidates are allowed up to four attempts at each Part of the ORE.
If you fail either Part 1 or Part 2 of the exam four times you will not be given the opportunity to sit the exam again
Q) What does Part 1 of the ORE cover?
​Ans.) There are two computer-based exam papers for Part 1 of the ORE:
Paper A covers clinically applied dental science and clinically applied human disease
Paper B covers aspects of clinical dentistry, including law and ethics and health and safety
Each paper lasts 3 hours and is made up of Multiple Short Answer questions (Extended Matching Questions and Single Best Answer Questions). Examples of this type of questioning are available to candidates as guidance.
Q) What does Part 2 of the ORE cover?
​Ans.) There are four components to Part 2 of the ORE:
An operative test on a dental manikin Candidates are required to perform three procedures over a period of three hours. These procedures primarily involve the preparation and restoration of teeth, but may also include other procedures where appropriate simulation can allow assessment of operative skills. For more information visit our Part 2 page.
An Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) This is where candidates visit a series of ‘stations’ which test their clinical skills. These may include history-taking and assessment, communication skills (such as an explanation of problems and treatment plans), judgement and decision making, ethics and attitudes, and clinical examination. The series of stations may cover aspects of the following: behavioural sciences, human disease, law, ethics and professionalism, clinical dentistry, restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics, preventive dentistry, dental public health, comprehensive oral care, oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology and oral microbiology, dental radiology and imaging. For more information visit our Part 2 page.
A diagnostic and treatment planning exercise This involves an actor who will provide an appropriate history (but will not be examined), together with relevant additional information such as photographs, radiographs, study models or results of other special tests. The exercise may involve any of the above aspects of clinical dentistry. For more information visit our Part 2 page.
A practical examination in medical emergencies This assessment consists of two parts:
a structured scenario-based oral
demonstration of single handed basic life support. This will include cardiopulmonary resuscitation using a resuscitation manikin
For more information visit our Part 2 page.
Q) Is there a syllabus for the ORE?
​Ans.) The syllabus is the learning outcomes from Preparing For Practice. Topic areas covered in each component of the exam are outlined in the Part 1 and Part 2 pages.
Q) What preparation material will I be provided with?
​Ans.) Candidates will find the following preparation material on this website:
Reading list for the ORE
Blueprints for the ORE
The First Five Years: A Framework for Undergraduate Dental Education, General Dental Council 2002
Q) Are there any training or refresher courses for the ORE?
Ans.) Since the GDC sets the exam, it cannot provide preparation courses. Please refer to the reading list as a part of your preparation studies. It is likely that a wide variety of short courses are available; however the GDC is unable to recommend or give accreditation to these.
Q) Can I get any exemptions for having done the MFDS or any other Membership diplomas or non-Membership exams?
Ans.) The ORE will offer no exemptions for candidates who have completed the MFDS or other Membership diplomas or non-Membership exams.
Q) When can I apply for the exam?
​Ans.) You can apply for the exam throughout the year, as there are no closing dates. You should be aware that applicants are expected to be academically and financially ready to sit an exam at the time of application. If you are not ready to sit the ORE, you should not submit your application. Applicants are also expected to submit all the required documents along with their application. The GDC will be unable to process your application until all documents have been received.
Q) What documents do I have to submit?
​Ans.) Applicants need to provide the following:
An application form completed in all parts. The clinical reference must be written or typed onto the application form and signed in person, by the referee, and should not be sent as a separate letter
An original Certificate of Good Standing (see below) that must be no older than 3 months on the day the application is received by the GDC. If there is a one year gap between ORE sittings, you will need to submit a new Certificate of Good Standing *
Evidence of knowledge of the English language. Please refer to the Evidence of English language competence: Guidance for applicants document
A certified copy of a primary dental degree recognised for the purpose of the exam **
A certified copy of a current, valid passport **
One recent passport-size photographs
NARIC statement
* A Certificate of Good Standing is a certificate or letter issued by the registration authority for dentists. We require this certificate from the country of graduation as well as any other country where a dentist has practiced.
** The documents can be certified by: solicitors or notaries.
Q) Will I have to submit any health documents?
​Ans.) As the ORE does not involve a test on a real patient, applicants for the ORE do not have to submit any health documents for the purpose of sitting the exam. Candidates are advised that proof of health will be required for GDC registration after passing the exam.
Q) What is the English language requirement for the ORE?
​Ans.) For the purpose of the ORE, candidates are required to submit evidence of English language. The types of evidence we are likely to accept are:
1. An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate at the appropriate level
2. A recent primary dental qualification that has been taught and examined in English
3. A recent pass in a language test for registration with a regulatory authority in a country where the first and native language is English
4. Recent experience of practising in a country where the first and native language is English
Please also see the Evidence of English language competence: Guidance for applicants document, for full details of the above requirements and 'other evidence' we may accept.
Q) How long will it take for an application to be processed?
​Ans.) Once we receive your application we will contact you with the status of the application. The time to process an application depends on the receipt of complete and satisfactory references and application documents. Therefore we request that you supply us with your referees’ current e-mail addresses as electronic mail is the preferred method of communication for the GDC and will also speed up the processing time for your application.
Q) Will my documents be checked?
​Ans.) Yes, we will check your documents and references and to speed up this process we request that you provide us with the most up to date information for yourself and your referees.
Q) What will happen if my application for the ORE is rejected?
​Ans.) If your application is rejected, you will be given the reasons why and advised on what you need to do to have your application accepted.
Q) How long does it take to complete the whole exam process?
​Ans.) The ORE is designed to be a streamlined process for candidates and exam suppliers and take less time to complete overall than the IQE. If a candidate passed each exam at the first attempt, they could complete the exam in around six to twelve months. However, there can be large numbers of candidates on the two exam lists (Part 1 and Part 2) and so candidates are not guaranteed a place on an exam. From time to time it may be necessary to limit the number of candidate attempts over a period of 6-12 months in order to allow other candidates on a list the chance to book an exam place.
Q) Once my correctly completed application has been checked and approved, how long will I have to wait to book a place on Part 1 of the ORE?
​Ans.) When you are added to the waiting list for ORE Part 1, you will receive two emails to your specified email address from us, containing log in details for the eGDC website. You will then be able to log into the website and check for available exams. Once a Part 1 exam is available for booking you will be eligible to book a place, however you are not guaranteed a place as there may be more candidates wishing to book than there are places available.
Q) How does the GDC allocate places on the exam?
​Ans.) The GDC does not allocate places on the exam to particular candidates. The only exception to this are candidates approaching their 5 year limit. These candidates are prioritised for exams in the 9 months before their 5 year expiry date. The procedure document for this process can be found on the Booking your exam page. There will be one exam date available to book at a time. The ORE latest information page provides updates regarding the timing of future exam bookings. Every candidate on the waiting list will be informed by email in advance of a new exam date becoming available for booking. All places on exams will be booked on a first come first served basis.
Q) What happens if I choose not to book an available exam?
​Ans.) We do not suspend candidates from the waiting list for refusing to book an exam, but you will have to send the GDC Exams Team a new valid Certificate of Good Standing if there is a gap of 12 months or longer between sittings.
Q) When do I need to pay fees for an exam?
​Ans.) Payment of the full exam fee is required at the time of the booking. Credit or debit card payments must be made online via the eGDC website.
Q) Can I appeal against my result?
​Ans.) No. The GDC does not accept applications for appeals against academic judgements.
Q) Can I raise a complaint about my exam?
​Ans.) Yes. A complaint may be raised on the grounds of serious defect(s) in procedure that has led to a candidate being disadvantaged, or on the grounds of discrimination. The complaints policy for Part 1 is available to download on our Part 1 page. The link to the policies concerning the Part 2 exam can be found on our Part 2 page.
Q) Where can I get information on postgraduate study?
Ans.) For information and advice on postgraduate study please contact the National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education.
Q) What sort of visa do I need to sit the exam?
Ans.) The functions of the GDC are separate from those in charge of administering visas. Therefore, the GDC is unable to advise on visas. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that they are permitted to be in the UK to take the exam that they are booked on to. For information on visas and entry to the UK, please contact the UK Border and Immigration Agency.
If you make payment for an exam and then are unable to obtain a visa, you will not be refunded your fees. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can obtain a visa before you make payment for an exam.
Q) Can a candidate work in the UK as a dentist while waiting to complete the ORE?
​Ans.) Yes, you can work, but you must have temporary registration with the GDC. Please be aware that posts available under temporary registration are limited and there is also a very high demand for these posts.
For information and advice on employment in UK dentistry, you may wish to contact the British Dental Association.
Q) How can I find a job in the UK?
​Ans.) Since the GDC deals with the regulation of dentists and dental care professionals, we do not advise on employment opportunities. However, helpful information can be provided by the British Dental Association.
Q) Do I need to take vocational training (VT)? How do I find a VT place?
​Ans.) Candidates wishing to work within the NHS will be required to enter a ‘performers’ list’. In order to get onto such a list you will need to be evaluated for suitability. This may mean that you are required to undertake up to a year’s VT equivalence training. For further advice, you should contact the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) or Dental Deanery where you wish to work.

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IndDEC is a premium provider of Clinical education and training in the healthcare sector. The institution home to Excellence in Clinical and Surgical Training having earned a reputation for excellence throughout the world in the education of high calibre clinicians. Our Clinical programs underpinned by world-class standards and evidence based healthcare are supported through our initiatives and achievements across Clinical Excellence and Research, focusing on practicing GDP’s and young clinicians.

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