This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies statement.

Skip to page content

Pre Registration Training

NHS Education for Scotland have five dental education centres across Scotland that deliver the SVQ and PDA in Dental Nursing training programmes.

Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) and Professional Development Award (PDA) in Dental Nursing 

The SVQ & PDA in Dental Nursing are awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). These qualifications are designed to educate and train dental nurses towards developing the knowledge and skills required to demonstrate competence in their role. 

Following successful completion of the SVQ & PDA in Dental Nursing students will be eligible to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) to practise as dental nurses and to use that title.

A variety of methods are used to assess students’ knowledge and skills throughout the SVQ/PDA programme:

  • Workplace observation
  • Production of a portfolio of evidence
  • Online and written assessments

The Entry Requirements for this programme are as follows:

  • Three qualifications at SCQF Level 4 in English, Maths; and a science subject.  Equivalent qualifications and prior learning will be recognised on discussion with the centre. 
  • Trainee dental nurses must also be employed in a dental practice environment working clinically alongside a GDC registered dentist or hygiene therapist. frequently providing chairside support for a full range of clinical dental procedures for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

In addition to register for NHS Education for Scotland's SVQ and PDA in Dental Nursing programme prospective students must have successfully completed our Dental Nurse Induction Programme within the preceding two years. (See the 'Dental Nurse Induction' section for further information)