Graduate Attitudes towards Vocational Training

G. McKenna, F. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Introduction: Vocational training (VT) is a mandatory requirement for all UK dental graduates prior to entering NHS practice. The VT period provides structured, supervised experience supported by study days and interaction with peers. It is not compulsory for Irish dental graduates working in either Ireland or the UK to undertake VT but yet a proportion voluntarily do so each year.

Objectives: This study was designed to explore the choices made by Irish dental graduates. It aimed to record any benefits of VT and its impact upon future career choices.

Method: A self-completion questionnaire was developed and piloted before being circulated electronically to recent dental graduates from University College Cork. After collecting demographic information respondents were asked to indicate if they pursued vocational training on graduation, give their perception of their post-graduation experience, describe their current work profile and detail any formal postgraduate studies.

Results: 35% of respondents opted to undertake VT and 79% did so in the UK. Those who completed VT regarded it as a very positive experience with benefits including: working in a positive learning environment, help on demand and interaction with peers. Of those who chose VT, 49% have pursued some form of further formal postgraduate study as compared to 40% of those who did not. All of the respondents who completed VT indicated they would recommend it to current Irish graduates. The majority of those who took up an associate position immediately after graduation reported that this was beneficial but up to three quarters would recommend current graduates undertake VT and 45% would now chose to do so themselves.

Conclusions: Increasing numbers of Irish graduates are moving to the UK to undertake VT and they find it a beneficial experience. In addition, those who undertook VT were more likely to undertake formal postgraduate study.
Original languageEnglish
Article number580
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue numberSpec. Iss C
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventPan European Federation of IADR - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Sep 200812 Sep 2008


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