MJDF Information

MJDF Information


MJDF Examination


MJDF and the modern dental career

The Diploma of Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties at The Royal College of Surgeons of England (MJDF RCS Eng) is an assessment, developed jointly by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) and the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This examination has effectively replaced:

  • Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) (MFGDP[UK])
  • Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS RCS Eng).

Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) has changed the way postgraduate medical training is delivered. This change was driven by the need for more flexible training pathways to meet service and personal development requirements. One of the key elements in MMC is the foundation programme, which consists of an integrated two-year course of general professional training following initial medical qualification.

Within dentistry, the General Dental Council and the Department of Health have sought to develop 'modernising dental careers' along the lines of the medical model. A curriculum for foundation programmes in dentistry, the result being the 2006 publication of A Curriculum for UK Dental Foundation Programme Training defines the competencies, curriculum, educational content, training requirements, and expected outcomes for all dental graduates who complete dental foundation training.

The aim of the MJDF is to assess knowledge, application of knowledge and candidates' understanding of the structures and processes required to provide quality-assured dental healthcare after completion of a two year foundation programme for all dental graduates - whether they are pursuing a career in general or specialist practice in either primary or secondary care.  

Relying less on traditional tests of knowledge and more on workplace-based demonstration of competencies, the MJDF provides a modern, innovative assessment for today's dentist.

Structure of the MJDF

The MJDF examination consists of:

  • Portfolio of Evidence based on workplace-based experience
  • Part 1 examination in the form of one written paper containing multiple choice questions (MCQs), and
  • Part 2 examination in the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and structured clinical reasoning (SCR) exercises.

Read more about the MJDF structure.

Examination dates, revision days & application forms

A transition process ensures that those who have already begun either the MFGDP(UK) or MFDS are protected, and are able to use components that have been completed from these two examinations towards the new award.

Examination diets are held in the spring and autumn each year and the Faculties run a series of revision days leading up to each diet.

View examination dates and dates for revision days, or to download  application forms.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions.  For a more complete set please go to Annex A in theInformation for Candidates document.

What is the value of the MJDF measured against the old qualifications?

One of the defining characteristics of the MFDS was that it served as an entry requirement for specialist training. The GDC has now decided that there will be no formal examination entry requirement, and selection is likely to be on the basis of a range of criteria demonstrating suitability. Possession of a postgraduate qualification (MFDS, MFGDP(UK), MJDF, or a non-College qualification) will play a part in demonstrating a candidate's suitability. However, it is not an absolute requirement.

The MJDF’s purpose and value is to confirm the acquisition of competencies at the end of the foundation training curriculum, for a dental career which may develop within either primary or secondary care.

I want to enter specialist training. Do I also need an MJDF in addition to my existing MFDS/MFGDP(UK)?

See above – In keeping with published GDC guidance, this is not a requirement currently.

Since the MJDF assesses competencies in the foundation training curriculum, is it relevant to a practitioner with several years' experience post qualification?

Yes – the MJDF will be the starting point for dentists who wish to develop their careers in a number of ways. With more flexible entry into specialist training, and the advent of concepts such as the Dentists with Special Interests, all practitioners should consider the MJDF as a valuable demonstration of having achieved the postgraduate competencies set out in the foundation training curriculum.

I have completed MFDS/MFGDP(UK). Can I use this to obtain exemptions from parts of the MJDF?

If you have completed MFDS or MFGDP(UK), you need only take Part 2 MJDF to gain that award, as long the components for which you are claiming credit and Part 2 of the MJDF are completed within the five-year period allowed by the regulations.

Is the MJDF registrable as an additional qualification with the GDC?

The GDC is currently reviewing its policy on the registration of additional qualifications and is not currently accepting new qualifications. This applies both to the MJDF and the new MFDS of the Dental Faculties of the Royal Colleges in Scotland. The faculties will apply for registrable status once the GDC has completed the review of its procedures.

More information and contacts

There is more detailed information on the MJDF on the Information for Candidates page, the full Information for Candidates document, the MJDF Portfolio Guide, and the MJDF Regulations page. If you have a query that is not answered on these pages, you can contact the MJDF Examinations Department by emailingmjdf@rcseng.ac.uk or calling 020 7869 6762.


Information for candidates


Background information and guidance for candidates preparing for the MJDF can be found in the Information for Candidates document, a summary of which is given below.

In addition other information such as  revision daysexam application formsexamination and application submission dates as well as the latest Part 1 and 2 results can be found on this page. 

Structure of the MJDF

The MJDF consists of a portfolio of workplace-based evidence, and a Part 1 and Part 2 examination. Candidates will normally be allowed a maximum of five years in which to complete all parts, but will need to pass Part 1 before progressing to Part 2. The Portfolio of Evidence may be completed at any point during the five-year period.

Portfolio of Evidence

This assesses aspects of knowledge, application of knowledge, and provide workplace-based assessment of competencies across the foundation training curriculum. The Portfolio consists of five parts:

  • Evidence of five core clinical and professional skills
  • Evidence of clinical management 
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A record of continuing professional development
  • A personal development plan.

Further information on the Portfolio of Evidence can be obtained by visiting the Portfolio guidance page.

Detailed information on compiling the Portfolio of Evidence is set out in the MJDF Portfolio Guide .Candidates may also find it helpful to refer to the  Key Skills in Primary Dental Care e-learning package

 Part 1 examination

Part 1 consists of one paper assessing knowledge and applied knowledge. It includes different formats of multiple choice questions (MCQ) in the form of extending matching question (EMQ) and single best answer (SBA). The paper is three hours in duration.

Specimen questions can be found in the complete Information for Candidates document. 

 Part 2 examination

Part 2 will be in the form of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and structured clinical reasoning (SCR) exercise.

Candidates will undertake the OSCE component and the SCR component in two separate examination circuits held on the same day. Each component will take around 2 hours.

The OSCE component

The OSCE component is aimed at assessing the philosophy guiding the candidate’s practice, as well as their competence and application of knowledge.

There will normally be around 20 OSCE stations of 5-minutes duration each which may include some rest stations, where a candidate will be asked to complete a practical task or a paper-based exercise. 

The SCR component

Structured clinical reasoning is an assessment of the candidate’s ability to communicate with peers, reason, evaluate, form opinion and apply knowledge obtained through undergraduate and postgraduate experience to current dental practice. It is not primarily an assessment of recall or knowledge, although these elements are required to undertake SCR.

Candidates will be allowed 1 hour to consider background material to the scenarios. This will be followed by five 10-minute structured discussions with two different examiners on each occasion on selected aspects of each scenario. 

Specimen questions for both components can be found in the Information for Candidates document.

Examination and application submission dates

UK diets of the MJDF examination will normally take place as follows:

  • Part 1: End of March/beginning of April and end of September/beginning of October each year
  • Part 2: End of May/beginning of June and (late) November/each year

Candidates are able to apply for the MJDF Part 2 examination before they know the result of Part 1. Candidates will have their Part 2 application form (with no money taken) returned to them if they are unsuccessful in Part 1. The information in the table below will be updated as further dates/venues are confirmed.