Initial Officer Training
Like all our specialist branch officers, you will begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You will follow an 13-week course specially designed for professionally qualified entrants to the RAF. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
Experienced dentists go straight to their first posting after the SERE course. But, if you join the RAF as a newly qualified dentist, you will follow a 12-month, nationally-recognized Dental Foundation Training Programme, working with a highly-experienced, fully-accredited trainer. Within this tri-service programme there are regular block-release modules which are normally held in the Aldershot area - either at the Defence Medical Services Training Centre, Keogh Barracks or Dental Centre, Aldershot.
For your first tour, you will be posted to a multi-chair practice to work with an experienced dentist. You will be fully trained and supported to practice dentistry to the highest standards. Comprehensive clinical governance, including quality assurance and practice audit, are built into RAF working practices – and once you are experienced you will have clinical freedom to give your patients the best possible care, whilst maximising RAF resources.
Your Career Prospects
You will join the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant on an Initial Commission of 6 years and you will be eligible to be considered for promotion to Squadron Leader after 4 years accredited service (time spent in civilian practice may count towards seniority). If everything goes well, and you would like to extend, you can apply for selection for a pension earning commission of 20 years service or age 40, whichever is the later, during this time. Further promotion, to the rank of Wing Commander and beyond, is by competitive selection and you may apply for your commission to be extended until the age of 60.
All our Dental Officers undertake at least 10 sessions of postgraduate education each year and you will be encouraged to study for the Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties (MJDF) qualification. As your career develops; you will also be able to work towards further postgraduate qualifications, e.g. Masters Degrees, and qualify as enhanced general practitioners in disciplines such as periodontology and advanced conservation. Professional training pathways leading to consultant status are also funded by the Ministry of Defence to meet our clinical requirements.
As a Dental Officer in the RAF, you will have all the development opportunities and career prospects available to your civilian counterparts, together with the chance to work around the world and gain unique dental and personal experiences. Most Dental Officers go into civilian practice when they decide to leave the RAF