HEE London & KSS

Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE)


Since April 2006, dentists who are not already on the National Performers List, have had to apply for a Performer Number from the Local Area Team of NHS England. This includes dentists working as locums who are not already on the National Performers List.

Those dentists who do not have a Foundation Training (Vocational Training) Certificate, or who have not completed an appropriate period of Foundation Training as defined in the Regulations, must be assessed by the Area Team in consultation with the Local Education and Training Board to decide whether the dentist can be admitted to the list based on having previous experience and training, including NHS primary dental care.



Performers List Validation by Experience (PLVE) is the process via which UK graduate dentists and dentists from outside of the EEA*, who have not previously undertaken Dental Foundation (Vocational) Training, are required to demonstrate equivalent competencies to those gained on completion of a full year of Dental Foundation Training, in order to gain access to the national dental performer list.

Performance List Validation by Experience is not designed for those with significant gaps in their clinical experience.

At present, Health Education England is not able to accept applications into PLVE from dentists who cannot provide clinical references relating to two recent** posts (one of which will usually be a current post) each of which lasted at least three months (continuous period) without a significant break, or where this is not possible, a full explanation as to why that is the case and the names and addresses of two alternative referees.

*From 1 January 2023, graduates from the EEA will not be automatically exempt from the Foundation Training requirement and will have to complete PLVE as part of their Performer List Application.

**’Recent’ is defined as ‘working within a dentist’s full scope of practice within the previous two years’ and is based on the AoMRC Return to Practice Guidance (2017 Revision).



The HEE PLVE application process is dependent on external factors such as clinical referee responses, practice arrangements, timely return of required documents, etc. 

  1. The first step in the PLVE process is to complete an online application with NHS England & Improvement via the PCSE Online portal
  2. Once the application is submitted, please download a PDF copy of it (called NPL1 Form) and email it to dentalcompetency@hee.nhs.uk so we can create an HEE record for you and proceed with clinical referencing. Please make sure to include your GDC number in the email. 
  3. Once we have obtained two satisfactory clinical references, we will send you a set of documents to be completed by yourself and also the nominated practice where your Validation by Experience programme will take place. The practice within which you plan to work must have an HEE approved PLVE Validation Supervisor and be approved by HEE as a PLVE Practice.
  4. If all is found satisfactory with documents mentioned above, the next stage is to pay the applicable fees as determined during step 3. Further details on payment fees are available below.
  5. Once payment is received a practice compliance visit will be arranged as well as a one-on-one clinical assessment with the candidate do determine development needs. The PLVE Validation Supervisor and practice are required to undertake several assessments before they are approved to take a Validation Experience Dentist: clinical audit, practice visit, interview and induction training.
  6. If following assessments all is found satisfactory, the applicant will be conditionally included on the Performer List and the VE programme can commence. You cannot provide NHS dental services before this step has been completed!
  7. If the proposed PLVE practice and/or Supervisor are not approved as suitable for supervised training, HEE will notify the applicant so that alternative arrangements can be sought. The applicant will normally have to find another potential PLVE practice and/or Supervisor.
  8. Once the validation period*** is complete and all progress evidence has been found satisfactory, a certificate of completion will be issued by HEE so full inclusion on the Performer List can be actioned by NHS England.

*** This is determined by Health Education England application assessment panel and recommendations and vary between six months and 18 months full time equivalent.



£800 - Initial assessment of application PLVE Programme Charge including first assessment of portfolio

£400 - Practice Compliance Visit (not required if practice currently hosts another PLVE applicant or Foundation Dentist or has had a compliance visit within the last 2 years)

Total £1200

Important Note: PLVE runs very few courses throughout the year and VEDs should be aware that they will need to cover the costs of relevant training and courses in addition to the costs relating to application and portfolio assessment.



As stated above, Health Education England is unable to consider applications into PLVE from dentists who cannot provide clinical references relating to two recent posts.

Clinical references ideally need to be from the principle/lead Dentist at a practice where you have previously worked. As PLVE is not designed for individuals with significant gaps in their clinical experience it is important that VEDs include relevant clinical references with their application (generally this is at least two from your most recent employment).

If the Clinical Reference Form supplied by HEE cannot be completed, we will accept a reference letter subject to the criteria outlined below.

Reference letters MUST:

  1. Be on headed paper.
  2. Be Dated.
  3. State the employment start date, end date and number of weekly hours.
  4. State the location in which you worked, including full practice address.
  5. Include a brief statement relating to your performance or conduct during your employment including details of any complaints if relevant.
  6. Include the contact details of whomever has signed on behalf of the organisation. Ideally this will be the practice owner, principal dentist, or another clinician.



For questions regarding the information outlined above, and HEE’s involvement in the PLVE process, please contact our Dental Competency Team.

Email: dentalcompetency@hee.nhs.uk

Phone: 0207 1276 269

More information on the National Performers List is available via the PCSE Dental Performers List for England page.

The page is a useful source of information and contains a postcode search tool, which allows you to easily identify the NHS England Area Team that covers the region in which you wish to work.

For general NHS Performer List queries, please email pcse.performerlists@nhs.net.

The national guidance on the PLVE process and postgraduate dental training can also be found on the Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors’ (COPDEND) website available HERE, as well as the COPDEND FAQ Page.

Information for dentists from Europe and Overseas is available from: