Using Evaluation to Enhance Educational Support for Dental Teams in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Each United Kingdom regional postgraduate deanery offers courses and educational support for the NHS (National Health Service) primary care dental team, primarily through networks of tutors (dental educators). After reporting literature on effective continuing education and the role of evaluation, this article provides an analysis of five educational evaluations (200508). identifying key messages and distilling ways to enhance educational support for the UK dental team. These evaluations adopted case study design and principally employed interviews (n=51) and questionnaires (n=221). The studies' key messages and recommendations are as follows: clarify dental educator roles; provide strategic management and educational support for educators; ensure continuing education is matched to the learning needs of dental teams and specific groups; and use practice (office) visits to support practice (team) development plans. Evaluation enables initiatives to be evidence-informed, focus effort where most needed, argue for continued funding, and give voice to stakeholders. However, there is added value in a collective consideration of evaluation findings from related studies. Doing this has identified ways to enhance the strategic development of educational support for the UK dental team and is applicable in a wider context both nationally and internationally.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-901
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


  • continuing education, dentistry, health care team, professional education, dental staff, primary health care, learning, evaluation