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Quality improvement (research)

Quality Improvement (QI) activity in Dental Practice is a NHS terms and conditions of service requirement. Most dentists working in the GDS are eligible to claim funding for certified QI activity.

Under the new arrangements for Quality Improvement activity, participation in many dental practice-based research projects carried out by the Scottish Dental Practice Based Research Network (SDPBRN), universities and health boards will be eligible for up to seven hours QI credit in each three-year QI cycle.

Eligible projects will be practice based and will explore the quality of dental care including projects that focus on the safety, effectiveness, person-centredness, timeliness, efficiency or equity of dental care. Dental research QI hours will be administered by SDPBRN via the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Portal. More details about these new arrangements are available.

Recognition of the impact of participating in research on the quality of dental care delivery is an exciting new development for dentistry in Scotland and SDPBRN is delighted to have been given the opportunity to help take this forward. Further information can be found by accessing the links below.

QI (research) information

QI (research) application

Quality improvement (audit)

NES was advised by the CDO in January 2021, that the NES Portal should be closed to all further QI project applications for the 2019/2022 QI cycle. The new QI cycle started on the 1st August 2022 but Scottish Government have not as yet advised on the arrangements and requirements for the 2022/2025 cycle. Accordingly, no applications are currently possible.

The exception to this is for those dentists whose Health Board have required them to make up a shortfall in their hours for the 2016/2019 QI cycle. NES will only be able to process projects received from individuals whose Health Board have advised NES that they fall into this category. Any queries about shortfalls for 2016/2019 and on catch-up should be directed to your local Health Board.

The other exception is for those dentists who are working as assistants and who are intending to submit evidence of QI Activity to SDVTECC, when applying for a VT number by equivalence. If you are an assistant and are therefore required to undertake QI Activity, please email us at to advise us of this BEFORE submitting your audit project proposal or your eSEA report(s).

Practices may continue to use QI tools such as eSEA and clinical audit, in house, to support good practice or comply with regulations such as keeping an up to date Radiation Protection File.

You may find the guidance documents available on Turas Learn useful -  


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