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Cavity Dental Staff Blog

Navigating the Locum Landscape: Choosing the Right Dental Agency

24th May 2024
Accepting a job offer

As the demand for locum dental professionals continues to rise, the market is flooded with numerous agencies vying for your attention. If you’re contemplating stepping into the locum world, the challenge lies in selecting the right agency that aligns with your goals. To ease this decision-making process, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide highlighting key factors to consider when choosing the ideal agency to embark on your locum journey.

Reputation -

Your foundation for success among the initial considerations, researching an agency's reputation is paramount. Opting to work with an agency of good repute sets the stage for a positive locum experience, minimising the likelihood of unpleasant surprises. Scrutinize reviews, explore social media, conduct Google searches, and seek input from colleagues and friends. Uncover the agency's transparency, commitment to delivering on promises, and effective communication channels, as these factors contribute to a solid reputation.

Choosing Between Small and Large Companies

Deciding between a small or large agency involves weighing the advantages that each offers. Large agencies, often more established, boast extensive client lists, enhancing your chances of securing consistent work. They also provide a broader spectrum of work placements, fostering skill and knowledge expansion. Whereas, smaller agencies offer a more intimate team setting, potentially leading to shifts in the same familiar practices. Consider the size that aligns with your preferences for workplace predictability and personal connection.

Experience and Specialisation

The longevity of an agency in the industry speaks volumes about its experience and success. Delve into the agency's journey, seeking insights into their growth, improvements, and commitment to employee and client satisfaction. Uncover stories that reflect their culture and company ethos. Specialisation is another crucial factor; determine whether dental nursing is their main focus or just one of many services offered.

Work Assignment Types and Placement Opportunities

Evaluate the variety of work assignments offered by the agency. Assess whether they include urban, rural, hospital, mixed private, or specialised clinic settings. Diverse placements enable you to travel, encounter different demographics, and enhance your dental experience. Inquire about short and longer placements, exploring opportunities to work in unique locations with accommodations included.

Pay and Other Benefits

Remuneration details are vital and can usually be found on an agency's website or through direct inquiry. Compare pay rates and assess additional benefits such as bonuses, assistance with annual GDC registration costs, indemnity, CPD course availability, and opportunities for further training. Consider the holistic package offered by each agency.

Contract Clarity

Transparency is key in any employment relationship. Ensure the agency provides a clear contract outlining your rights, benefits, pay rates, and responsibilities. A well-structured contract reflects positively on the agency's commitment to open communication and fairness.


One of the most attractive aspects of locum work is flexibility. Determine the extent of flexibility offered by the agency in terms of location, working hours, and specific requirements. Tailor your locum experience to suit your lifestyle, whether it involves childcare considerations, university schedules, or other personal preferences.

Communication with You and Support

Effective communication is vital for a positive locum experience. Assess how the agency communicates shifts, news, and updates. Consider the accessibility of your area manager and the availability of wellbeing support. Multiple communication channels ensure a more robust support system.

Feedback Mechanisms

Professional growth relies on constructive feedback. Understand how the agency facilitates feedback from work placements and whether clients provide input directly or through the agency. Reciprocal feedback, where you can also share your thoughts on your workday, contributes to a healthy working relationship.


Choosing the right dental agency is a crucial step in your locum career. By considering reputation, company size, experience, work assignments, pay, contract clarity, flexibility, communication, and feedback mechanisms, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision. Best of luck in your locum career!