Accreditation Process

The Australian Dental Council (ADC) visits education providers as part of the process to determine whether a program meets the Accreditation Standards.

The ADC appoints assessors to a Site Evaluation Team (SET) to assist with the accreditation process. Assessors are dental practitioners with extensive experience either as academics, clinicians or both. The SET reviews the education provider’s submission on how it meets the Accreditation Standards, undertakes a site visit and writes a report detailing the SET’s findings.

The SET report is considered by the ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand)(DC(NZ)) Accreditation Committee. An overview of the process is shown below.

Figure 1 – An overview of the Accreditation Process

Accreditation Committee

The ADC and DC(NZ) have a joint Australasian accreditation process and a joint ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Committee. Although it is a joint committee, each Council retains jurisdictional authority for the accreditation of programs in their respective country.

This committee reports to the respective councils and considers:

  • Accreditation submissions in relation to new and existing programs;
  • Accreditation reports;
  • Accreditation standards and guidelines;
  • Monitoring of accredited programs via annual reports and other periodic reports regarding conditions of accreditation and program changes; and
  • Professional competencies.

The ADC Secretariat

The ADC Secretariat coordinates the review of programs for accreditation. The ADC Secretariat provides advice to SET’s and education providers about the Accreditation Standards, the process and assists the ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Committee in its work.

A member of the ADC Secretariat is part of each SET to make sure the process runs smoothly and to act as the contact point between education providers and SETs.

Assessor Manual and Training

The ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Manual for Assessors was developed to assist assessors in their role of reviewing programs for the purpose of accreditation.

 Assessors are also required to undertake training to make sure programs are reviewed appropriately. Training is in two stages:

Stage 1 slides are given to all assessors with the submission from an education provider.

The SET undertakes the Stage 2 training the day before an accreditation visit with a staff member from the ADC Secretariat.

The Procedure for Specialist Programs

The ADC developed a new procedure in 2015 for accrediting programs to train specialist dentists. This process is outlined in the ADC/DC(NZ) procedure for the review of specialist dental practitioner programs. The procedure is further explained by a set of Frequently Asked Questions.

Under this procedure, the ADC includes a discipline specific specialist reviewer for each specialist program being reviewed. For example, if an orthodontics program, a periodontics program and prosthodontic program are all being reviewed at the same time, the SET will include at least one specialist from each discipline.

Additional specialists may be included on a SET as outlined in the ADC’s Guidelines - Second Specialist Accreditation Assessor.

Appeals and Complaints

In some instances an education provider may disagree with an accreditation decision made by the ADC. From time to time the ADC also receives complaints about accredited programs from individuals or stakeholders.

The Program Accreditation – Appeals and Complaints Policy details how appeals and complaints will be handled by the ADC.

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