Accreditation standards review


On 31 July 2020, the Dental Board of Australia approved revisions to the joint Australian Dental Council (ADC)/Dental Council (New Zealand) (DC(NZ)) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs (the Standards).

The new Standards are available for download here and will come into effect from 1 January 2021.

During the review of the Standards the ADC made a commitment to prioritise how the Standards could be strengthened to focus on improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 

With this in mind, the most significant amendment to the Standards is the inclusion of Domain 6: Cultural safety. The Cultural safety Domain applies to all programs seeking accreditation in Australia. Accredited dental practitioner programs will need to demonstrate to the ADC that they are preparing their students to provide culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.  This is an important addition to the Standards and throughout the consultation the new Domain was strongly supported by stakeholders including the Indigenous Dentists’ Association of Australia, Commonwealth and State and Territory Ministers of Health, Health Departments, education providers and professional associations.

The new Domain aligns with the recent work of Ahpra, National Boards and Accreditation Authorities in the development of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy, which was developed under the guidance and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders. More information is available here.

Other important amendments to the Standards include: 

  • Greater regard for consumer involvement in program development
  • Clearer expectations on the need to develop skills in inter-professional collaborative practice
  • Clarity regarding the focus of the Standards being at the program and not the provider level, and
  • Revision of the assessment standard and associated criteria to better clarify expectations.

The ADC will continue to work closely with stakeholders to implement the Standards in early 2021.


Consultation on the proposed changes to the Standards

Consultation on the proposed amendments to the Standards was conducted from 18 February to 20 April 2020.

All feedback provided to the draft Standards released for consultation was considered. The Report of the consultation on proposed changes to the ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs – May 2020 (the Report) provides a detailed summary of the consultation process, including the feedback and how this was incorporated into the approved Standards or how the feedback may be better incorporated into the review of the professional competencies of newly qualified dental practitioner scheduled to commence in October 2020. The Report is available for download here.

All stages of the review process have been informed by stakeholder consultation and feedback. The ADC and DC(NZ) thank all of those that provided comment on the draft Standards. Individual submissions are available below.

Australian respondents


ACT Health Directorate
Ahpra Community Reference Group
Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons
Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists' Association
Australian Dental Association Inc
Australian Dental Prosthetists Association Ltd
Australian Skills Quality Authority
Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy
Australian Society of Periodontology
Charles Sturt University
Dental Council of New South Wales
Dental Hygienists Association of Australia
Department of Health
Department of Health (Tasmania)
Department of Health, Northern Territory Government
Griffith University School of Dentistry
Indigenous Dentists' Association Australia
Minister for Health, Queensland Government
National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner
Not provided 1
Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Ltd
Oral Medicine Academy of Australasia
Parliamentary Secretary for Health, NSW Government
Public Health Association of Australia
RMIT University
Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency
The University of Newcastle


Achala Gaihre
Ariel Gaston D'Angelo
Associate Professor Dr Sushil Kaur
Bruce Simmons
Denice Higgins
Dimitra Lekkas
Graeme Ewers
Jamie McKenzie
John (Surname not provided)
Kanchan Marcus
Kevin Rafferty
Martin Tyas
Mathew Lim
Melanie Hayes
Not provided 1
Not provided 2
Not provided 3
Paul Geyer
Richard Logan
Rod Marshall
Sherene Alexander
Sofie Bui
Tim Benson
Tony Skapetis

New Zealand responses


Canterbury District Health Board
Māori Oral Health Quality Improvement Group
Ministry of Health
New Zealand Dental & Oral Health Therapists Association
New Zealand Institute of Dental Technologists
The New Zealand Māori Dental Association
University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry


Peter Manuson

Consultation documentation

Consultation documentation is available below.

Consultation paper - Proposed changes to the ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs

ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Standards for Dental Practitioner Programs (Revised draft for consultation - February 2020)

Summary of feedback about the Standards

In June 2019, the Australian Dental Council (ADC) and Dental Council (New Zealand) (DC(NZ)) asked for feedback on the existing ADC/DC(NZ) accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs. A summary of this feedback is available here

This feedback is now being used to help inform the working party through the accreditation standards review.