COVID-19: Information regarding program accreditation

Overview

The Australian Dental Council (ADC) continues to monitor the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is guided by publicly available information from the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Our highest priority is, and continues to be, the health and wellbeing of our people, our candidates, our education providers, and our communities.

In response to recent developments, the ADC will commence remote working arrangements from Tuesday 24 March until further notice.

We remain operational during this time, with all staff continuing to work remotely, however, the ADC examination centre in Melbourne, Victoria will be closed during this time.

We understand our current response to COVID-19 will raise some concerns and further questions for education providers. The ADC is, and will continue to, work collaboratively with education providers to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

We understand this may be an uncertain time for you and welcome enquiries you may have regarding the impact of this situation on program accreditation. To help us respond to your enquiries as quickly as possible, please contact us via the contact form on the Contact Us page, as this page is monitored regularly. Alternatively, if your enquiry is urgent, please email [email protected]

In response to COVID-19, all accredited programs will be monitored against the ADC’s protocol to monitor the impacts on accredited programs of the COVID-19 pandemic. This protocol is available for download here.

Current position

The ADC has made the decision to postpone all site visits scheduled up until 30 September 2020.

At this time, changes are necessary to the accreditation process to ensure the ADC continues to deliver on its obligations as the appointed accreditation authority for the dental professions.

On 1 May 2020, the Accreditation Committee approved updates to the ADC’s protocol to monitor the impacts on accredited programs of the COVID-19 pandemic (the Protocol). Key updates to the Protocol include:

  • a change from fortnightly to monthly monitoring reports for dental practitioner programs;
  • a revision to the re-accreditation process for 2020, with paper-based reviews to be undertaken and site visits to occur at a later date when it is safe to do so; and
  • changes to the annual reporting process for 2020.

The updated Protocol is available for download here.

The Accreditation Committee also agreed that the ADC can now accept applications form providers seeking accreditation for a new program. The ADC will work with providers regarding timeframes and will undertake reviews in accordance with the re-accreditation process outlined in the Protocol.

The Accreditation Standards Review will continue as scheduled during this time.

Timeline of response

Below is a summary of the ADC’s response to COVID-19 to date in regards to program accreditation.

1 May 2020

At the May 1 Accreditation Committee meeting, the Committee agreed to revisions to the ADC’s protocol to monitor the impacts on accredited programs of the COVID-19 pandemic (the Protocol). Updates include a change from fortnightly to monthly monitoring reports for dental practitioner programs and revisions to the re-accreditation process. The protocol is available here.

During the meeting the Committee also agreed to recommence the acceptance of applications for the accreditation of new dental practitioner programs.

24 April 2020

The ADC, in collaboration with Australian dental practitioner program providers, released the COVID-19 dental practitioner program accreditation principles to help guide how both groups will work together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Principles are available for download here.

17 April 2020

The Australian Government, through the Health and Education portfolios, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), national boards and the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum (HPACF) released national principles for clinical education during COVID-19.

Aiming to guide the decisions of professions, accreditation authorities, education providers and health services in relation to student clinical education during the COVID-19 pandemic response, the national principles are available here.

15 April 2020

The ADC announced the postponement of program accreditation site visits to 30 September 2020.

The ADC will continue to work closely with education and training providers in line with the monitoring requirements implemented on the 22 March 2020. 

26 March 2020

The ADC accreditation team held a webinar for education providers to discuss the monitoring requirements for dental practitioner programs during COVID-19. Slides from this webinar are available here.

23 March 2020

In response to recent developments, the ADC will commence remote working arrangements from Tuesday 24 March until further notice.
We remain operational during this time, with all staff continuing to work remotely, however, the ADC office and examination centre in Melbourne, Victoria will close during this time.

22 March 2020

At the March 22 Accreditation Committee meeting, the Committee agreed to apply a monitoring requirement on all accredited programs. All education and training providers are required to provide updates of any changes to accredited programs on a fortnightly basis, or as any major changes occur. 

16 March 2020

The ADC made the decision to postpone all scheduled site visits to 30 June 2020. This decision was communicated directly to affected education providers and accreditation assessors.