As the accreditation authority for the dental profession in Australia, the Australian Dental Council (ADC) accredits education and training programs enabling graduates to apply for registration as a:
- dental specialist
- dental hygienist
- dental therapist
- oral health therapist
- dental prosthetist.
The ADC also accredits programs leading to endorsement of registration for dental practitioners. The only area of practise recognised by the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) for endorsement is conscious sedation.
Accreditation protects the public by ensuring only suitably trained and qualified health practitioners can register and practise in Australia. A program that is accredited by the ADC must meet the ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) (DC(NZ)) Accreditation Standards for Dental Practitioner Programs (the Standards). You can view the Standards here. An accredited program has shown graduating students have the knowledge, skills, and professional competencies necessary for registration in Australia.
The process the ADC follows to accredit a program leading to registration or endorsement is outlined in the ADC/DC(NZ) Guidelines for Accreditation of Education and Training Programs for Dental Practitioners (the Guidelines). You can view the Guidelines here.
A summary of the process is outlined below.
The accrediation process involves a review of the education provider’s submission which demonstrates how the relevant program meets the Standards, a visit to the education provider to verify the information included in the submission, and a report detailing the findings of the review process. This report is considered by the ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Committee.
The review is completed by a Site Evaluation Team (SET), made up of dental practitioners with extensive clinical and/or academic experience.
The ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Committee considers the report completed by the SET. You can read more about the committee here.
The ADC secretariat
The ADC secretariat is responsible for coordinating the review of programs for accreditation. They provide advice to SET’s and education providers on the Standards, the process and assist the accreditation committee in its work.
A member of the ADC secretariat is part of each SET. They ensure the accreditation process runs smoothly and act as a contact point between the SET and the education provider.
Procedure for specialist programs
In 2015 the ADC developed the ADC/DC(NZ) procedure for the review of specialist dental practitioner programs. The procedure can be viewed here.
Under this procedure, the ADC appoints a discipline specific specialist reviewer, as part of the SET, for each specialist program under review.
For example, if an orthodontics program, a periodontics program, and a prosthodontic program are being reviewed at the same time, the SET will include at least one specialist from each discipline.
Additional specialists may be included in the SET as outlined in the ADC Guidelines for second specialist accreditation assessor. Read more about these guidelines here.