Program accreditation

Overview

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:

  • dentist
  • 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 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. To be accredited a program must demonstrate how students will be assessed as having the knowledge, skills, and professional competencies necessary to be eligible for registration in Australia. 

Accreditation process

The process the ADC applies to accredit programs 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 for education providers is outlined below.

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The accreditation 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 Accreditation Committee).

The review is completed by a Site Evaluation Team (SET), comprised of dental practitioners with extensive clinical and/or academic experience and a community representative (for programs leading to general registration).

The ADC has also developed guidelines specific to the review of programs that enable graduates to apply for registration as a specialist dentist. Further details are available here.

The 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. The ADC secretariat provide advice to SETs on the application and interpretation of the Standards and ensure the Standards are applied consistently across programs. They act as a contact point between the SET and the education provider.

The ADC secretariat helps the SET prepare the written report to ensure it addresses the Accreditation Standards, and is within the scope of the ADC’s accreditation function. The ADC Secretariat is also responsible for the Accreditation Committee’s consideration of SET reports.