Initial assessment for dental practitioners

Overview

Overseas qualified dental practitioners wanting to register to practise with the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) who are required to complete the Australian Dental Council (ADC) assessment, must complete the three-stage assessment process.
 

Assessments process diagram_Initial assessment.png

The first stage of the assessment process is initial assessment.

The initial assessment process involves the assessment of documents including professional qualifications, work experience, registration history, and good standing to determine eligibility to sit the written examination. 

Am I eligible to apply for an initial assessment?

To be eligible to apply for initial assessment applicants must:

  • hold a minimum qualification(s) at the required level that is comparable in duration and content to the nationally agreed minimal education standard for the relevant Australian dental profession, and
  • have held registration or license in either in their home country, or country of training, with no withdrawal of registration.

The minimum required qualifications vary between professions.  

Dentists

Dentists must hold at least a four-year, full-time university dental degree, or diploma at an acknowledged university.

Dental hygienists and dental therapists

Dental hygienists must hold a qualification of at least two-years equivalent full-time study from a recognised provider.

Dental therapists must hold a qualification of at least two-years equivalent full-time study from a recognised provider.

Dual qualified dental hygienist/dental therapists must hold relevant qualifications totaling at least three-years full-time study from a recognised provider.

Dental prosthetists

Dental prosthetists must hold, at least, a three-year, full-time prosthetist qualification from a recognised provider.

When can I apply for an initial assessment?

An initial assessment can be completed at any time of year by submitting an Initial assessment of professional qualification application form for the relevant profession.

Once the application form and supporting documents have been received, applicants will be assigned an ADC candidate reference number. This number should always be used when you contact the ADC.

Timeframe: Approximately 8 weeks, not including time taken to submit any additional documents.

Cost: AUD $610

Process

1.1 Download and complete an application form

The Application for initial assessment of overseas qualified dental practitioner form should be downloaded and printed as a hard copy before it is completed.

Please make sure that you are using the current version of the application form.

Detailed guidelines, designed to help you complete the form, are included throughout the form. 

1.2 Submit application form

As well as a completed application form, you are required to submit a clear, certified copy of your:

 

  • current passport (high quality colour copy)
  • evidence of change of name (if applicable)
  • dental qualification, official certificate or testamur
  • academic transcript
  • internship certificate 
  • evidence of registration or license to practise dentistry 
  • two written professional references
  • evidence of practise or work history as a registered or licensed dentist.

 

Please do not send original documents as we cannot return these to you.

All supporting documentation must adhere to the ADC certification of document guidelines. The guidelines can be downloaded here. Incorrectly certified documents will result in delays, or in the application being declined.


Post your application and supporting documents to the address specified on the application form.


You are also responsible for arranging a certificate, or letter, of good standing. This must be sent directly to the ADC from the organisation responsible for regulating dental registration or dental license in your country of practise.


Once the application form and supporting documents have been received and payment taken, you will be assigned an ADC candidate reference number. This number should always be used when you contact the ADC. 

1.3 Receive an initial assessment outcome from the ADC

Once your application has been assessed, you will receive an email from the ADC advising of the outcome of your assessment.

There are three possible outcomes:
 

  1. Your application was successful and you are now eligible to proceed to the written examination. A successful initial assessment does not expire.
  2. Your application is incomplete and you are required to submit additional information for further assessment.
  3. Your application was unsuccessful and you are ineligible to proceed with the ADC process.

As of 1 January 2020, the ADC will implement a new seven year validity period for initial assessment applications.

Once your initial assessment application is assessed as complete, it will be valid for seven years from the date of completion.

If you wish to appeal the outcome of an initial assessment, a written application for review, together with the nominated fee, is to be submitted to the ADC within 28 days of receipt of the notification of the assessment outcome.

The appeals policy for the assessment of qualifications contains further information on the appeals process. You can view the policy here.

 

Initial assessment validity

The Australian Dental Council (ADC) has introduced a validity period for initial assessment applications for all dental professions.

From 1 January 2020, successful initial assessment applications for all dental professions will have a validity period of seven years. For current candidates, this validity period will be applied retrospectively to their existing completed initial assessment.

For new candidates, once your initial assessment application is assessed as complete, it will be valid for seven years from the date of completion.

Under the validity period, candidates have seven years to successfully complete the ADC dental practitioner assessment process, including the written and practical examination examinations. If a candidate does not successfully complete the process in seven years from the date of completion of their initial assessment, they will be required to renew their initial assessment in order to continue the process.

The purpose of the dental practitioner assessment process is to ensure overseas trained dental practitioners have the knowledge, judgement, clinical skills and professional competencies needed to register as a dental practitioner in Australia. The introduction of a seven year validity for an initial assessment is to ensure a candidate’s registration remains in good standing and there has been no disciplinary action against them during the validity period.

The ADC understands that candidates renewing their initial assessment may no longer hold current registration in their country. However, as part of the renewal process, candidates will be required to provide evidence from their most recent registering authority confirming the dates they last held registration and that they held good standing as a dental practitioner.

Candidates may also submit any additional work experience completed in the last seven years. 

Education documents including any further education undertaken will not be required to be submitted as part of the renewal process.

Existing candidates

Candidates who completed an initial assessment prior to 1 January 2014

Candidates who completed their initial assessment prior to 1 January 2014, have an expired initial assessment, or an initial assessment expiring in 2020.

There is a transition process in place for these candidates. The candidates are still able to apply for relevant examinations in 2020, however, both the application for, and attendance at, those examinations (subject to approval to sit), must occur in 2020.

These candidates must act promptly if they wish to continue their involvement in the ADC dental practitioner assessment process beyond 2020, by renewing their initial assessment by 31 December 2020.

Candidates who completed an initial assessment from 1 January 2014 onwards

Candidates who completed their initial assessment on or after 1 January 2014 have initial assessments expiring from 2021 onward. The transitional period does apply to these candidates.

Candidates approaching their seven year initial assessment expiration will be notified via the email address held on file by the ADC prior to their expiration date. If a candidate wishes to continue the ADC dental practitioner assessment process, they must apply for renewal of their initial assessment before their initial assessment expires, or complete the assessment process.

A summary of the candidate groups is also available in the table below.

Candidates applying for written and practical examinations

Candidates wishing to apply for a written or practical examination must have a valid initial assessment at the time of the examination application period AND the examination date.

If a candidate has a renewal application in progress, the renewal must be assessed as complete before to the application period for that examination.

Return of documents

Candidates who submitted original documents with their initial application may request to have their documents returned. Administrative and postage fees apply.

The ADC will not return certified copies of documents from expired applications.

Renewing an initial assessment

To renew an initial assessment, candidates are required to complete and submit a Application for renewal of initial assessment of overseas qualified dental practitioner form, along with the supporting documents listed in the application form and the renewal fee. The renewal form is available for download here.

The fee for renewal of an initial assessment is $250.00AUD.

Renewal applications will only be accepted via post or in person. Renewals will not be accepted via email.

Candidates may email their intent to renew, however a renewal will not be accepted until an application has been received at the ADC. The renewal form must be received by the ADC before the initial assessment expiration date.

Once a renewal application has been assessed as complete, an applicant will have seven years to complete the ADC dental practitioner assessment process from the date the renewal has been assessed as complete.

 

Other important requirements

Change of name

The ADC must ensure the legitimacy of all supporting documentation. If your supporting documents have different names or different versions of your name you must provide evidence of any name changes.

Evidence must be a legal change of name document, issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages or an official change of name by deed poll. Newspaper or gazette articles, affidavits or statutory declarations are not considered as legal evidence.

Documents issued in a language other than English

All documents issued in a language other than English must be submitted attached to an official English translation. 

This means that you must submit both a certified copy of the document in its original language and its English translation. Both the translation and original document must be correctly certified. 

Please refer to the Translation of documents guidelines for more information about document translation.

Nominating an Authority to Act

All candidates have the option to nominate a third party, such as a family member or migration agent, to act on their behalf. This nominated party will receive all correspondence from the ADC related to the candidate’s application on their behalf. If an authority to act is in place, correspondence will not be sent to the candidate. 

This person must not sign a candidate’s application form, and cannot certify or translate documents for them.

To nominate an authority to act, you must complete and submit an Authority to act form.

This form must be sent to the ADC by post to retain all the original signatures. The ADC will not accept forms returned via email or fax.