Initial assessment for dental practitioners


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 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.

How long is the initial assessment valid?

The 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 more information regarding the validity period for successful initial assessment applications, click here.

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. The form is available for download here.

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


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. The form is available for download here.

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.
  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.


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.