1. Initial assessment – The Australian Dental Council

Dental hygiene, dental therapy, and oral health therapy assessments

1. Initial assessment


The initial assessment is the first stage of the dental practitioner assessment process. It determines your eligibility to sit the written examination by assessing your professional qualifications, work experience, registration history, and good standing.

The eligibility to apply for an initial assessment differs between professions.

Dental hygienists and dental therapists

  • a minimum two-year equivalent full-time study from a recognised provider, and
  • have held full and unrestricted registration or licence in either your home country, or country of training, with now withdrawal of registration.

Dual qualified dental hygienists/dental therapist

  • relevant qualifications totalling at least three-years full time study from a recognised provider, and
  • have held full and unrestricted registration or licence in either your home country, or country of training, with now withdrawal of registration.

When we start assessing your initial assessment you will be provided with a candidate reference number. You must provide this number when contacting us about your application.

Dental hygienist or dental therapist

Minimum 2-year equivalent full-time study and have held full and unrestricted registration/licence

Combined dental hygienist/therapist or oral health therapist

Minimum 3-year equivalent full-time qualification and have held full and unrestricted registration/licence

Timeframe: 8 weeks (approximately)*
Cost: $610 AUD (application)
$250 AUD (renewal)
Validity: 7 years
Application period: Apply at anytime
Assessment timeframe: 8 weeks (approximately)*

*Timeframes can be delayed if information submitted is incomplete


1.1 Create an ADC Connect account

New candidates must create a new ADC Connect account to start the dental practitioner assessment process.

You can complete an initial assessment at any time via ADC Connect.

1.2 Identify your application type

You need to confirm your registration and application type at the start of your application.

Registration type is the general registration division you want to register with the Dental Board of Australia. Please note that you can only apply for the division you hold a formal qualification in. However, if you are a dual qualified dental hygienist/dental therapist, you may choose to apply for dental hygiene or dental therapy only if you wish to do so.

Application type is the type of application you want to complete. Dental hygienists, dental therapists, and oral health therapists can only apply for initial assessment for registration.

1.3 Complete your initial assessment

Complete your initial assessment application and make payment as instructed.

You must submit these documents with your application:

  • current passport
  • recent passport photo (that meets Australian passport photo guidelines
  • evidence of change of name (if required)
  • dental qualification, course syllabus, official certificate, or testamur
  • academic transcript
  • full course syllabus or description of key learning objectives under each subject
  • internship certificate (if completed as part of your qualification)
  • evidence of registration or licence to practise dentistry.

Passport photographs must be clear and uploaded as a .png file. All other documents must be clear and submitted in .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .docx, .doc, .tif, or .tiff format.

You must provide an official English translation for any documents issued in a language other than English.

If your supporting documents have different names, or different versions of your name, you will need to provide evidence. Evidence must be a legal change of name document, issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages, or an official change of name by deed poll. If your educational institution or registering authority has altered or abbreviated your name, they must provide an explanatory letter directly to the ADC. Newspaper or gazette articles, affidavits of statutory declarations are not considered legal evidence.

1.4 Arrange for your certificate/letter of good standing to be sent to the ADC

You must arrange for a certificate/letter of good standing to be sent to the ADC. This must be sent directly to us from the organisation responsible for regulating dental registration or dental licence in your country of practice. We accept certificated/letters of good standing in electronic and hard copy formats. Letters of good standing received before you submit your application submission are valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

1.5 Receive an initial assessment outcome

You will receive an email from us advising of the outcome of your assessment once it is assessed.

There are three possible outcomes:

  1. Your application is successful, and you are eligible to apply for the written examination.
  2. Your application is incomplete, and you are required to submit additional information.
  3. Your application is unsuccessful, and you are ineligible to proceed with the process.

Successful initial assessments are valid for seven years.

Pending initial assessments

1.1 Await response from the ADC

If you have an initial assessment or renewal application in progress, please do not create a new ADC Connect account or submit a new initial assessment. You will be invited to activate your account at a later date.

If you submitted a paper-based initial assessment, skills assessment, or renewal application before 24 February 2022, this will be entered into ADC Connect and processed by our team. This includes initial assessment applications posted to the ADC that are currently in transit.

We are still working through paper-based initial assessment applications. These are being assessed in chronological order of receipt and will be processed before any new applications received via ADC Connect.

Candidates who submitted an initial assessment after 15 November 2021 will receive their Candidate ID once their initial assessment application has been assessed.


1.1 Complete a renewal form on ADC Connect

Initial assessments are valid for 7 years. The expiry date of your initial assessment is available on your ADC Connect dashboard.

Initial assessment renewals were first introduced in 2020. The renewal process helps us ensure that you have continued to hold good standing throughout your time as an ADC candidate. It also ensures that the information we have on file for you is accurate and up to date.

You can renew your initial assessment via your ADC Connect account. This can be done at any time before the advertised expiry date.

To complete your renewal, follow the instructions on the form. As part of the process, you must arrange for a new certificate/letter of good standing to be sent to the ADC.

Renewals are valid for 7 years. Your new eligibility expiry date will be updated in your ADC Connect profile once the renewal has been assessed and approved.

If you do not complete your renewal before the expiry of your initial assessment you will be required to start the process afresh and any previous successful exam results will be void.

Dental hygiene, dental therapy, and oral health therapy assessment stages


1. Initial assessment



2. Written examination



3. Practical examination