Accreditation standards review - The Australian Dental Council

Accreditation standards review

On 31 July 2020, the Dental Board of Australia approved the revisions to the joint ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs (the Standards). The Standards came into effect on 1 January 2021.

View the Standards

During the review of the Standards the ADC made a commitment to prioritise how the Standards could be strengthened to focus on improved health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The most significant amendment to the Standards is the inclusion of Domain 6: Cultural safety. This Domain applies to all programs seeking accreditation in Australia. Accredited dental practitioner programs will need to demonstrate to the ADC that they are preparing their students to provide culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This is an important addition to the Standards and throughout the consultation the new Domain was strongly supported by stakeholders, including the Indigenous Dentists’ Association of Australia, Commonwealth and State and Territory Ministers of Health, Health Departments, education providers, and professional associations.

The new Domain aligns with the recent work of Ahpra, National Boards and Accreditation Authorities in the development of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy, which was developed under the guidance and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders.

Other important amendments to the Standards include:

  • Greater regard for consumer involvement in program development
  • Clearer expectations on the need to develop skills in inter-professional collaborative practice
  • Clarity regarding the focus of the Standards being at the program and not the provider level, and
  • Revision of the assessment standard and associated criteria to better clarify expectations.

The ADC and Dental Council (New Zealand) asked for feedback on the previous ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs in June 2019.

The feedback collected informed the working party through the accreditation standards review.

Read the feedback on the Standards

Consultation on the proposed amendments to the Standards was conducted from 18 February to 20 April 2020.

All feedback provided to the draft Standards released for consultation was considered. The Report of the consultation on proposed changes to the ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs – May 2020 (the Report) provides a detailed summary of the consultation process, including the feedback and how this was incorporated into the approved Standards or how the feedback may be better incorporated into the review of the professional competencies of newly qualified dental practitioner scheduled to commence in October 2020.

All stages of the review process have been informed by stakeholder consultation and feedback. The ADC and DC(NZ) thank all of those that provided comment on the draft Standards. Individual submissions are available below.

Consultation documents

Consultation paper – Proposed changes to the ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) Accreditation standards for dental practitioner programs

ADC/Dental Council (New Zealand) Accreditation Standards for Dental Practitioner Programs (Revised draft for consultation – February 2020)

Australian respondents


ACT Health Directorate Dental Council of New South Wales Not provided 1
Ahpra Community Reference Group Dental Hygienists Association of Australia Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Ltd
Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Department of Health Oral Medicine Academy of Australasia
Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association Department of Health (Tasmania) Parliamentary Secretary for Health, NSW Government
Australian Dental Association Inc Department of Health, Northern Territory Government Public Health Association of Australia
Australian Dental Prosthetists Association Ltd Griffith University School of Dentistry RMIT University
Australian Skills Quality Authority Indigenous Dentists’ Association Australia Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy mcdm Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
Australian Society of Periodontology Minister for Health, Queensland Government Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency
Charles Sturt University National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner The University of Newcastle


Achala Gaihre Kanchan Marcus Prakruti
Ariel Gaston D’Angelo Kevin Rafferty Rakesh
Associate Professor Dr Sushil Kaur Martin Tyas Richard Logan
Aswathy Mathew Lim Rod Marshall
Bruce Simmons Melanie Hayes Sherene Alexander
Denice Higgins Not provided 1 Sofie Bui
Dimitra Lekkas Not provided 2 Tim Benson
Graeme Ewers Not provided 3 Tony Skapetis
Jamie McKenzie Paul Geyer
John (Surname not provided) Prakruti

New Zealand respondents


Canterbury District Health Board New Zealand Dental & Oral Health Therapists Association University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry
Māori Oral Health Quality Improvement Group New Zealand Institute of Dental Technologists
Ministry of Health The New Zealand Māori Dental Association


Peter Manuson