Professional competencies review - The Australian Dental Council

Professional competencies review

On 18 February 2022 the Australian Dental Council Board of Directors approved the revised Professional competencies of the newly qualified dental practitioner (the Competencies). The Competencies for the ADC’s program accreditation process will come into effect from 2023.

View the Competencies

The Competencies are an important reference for the dental professions. They outline at a threshold level what is expected of a newly qualified dental practitioner. The ADC uses them in the accreditation of dental practitioner programs and in the assessment and examination of overseas trained dental practitioners.

Regular reviews of the Competencies are important to ensure they remain contemporary benchmarks of what is expected of a newly qualified dental practitioner in Australia.

The most significant change is the consolidation of the Competencies for dentists, dental hygienists, oral health therapists, dental therapists, and dental prosthetists into one comprehensive document. This change reinforces that professionalism, communication and leadership, and critical thinking are core skills for  dental practitioners. It also supports collaborative team practice by facilitating a better understanding of competencies across the different dental practitioner divisions.

Updates to the Competencies supporting this Domain include aligning the definition of cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the definition agreed across the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme in June 2018. The review has also introduced new statements into Domain 1 to ensure the definition of cultural safety is put into action. These statements outline what a practitioner must do to ensure culturally safe and respectful practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Other revisions to the Competencies include:

  • The introduction of a definition for interprofessional collaborative practice to articulate the expectation of the newly qualified dental practitioner working across health teams within the scope of their work.
  • The inclusion of a definition for ‘Groups or populations at increased risk of harm or poor oral health’ and ‘Person-Centred Care’ to recognise the shift within the broader health system to support individuals in making decisions about their own healthcare.
  • The introduction of the concept of social responsibility.
  • Clarification of the role of dental practitioners in supporting sustainable healthcare delivery.
  • Preparedness of practitioners to practice in rural and remote communities.

Consultation on the proposed revisions to the Competencies was conducted from 27 September to 5 November 2021.

All feedback provided to the draft Competencies released for consultation was considered. The Report on the consultation of proposed changes to the ADC Professional Competencies of the newly qualified dental practitioner paper (the Report) provides a detailed summary of the consultation process, including the feedback and how this was incorporated into the approved Competencies.

All stages of the review process have been informed by stakeholder consultation and feedback. We would like to thank everyone that provided comment on the draft Competencies. Individual submissions are available below.

Consultation documents

Consultation paper: Proposed changes to the Professional competencies of the newly qualified dental practitioner
Draft Professional competencies of the newly qualified dental practitioner: September 2021



ACFF Dental Health Services Victoria Public Health Association of Australia Oral Health Special Interest Group
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Disability Oral Health Collaboration Queensland Health
Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association Geelong Parent Network Skills IQ
Australian Dental Association Indigenous Allied Health Australia Sydney Dental School
Australian Dental Prosthetists Association Ltd La Trobe University University of Queensland
Dental Board of Australia Northern Territory Health
Dental Council of Ireland Oral Health Services Tasmania, Department of Health


Akshita Deverashetty Helen Shah Ove Peters
Alex Moule Ivan Darby Phyllis Lau
Ana (no surname provided) Janell Quarderer Poonam Mandaliya
Anuj Arora Kuang Myat Win Priyal (no surname provided)
Aparajita Sharma Leonie Short Radhika Keshav Reddy
Bilal Hares Lyn Carman Samantha Byrne
Blessing Charles Manyara Maham Sara (no surname provided)
Carol Tran Manisha (no surname provided) Shilpa Walia
Carolina Carli Margie Steffens OAM Siva shankar
Chun-Chung Chu Marguerite Janet Reith Sukhdeep Sandhu
Damaris (no surname provided) Maria Evelina Brown Tera (no surname provided)
Eima Naghavi Martin Tyas Tony Skapetis
Eshan Verma Meenu Shrestha Tushar Borania
Gargi (no surname provided) Michael (no surname provided) Vidushi Khanna
Girish Deshmukh Mrugeshkumar Patel Viktor (no surname provided)
Gisele Khouri Mustafa (no surname provided) Wafa Hamid Mirgany
Hadeel Al-younany Neena sandhu Yoshihiro Ito
Hafsa (no surname provided) Nishi Mittal Zainab (no surname provided)
Hanny (no surname provided) Not provided

In April 2021 we asked for feedback on the existing competencies. A summary for the feedback is available in Feedback received on the Professional Competencies of the newly qualified dental practitioner.