Programs to extend scope

Programs to extend scope (formerly known as ‘add-on programs’) are defined in the Board’s Scope of practice registration standard and Guidelines for Scope of practice as:

Programs which can extend a dental practitioner’s scope of practice by undertaking educational programs that the National Board has reviewed and approved. The programs to extend scope cover a range of skills which allow dental practitioners to extend their education, training and competence in certain areas and within the division in which they are registered.

Dental practitioners are expected to only perform dental treatment:

  • for which they have been educated and trained, and
  • in which they are competent.

There are seven programs to extend scope approved by the Board until 31 December 2018. The list of approved programs is available below.

Changes regarding programs to extend scope

The Board has reviewed the approval process for these programs and has agreed to phase this out with a transition period from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2018. During and after this transition period, the Board will no longer approve programs to extend scope and consequently, the Australian Dental Council (ADC) will no longer accredit these programs.

The Board made this decision considering a number of factors:

  • The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law) only provides a regulatory framework to approve programs of study that lead to registration. Programs to extend scope do not lead to registration and are offered to dental practitioners already registered with general or limited registration.
  • The historical needs for these programs have faded, along with a decrease in demand and the incorporation of most topics into the Australian programs of study approved by the Board.
  • The objectives, the guiding principles and the regulatory principles of the National Scheme.

From 1 January 2019, programs to extend scope will no longer be accredited by the ADC or approved by the Board.

The Board has started planning for the scheduled review of the Scope of practice registration standard and associated guideline. More information will be available in due course.

Transition period to begin 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2018

During this transition period, the Board will not approve any new program to extend scope.
The programs currently approved (see list below) will continue to be approved until 31 December 2018.

After 1 January 2019

The approval of the current programs to extend scope will expire and the list will be removed.

Dental practitioners wishing to “broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence” may do so by completing a continuing professional development (CPD) program (see full definition of CPD in the Board’s CPD registration standard).

All dental practitioners are expected to comply with the Board’s Registration standard and Guidelines on CPD. Information on the CPD requirements and guidance on how to choose a CPD activity is available on the Board's website.

Registered dental practitioners are responsible to select their CPD programs that:

Information for education providers

Education providers wishing to deliver programs to extend scope may consider delivering them as continuing professional development (CPD) programs. The Board strongly encourages education providers to develop and deliver CPD programs in line with the Board’s Registration standard and Guidelines on CPD, the Board’s Scope of practice registration standard and related guidelines and the Code of Conduct.

All dental practitioners wishing to enrol in a program to extend scope need to contact the education provider directly for further information including on dates and availability. The education provider decides when and how often to run a program. This is not a decision of the Board.

Dental practitioners are not required to provide evidence of completion of a program to the Board or AHPRA.

The Board may ask a practitioner to provide this evidence as part of an audit of CPD or if they are the subject of a notification about their conduct or performance.

Your individual scope of practice can evolve from the time you obtained your qualification leading to registration and can vary from another dental practitioner registered in the same division.

As a reference point, you can refer to:

If you decide to complete a program to extend scope or a CPD course that broadens your knowledge, expertise and competence (e.g. a CPD course to learn a new technique) and that is relevant to your profession’s scope, you need to self-assess whether you have been provided with sufficient clinical experience to incorporate this new technique into your clinical practice.

Also, if you decide to expand your individual scope, you need to be mindful of:

  • other regulatory requirements including drugs and poisons legislation and radiation authority
  • whether your professional indemnity insurance covers any additional procedures or techniques, and
  • always practising in accordance with the Board’s Code of Conduct.

At registration or renewal, dental practitioners make a declaration to undertake to comply with all relevant legislation, Board registration standards, codes and guidelines.

The notification management processes also allows the Board to investigate the practice of a practitioner when a peer or member of the public make a complaint and this can include practicing outside of your scope.

It is important that you keep a clear record of any program to extend scope or any CPD activity/course that you complete.



Document name PDF Accessible format Document date
Approved programs to extend scope of practice PDF (29.8KB) Excel version 
(59.3 KB,XLSX)
24 February 2017
Historical programs to extend scope of practice PDF (83.9 KB) Excel version 
(59.1 KB,XLSX)
24 February 2017
Page reviewed 14/03/2017