Dental Board of Australia
Dental Board of Australia

Programs to extend scope

Under the Board’s Scope of practice registration standard dental practitioners must only perform dental treatment:

  • for which they have been educated and trained in programs of study approved by the National Board, and 
  • in which they are competent.

The programs of study approved by the Board include approved programs of study and programs to extend scope (formerly known as add-on programs).

The following definition of programs to extend scope is listed in the Scope of practice registration standard and the Guidelines for scope of practice:

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.

Programs to extend scope allow dental practitioners to acquire foundation knowledge not obtained through their initial qualifications or to refresh this foundation knowledge.

The programs apply to dental hygienists, dental therapists, oral health therapists and / or dental prosthetists.

They do not apply to dentists. A dentist’s qualification that leads to registration provides the complete foundation knowledge to enable full scope in dental practice. Dentists need to build on and refresh their foundation knowledge to adopt new techniques using continuing professional development (CPD).

The current list of approved programs to extend scope is published below. This list will be updated when required.

These programs are available for dental hygienists, dental therapists, oral health therapists and / or dental prosthetists whose:

  • qualification leading to registration did not teach the foundation knowledge in a particular area 
  • qualification leading to registration did teach the foundation knowledge in a particular area and the practitioner needs to meet either the continuing professional development (CPD) or the recency of practice requirements, and 
  • qualification is from overseas and did not teach the foundation knowledge in a particular area.

Overseas qualified practitioners may need to complete an approved program to extend scope before they can sit the Australian Dental Council examination to qualify for general registration. These practitioners will need to apply for limited registration for postgraduate training to complete the program.

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.

These programs go through an approval process because they lead to new foundation knowledge for some participants.

It is important that these programs are assessed against the same accreditation standards as programs leading to registration that also provide foundation knowledge.

The Australian Dental Council (the ADC) accredits these programs as the accreditation authority for the Board.

Education providers should contact the ADC directly for information on the process for accreditation of programs.

If the ADC agrees to accredit a program it will then recommend this program for approval by the Board.



Document name PDF Accessible format Document date
Approved programs to extend scope of practice PDF (29.8KB) Excel version 
(59.3 KB,XLSX)
24 March 2016
Historical programs to extend scope of practice PDF (83.9 KB) Excel version 
(59.1 KB,XLSX)
18 December 2015
Page reviewed 18/12/2015