To use the reflective practice tool, you need to download and save it as a Word document (158 KB, DOCX). You can then complete your self-review at a convenient time and use your responses to help plan your continuing professional development (CPD). The tool may take up to an hour to complete. The information below is included in the Word document.
Practitioners in all divisions of dental registration must only perform dental treatment for which they have been educated, trained and are competent and:
These regulatory obligations are explained in the Dental Board of Australia’s (the Board) Scope of practice registration standard and Scope of practice guidelines which apply to all dental practitioners.
The Board expects that as a healthcare professional, you know your scope of practice and do not practise beyond the range of your training, qualifications, experience and competence. This is to ensure the safety of the public, so consumers can have confidence in the dental profession when seeking oral healthcare.
1Refer to section 2 of the Scope of practice guidelines where these definitions are explained.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is how dental practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence and develop the personal and professional qualities, required throughout their professional lives.
The Board has developed this tool to help you reflect on your individual knowledge and skills and how they relate to your current practice. It is not a tool to benchmark or audit performance and it will not be used by the Board in disciplinary proceedings.
The tool is not a substitute for the requirements described in the Board’s registration standards and guidelines. As a registered dental practitioner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the requirements of all the Board’s registration standards and guidelines.
You should read the Board’s registration standards, Code of conduct and guidelines before using this tool. Time taken to complete the tool may be claimed as CPD.
The Board recommends using this tool regularly to reflect on your current practice, especially when you are considering:
The tool is a series of questions and statements requiring a response, designed to help you reflect on your scope of practice and set your CPD goals. The level of detail you provide in your responses is up to you; the purpose of the tool is to help you, so the more you consider and reflect, the greater benefit you will gain.
As dental care is best delivered using a team-based approach, this tool can be used to support professional relationships between dental team members and ensure collective commitment to patient safety.
Regular self-review of your current practice and discussions about your scope of practice with your team can help you and your team understand how you should work together to deliver the best care to your patients.
Quick links: Approved programs of study and Australian Dental Council – competencies of a newly graduated dentist, dental therapist, dental hygienist, oral health therapist and hygienist
Quick links: Registration standards and Polices, codes and guidelines
Quick links: State and territory legislation
Quick links: Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care – National Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards
Quick links: Registration standards
Quick links: Infection control obligations
After answering the questions and statements above, consider your responses and how they can help you to set clear CPD goals that support strong learning outcomes.
You must take whatever action is needed to meet your regulatory obligations.
If, after completing the tool, you reflect that your competence (knowledge and skills) in a specific area is below expected standards for practice, you should recognise your own limitations to your scope of practice and take steps to address this.
You may need to refer a patient to another dental or health practitioner with the relevant training and competency to perform the practice or procedure in the first instance. You may also choose to develop your knowledge, expertise and skill through education and training, to gain competence in an area of your scope of practice within your division of registration.
Dental practitioners in all divisions of dentistry wishing to strengthen or broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence may do so by completing CPD, but it cannot be used to obtain registration in another division.
If you decide to complete CPD that broadens your knowledge, expertise and competence (e.g. a CPD course to learn a new technique), you must carefully reflect and assess whether you have done training of sufficient quality and acquired competency and sufficient clinical experience to incorporate the new technique into your clinical practice.
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.