Update on revalidation and ‘professional assurance’ for dental practitioners

01 May 2018

The Dental Board of Australia (the Board) has been considering the relevance and appropriateness of revalidation for dental practitioners.

As part of this, the Board used a working definition of revalidation as ‘a process for dental practitioners, to regularly show that they are up to date and fit to practice dentistry, giving patients and the community the assurance that the practitioner is competent.’

While different aspects of revalidation were discussed at the Board’s roundtable with stakeholders on 26 October 2017, the Board has not yet decided to adopt any specific approach to revalidation. The Board remains interested in understanding more about revalidation models for dental practitioners in the Australian context.

The Board understand that using the term ‘revalidation’, in an Australian context, can be confronting for practitioners. With this in mind the Board prefers the term ‘professional assurance’.

Over the next three years, the Board will explore ways to support dental practitioners to maintain and enhance their professional skills and knowledge and remain fit to practise.

The challenge facing the Board is to decide if the current requirements and processes in place for practitioners are sufficiently robust to ensure ongoing competency while adequately protecting the public.

The Board plans to commission research to identify the characteristics of ‘at risk’ and poorly performing dental practitioners. This research will also consider the types of support needed to make sure dental practitioners keep their skills up to date throughout their professional lives.

The research will help inform the Board’s future direction and decision-making about dental practitioner professional assurance and ensure it is effective, evidence-based and practical. This research will be conducted over the next 12 months.

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Page reviewed 1/05/2018