Dental Board of Australia - Graduating soon? What you need to know to register as a dental practitioner
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Graduating soon? What you need to know to register as a dental practitioner

14 Sep 2020

In your final year of an approved program of study and excited about starting work as a dental practitioner?

There is a range of registration categories under which a dental practitioner can practise in Australia. Different divisions apply to different types of registration. Categories of dental practitioner registration are:

  • dentist
  • dental therapist
  • dental hygienist
  • oral health therapist, or
  • dental prosthetist

Before you can start practising in one of the divisions, you must be registered with the Dental Board of Australia (the National Board).

We understand that for some of you, your graduation might be delayed due to COVID-19 disrupting your training. However, you don’t need to wait until you graduate to start your application. In fact, the earlier you start, the better!

Online registration for graduate applications is open from mid-September and you can submit your application up to three months before you expect to complete your course.

How do I apply?

  1. Create your account using the online services portal and complete your application
  2. Upload your documents and pay the required fees. Check that you have provided all required documentation to prove you’ve met the registration standards, including certified copies of your photo ID.
  3. Wait for your education provider to provide your graduate results to Ahpra.

Once we’ve received your graduate results from your education provider and we are satisfied that you have met all the requirements for registration, we will finalise your application. 

When you are registered, we will publish your name to the national online register of practitioners, and you can start working as a dental practitioner!

How can I help ensure I’m registered in time to start work?

You’ll find advice on how to apply as well as tips for avoiding common causes of delay on the Graduate applications page on the Ahpra website

Check out Ahpra’s new video  and accompanying information flyers all designed to help you when applying for registration.

What do I need to do for registration?

When you apply for registration, your application is carefully assessed against the Board’s requirements for registration.

For graduate registration as a dental practitioner, you need to prove that you meet the following standards:

  • English language skills, and
  • professional indemnity insurance.

We will also ask you to disclose any criminal history and to declare whether you have any health impairments that may affect your ability to practise. We cannot register you until we are satisfied that you meet the standards for registration and are suitably trained and qualified.

You can also check out the Board’s video for graduating students which tells you what you need to know to register as a dental practitioner for the first time.

How can I make sure my Photo ID documents are certified correctly?

It’s important that you provide correctly certified photo ID documents with your application. We need to meet the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s requirements for photo ID checks.

The wording they require is very specific and may look different to wording you’ve seen before, so double check you’ve got the wording right before submitting your application. Incorrectly certified documents will cause delay.

Getting it right the first time

Get your photographic identity documents signed by an authorised offer and make sure they use the correct wording:

‘I certify that this is a true copy of the original and the photograph is a true likeness of the person presenting the document as sighted by me.’

To get it right the first time download the guide Certifying Documents: Instructions for applicants and authorised officers from our website and take it with you to the authorised officer.

The guide includes a full list of professionals in addition to JPs, that are authorised to certify photographic ID documents. These include various registered health professions, public servants, teachers, lecturers and members of the legal profession.

How long does it take to assess my application?

We can’t finalise your application until we receive your graduate results from your education provider.

If you’ve submitted everything you need to prove you’ve met the requirements for registration, we aim to finalise your application within two weeks of receiving your graduate results.

We recommend that you submit your application early, up to three months before you graduate, so that it’s ready to finalise when we receive your results.

For more information

For registration enquiries, difficulties in accessing the online application form, or if you are experiencing financial hardship: 1300 419 495 (within Australia).

For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200


Page reviewed 14/09/2020