11 Jan 2023
The Dental Board of Australia (the Board) has updated the list of recognised overseas qualifications that make overseas qualified dental practitioners eligible to apply for registration in Australia.
The updated list of approved overseas qualifications is available on the Board’s website (found under the relevant dental division on the Overseas qualified practitioners page).
The list identifies education providers in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand that provide qualifications the Board considers to be substantially equivalent to an approved qualification. Practitioners that hold a qualification on the list are eligible to apply for registration as a dental practitioner in Australia.
Dental practitioners with these qualifications are not required to complete the Australian Dental Council assessment process.
The list has been in effect since 2010 and transitioned from the previous state and territory dental boards when the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) came into effect. Since 2010, several new dental schools have been established in the United Kingdom, meaning the original list had not kept up with changes to programs.
The review allowed the Board to update the list with new dentistry qualifications that have been awarded in the United Kingdom since 2010 and include other dental divisions, where these divisions exist, in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.
The review ensures regulatory barriers are not unnecessarily imposed on overseas qualified dental practitioners who are safe and competent to practise in Australia.
The updated list recognises several new dental schools from the United Kingdom. The list has also been expanded to include qualifications for dental hygienists, dental prosthetists, dental therapists and oral health therapists from the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand, where these divisions exist in each jurisdiction.
The Board considers all qualifications listed to be substantially equivalent to or based on similar competencies to an approved Australian qualification in the relevant division of dental practice.
Qualifications that have been added to the list are only valid if they were conferred from 2010, the starting point of the Board’s review.
It is important to note that the Board is not granting registration to practitioners because they are registered in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.1 The update to the list relates only to qualifications completed in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand. Any applicant for registration using a qualification on the list must also meet all the Board’s eligibility requirements for general registration.
The Board carried out work to determine whether qualifications from the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand could be considered substantially equivalent or based on similar competencies to an approved Australian qualification.
This work looked at qualifications for dentists, as well as qualifications for dental hygienists, dental prosthetists, dental therapists and oral health therapists where these divisions exist in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.
The approach used by the Board to review the list is consistent with the assessment of qualifications of overseas qualified dental specialists seeking to register in a recognised specialty. A similar approach is used in other health professions in the National Scheme.
In late 2022, the Board completed a targeted consultation on its proposal to recognise qualifications:
The feedback to the Board’s targeted consultation was from a broad range of stakeholders. There was broad support for the Board’s proposal to update the list. Stakeholders that supported updating the list suggested the changes be implemented as soon as possible.
1 The registration of practitioners holding registration in New Zealand is dealt with under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 as a separate class of applicants.