Welcome to the final newsletter from the Dental Board of Australia (the Board) for 2015. The year has been one of ongoing review, and we have also implemented of a number of revised standards and guidelines.
In 2016 we will continue to review our regulatory policies, including how clear they are, so dental practitioners can easily understand what we expect of them. Whenever we review or develop new policy we consult widely and consultation papers are published on the Current consultations page of our website. This is your opportunity to have a say in how your profession is regulated, so we encourage you to visit our website on a regular basis to help you stay informed.
In this edition of our newsletter we have continued to focus on infection prevention and control obligations. This follows on from a recent forum held on Thursday 22 October 2015, jointly hosted with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), with some of our key partners. The forum focussed on effective infection prevention and control by dental practitioners. Read more about this forum.
The discussions from the day will inform our work as we review our current Guidelines on infection control.
We will continue to engage with these partners and others as this review progresses in 2016, so that you can understand the expected standards of infection prevention and control practice, the principles that underpin this practice and the resources available to support you in meeting these standards.
Infection prevention and control should be seen as part of a safety and quality framework that underpins professional practice across all health sectors, including dental practices.
It was acknowledged at the forum that it is sometimes confusing for dental practitioners to understand how each of the different reference documents listed in the Board’s Guidelines on infection control apply to their practice. See Table 1 for a list of the reference documents that you should be familiar with.
You should be familiar with each of these documents and think about how they apply to you and your workplace.
As a registered dental practitioner you are responsible for ensuring that the expected procedures, equipment and facilities are in place to support the expected standards of infection prevention and control.
As an employer or manager, even though other members of the dental team, including unregistered staff, may do some of the activities to support these standards, this does not reduce your responsibility to ensure that the standards are met.
As an employee you may feel as though you have no influence over what infection prevention and control measures are in place in your workplace. The standards and guidelines make it clear what you can expect to see. You have a responsibility to ensure that any care you provide is supported by effective infection prevention and control measures.
Table 1 – Reference documents
Infection prevention and control, and the way it is provided, is integral to clinical care. It is not an additional set of practices. It is easier to practise effective infection prevention and control standards if you, and the people you work with, understand the rationale for the requirements.
While the Board does not specify infection prevention and control in CPD requirements, we do expect you, and the people you employ and/or manage, to understand why it is important and what effective infection prevention and control practice looks like.
We reasonably expect you and the team you work with to review your workplace’s infection prevention control manual and the requirements of the different standards at regular intervals. Some important times to consider undertaking CPD may be when new staff commence, there is a change in standards, and/or new equipment that supports infection prevention control is introduced. This is likely to occur at least once in a three-year CPD cycle.
back to top
Over recent weeks we have published revised registration standards. Most of these came into effect on 1 December 2015.
For most of these registration standards the requirements have not changed. There has been some amalgamation of associated documents into the standard so that it is easier for you to understand what we expect of you.
The requirements under the revised CPD registration standard have not changed.
You need to complete a minimum of 60 hours over a set three-year cycle.
The current three-year CPD cycle is due to end on 30 June 2016. You need to complete the 60 hours for this time. The next cycle will start on 1 December 2016 and run until November 2019. You need to complete the 60 hours for this time also. This means there is a five-month period for transition between cycles, from 1 July 2016 to 30 November 2016.
During this time of transition we encourage you to continue to do CPD activities. You do not need to complete any additional requirements for these five months, however any CPD activities that you do complete will count towards the new cycle, starting on 1 December 2016. CPD hours completed in this five-month period cannot count towards the cycle ending on 30 June 2016.
The requirements for the Recency of practice registration standard have not changed. You must have practised the profession in the previous five years.
If you haven’t done this then you need to let us know so we can assess if it is safe for you to return to practice. This may involve you doing further education and training, and/or supervised practice.
We have published information on the Recency of Practice page of our website to explain what you need to do if you wish to return to practice.
We have also published a revised Endorsement for conscious sedation registration standard.
The requirements under the registration standard have not changed, the standard has been revised to improve the understanding of these requirements, including FAQ.
The Guidelines for conscious sedation area of practice endorsement have been retired as the critical information in these guidelines are now incorporated into the standard.
We have published additional information on the Conscious Sedation page of our website to support this implementation.
The national register of practitioners confirms if a dental practitioner’s registration includes an endorsement.
The review of the Professional indemnity insurance registration standard is complete. This standard was reviewed to provide as much consistency as possible across the professions regulated under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme).
We anticipate the revised standard will come into effect during 2016. This will provide insurers with the time needed to ensure their products meet the minimum requirements.
We are working with the Insurance Council of Australia to support this implementation.
The current registration standard remains in force.
We have published a new fact sheet on the use of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers by dental practitioners.
It explains what we expect of dental practitioners when using these scheduled medicines in their practice and the different ways complaints against dentists using them may be managed, depending on the nature of the complaint.
We have released a consultation paper on the proposed entry-level competencies for dental specialties.
The consultation paper is published on the Current consultations page of the Board's website.
The competencies are part of the broader work we are doing to improve the clarity, consistency and transparency of the criteria and processes for assessment of applications for specialist registration.
From time to time vacancies for board, committee and panel positions are advertised on AHPRA’s website and the Board’s website.
If you would like to receive notice of vacancies when they are advertised, please email Statutory Appointments from your preferred email address, advising which professions or roles you are interested in.
AHPRA and the National Boards have released their 2014/15 annual report on the the National Scheme, providing a comprehensive record of the operations of the National Scheme for the 12 months ending 30 June 2015.
The annual report provides a national snapshot of the work and finances of the National Scheme and is tabled in the parliaments of each state and territory and the Commonwealth.
AHPRA and the National Boards will also publish summaries of our work regulating health practitioners in every state and territory, and profession-specific profiles.
For more information, please read the news item on AHPRA’s website.
In the coming months, the Board will publish a report of its work in regulating the dental profession in the National Scheme during 2014/15.
The report provides a profession-specific view of the Board’s work to manage risk to the public and regulate the profession in the public interest. It is a profile of regulation at work in Australia for the 12 months ending 30 June 2015.
The data in this report are drawn from data published in the 2014/15 annual report of AHPRA and the National Boards, reporting on the National Scheme.
The Board and AHPRA have published the 2015/16 health profession agreement (HPA) that outlines the partnership between the Board and AHPRA, and the services AHPRA will provide to the Board in 2015/16. The HPA also provides information about the Board’s financial operations and fees.
As always, we encourage you to regularly check the Dental Board website for information and updates relating to the dental profession.