Dental Board of Australia - Scope of practice registration standard
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Scope of practice registration standard

Effective from: 1 July 2020 

Scope of practice registration standard (149 KB,PDF)  

This registration standard sets out the Dental Board of Australia’s (the Board) requirements for the scope of practice for dental practitioners.

Does this standard apply to me?

This registration standard applies to all registered dental practitioners except those with student or non-practising registration.

What must I do?

  1. All dental practitioners are members of the healthcare team. They are expected to work with other members of the healthcare team to provide the best possible care and outcome for their patients.
  2. Dental practitioners must only perform dental treatment:
    a. for which they have been educated and trained1, and
    b. in which they are competent.
  3. A dental practitioner must not direct any person whether a registered dental practitioner or not to undertake dental treatment or give advice outside that person’s education or competence.
  4. All dental practitioners are expected to practise within the definition of dentistry and their dental practitioner division2.

Guidelines for scope of practice

The Guidelines for scope of practice provide guidance about the expectations of the registration standard and how to meet its requirements. Dental practitioners are expected to understand how to apply these guidelines together with this registration standard.

Code of conduct

The Code of conduct  sets out the standards of professional conduct the Board expects and is used to evaluate dental practitioners’ conduct. By defining the Board’s expectations of professional conduct, including professional relationships, the code supports patients’ interests, good patient care and the delivery of appropriate, effective services within an ethical framework. Practitioners have a professional responsibility to be familiar with and to apply this code. The Code of conduct should be read in conjunction with the Scope of practice registration standard.

What happens if I don’t meet this standard?

The National Law establishes possible consequences if you don’t meet this registration standard, including that registration standards, codes or guidelines may be used in disciplinary proceedings against health practitioners as evidence of what constitutes appropriate practice or conduct for the health profession (see section 41 of the National Law).


This registration standard was approved by the COAG Health Council on 1 November 2019.

Registration standards are developed under section 38 of the National Law and are subject to wide-ranging consultation.


Definition of dentistry and practitioner division descriptions are included in the Guidelines for scope of practice. Restricted dental acts (section 121 of the National Law) also apply to this definition.

National Law means the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory.


Dental Board of Australia, Specialist Registration Standard.

Dental Board of Australia, Guidelines for scope of practice.

Dental Board of Australia, Code of conduct.


This registration standard will be revised at least every three years.

Last reviewed: November 2019.

This registration standard replaces the previously published registration standard from 30 June 2014.

1Approved programs of study are programs accredited by the accreditation authority for the profession and approved by the National Board under the National Law. The approved programs are those which, upon successful completion, lead to registration or endorsement as a dental practitioner in the division or specialty in which study was completed or through other assessment, examination or qualification that qualifies a practitioner for general registration (section 53 of the National Law), specialist registration (section 57) limited registration with the Board (section 65) or endorsement (section 99).

2Refer to the Definitions section of this registration standard.

Page reviewed 14/07/2020