SkillsIQ, under the direction of the Dental Industry Reference Committee (IRC), has undertaken a project to update the packaging rules of the two Dental Assisting qualifications and to update fourteen Dental Assisting Units of Competency and six Oral Health Care Units of Competency to align to the changing duties of existing and future job roles of all dental support staff, including dental assistants.
The aim of the proposed updates is to ensure that the dental health sector and associated sectors (i.e. education, community services, etc.) are supported by a high-quality trained and skilled dental assisting workforce. Facilitating access to training in these specialist areas will support dental practices to improve efficiencies in operations, and also maximise patient health and safety in all dental services delivered.
The following key areas have been considered during the Training Package update process:
- Current structure – The current structure and packaging of the qualifications includes core, electives and elective specialisations
- Specialist areas – The current Certificate III and IV in Dental Assisting do not include sufficient training in specialist instrument usage, infection prevention and control, or procedural/surgical support for the workforce in dental specialist fields
- Simultaneous updates – Both qualifications are being updated simultaneously to ensure consistency in the update process and to further ensure that final outcomes are suitable and fit-for-purpose.
- Orthodontic dental assistance – There has been an increase in demand for orthodontic dental services where dental assistants are involved in supporting orthodontic procedures.
- Assisting in implant and surgical dental procedures – An increase in specialist services such as dental implants, oral surgery and oral maxillofacial surgery has resulted in additional duties for the dental assisting job roles to support these specialist procedures.
To inform the update of the two Dental Assisting qualifications, fourteen Dental Assisting Units of Competency and six Oral Health Care Units of Competency, a Dental Assisting Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprised of stakeholders and subject matter experts from across Australia was formed. Formation of the TAC informed the identification and validation of the exact nature of the skills needs and knowledge requirements in the industry and the respective Training Package Product update requirements.
As a result, the following changes have been proposed:
- Packaging rules for both the Dental Assisting qualifications have been revised to include Units of Competency relevant to the role of the Dental Assistant.
- The Certificate III in Dental Assisting has been updated to comprise eleven core units of competency.
- The Certificate IV in Dental Assisting has been updated to include thirteen core and four elective Units of Competency to be selected from the following specialisations:
o Group A – Dental Radiography
o Group B – Oral Health Education
o Group C - General Anaesthesia, Conscious Sedation and Relative Analgesia
o Group D – Technical Records
o Group E – Dental Practice Administration
- The following Dental Assisting Unit of Competency has been recommended for deletion:
o HLTDEN013 Allocate treatment appointments according to priority
- The following Oral Health Care Unit of Competency has been recommended for deletion:
o HLTOHC004 Provide or assist with oral hygiene
- Two new Units of Competency have been developed to cover the following specialist areas:
o HLTDEN028 Provide effective oral hygiene instruction to patients with an oral health treatment plan
o HLTDEN029 Assist in oral health care procedures during relative analgesia
To take forward Training Package Product development work, the Dental Assisting TAC and Dental IRC will subsequently review and confirm the changes required for the development of Draft 2, based on feedback received from the first round of consultation.
Consultation Activities and Timelines
National consultation on Draft 1 will occur from 1 November and will close at 5.00pm on 2 December 2019. During this period input will be sought on the updated two draft qualifications, two new Units of Competency, eighteen updated existing Units of Competency and their associated Assessment Requirements.
A Consultation Guide, which should be read in Conjunction with the Draft 1 Training Package Products is available for download at the bottom of this page.
During this time SkillsIQ will be meeting with industry stakeholders, employers and subject matter experts (SMEs). If you have expertise in these areas and would like to meet with SkillsIQ, please contact Devika Mudaliar via firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (02) 9392 8100.
Following the close of the consultation period, feedback received will be collated and evaluated. This feedback will inform the development of Draft 2, which will be made publicly available for validation prior to the submission for endorsement.
To remain up-to-date with project developments, please subscribe to SkillsIQ’s mailing list: https://www.skillsiq.com.au/Subscribetoournewsletter.aspx.
Consultation Activities: Round 1
A series of face-to-face workshops will be held across all states and territories, along with webinars and access to the SkillsIQ Online Feedback Forum page. Please click on the links below to register for a workshop or webinar.
City Date Time
Perth Wednesday, 13 November 2019 9:30am-11:30am - closed
Adelaide Friday, 15 November 2019 9:30am-11:30am - closed
Melbourne Monday, 18 November 2019 9:30am-11:30am - closed
Canberra Tuesday, 19 November 2019 9:30am-11:30am - closed
Hobart Friday, 22 November 2019 9:00am-11:00am - cancelled
Darwin Monday, 25 November 2019 9:30am-11:30am
Brisbane Wednesday, 27 November 2019 9:30am-11:30am
Sydney Thursday, 28 November 2019 9.30am–11:30am
Webinar 1: Monday, 11 November 2019 9.30am–10:30am - closed
Webinar 2: Friday 29 November 2019 10.00am–11:00am
For further information, please contact Devika Mudaliar on (02) 9392 8100 or via email at email@example.com.