Dental Assisting - Draft 2

Project Summary

SkillsIQ, under the direction of the Dental Industry Reference Committee (IRC), has undertaken a project to update the Packaging Rules of two Dental Assisting Qualifications and two Skill Sets; to update fourteen Dental Assisting Units of Competency and six Oral Health Care Units of Competency; and to develop three new Units of Competency, to align to the changing duties of existing and future job roles of all dental support staff, including dental assistants.
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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 in improving efficiencies in operations, and also maximise patient health and safety in the delivery of all dental services.

The following key areas have been considered during the Training Package update process:

  • Simultaneous updates – Both qualifications have been 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, two Skill Sets; fourteen Dental Assisting Units of Competency and six Oral Health Care Units of Competency; and to develop three new Units of Competency, a Dental Assisting Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was formed comprised of stakeholders and subject matter experts from across Australia. 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.

    Further information on the TAC and a summary of the proposed changes may be found on the Project Page or in the Validation Guide which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

    To take forward Training Package Product development work, the Dental Assisting TAC and Dental IRC have subsequently reviewed and confirmed the changes required for the development of Draft 2, based on feedback received from the first round of public consultation.

    Consultation Activities and Timelines

    National consultation on Draft 1 took place from 04 November 2019 to 13 December 2019. During this period input was sought on the two updated draft Qualifications, two new Units of Competency, eighteen updated Units of Competency and their associated Assessment Requirements.

    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.

    National Validation on Draft 2 will be open from Wednesday, 16 September and will close at 5.00pm on Friday, 16 October 2020.

    During this time SkillsIQ will be liaising with industry stakeholders, employers and subject matter experts (SMEs). If you have expertise in these areas and would like to meet electronically with SkillsIQ, please contact us via or via phone at 0438 043 186.

    Webinars will be held on the following dates (please click on the link to register):

    Date                                                        Time
    Webinar 1: Tuesday, 29 September  11.00am–12.30pm
    Webinar 2: Tuesday, 6 October         11.00am–12.30pm
    Webinar 3: Tuesday, 13 October       11.00am–12.30pm
    For further information, please contact Devika Mudaliar on 0438 043 186 or via email at


Dental Assisting - Draft 2 Validation Guide
Dental Assisting Draft 2 Validation Specific Questions for Consideration

Recent Comments

Jenni Wright 18.09.2020

"Both of these terms these days seem to be used interchangeably to describe wet/chemical film processing. However, 'Manual Processing' is the procedure using the ancient Time/Temperature technique, dipping films on hangers into chemicals in open tanks in a darkroom. Does the contemporary Dental Practice still need this skill requirement? Automatic Film Processing uses a machine to automate the chemical process, and by using a daylight loader, eliminated the need for a dark room. Perhaps using the term "Chemical (+/- Film) Processing", can replace both terms and be applied to both circumstances to accurately describe either method. "

Dental Assisting - Draft 2

HLTDEN016 Assist with dental radiography Draft 2