ADC Introduction
Dentistry in Australia
Application for Assessment
Australian Dental Council Certificate
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Australian Dental Council



Assessment and Accreditation of Australian Dental Schools

The assessment process is governed by the ADC's Accreditation Committee. The Committee advises the Council on accreditation policy and procedures, and appoints the expert teams that conduct the assessments of the courses available in Australian Dental Schools.

For each assessment of a course, the Accreditation Committee sets up an expert team. Teams comprise a balance of members from dental science and clinical disciplines and from a range of dental schools. The team conducts:
- a review of documentation provided by the dental school on the curriculum and resources which support it, and
- an on-site visit to the school, its facilities and teaching hospitals; this normally takes two to three days.

The assessment is conducted under the ADC's Guidelines for the Assessment and Accreditation of Dental Schools.

The ADC Accreditation Committee receives a detailed report and recommendations from the assessment team and then makes a recommendation to the Australian Dental Council on the period of accreditation (the maximum period is 7 years).

The policies and procedures of the ADC, while respecting the academic independence of universities, are designed to ensure that new dental graduates are competent to undertake independent dental practice, and to have an adequate basis for further vocational training.

The Accreditation Guidelines require that curricula are responsive to the health needs both of individual citizens and of communities. Dentists must be able to care for an individual patient in illness, to assist with dental health education of the community, to be judicious in the use of dental health resources, and to work with a wide range of dental health professionals and other agents.

Assessment and Accreditation of Postgraduate Courses for Specialist Recognition
The ADC has extended its activities to include the accreditation of postgraduate courses for specialist recognition, and accreditation of dental auxiliary courses.

The Assessment of Overseas Dental Qualifications

In 1996 the (then) Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) entered into an agreement with the ADC. The ADC became the body to assess and examine overseas trained dentists for registration in Australia. The ADC assumed that function and has conducted the examinations since. Examination fees are paid by the overseas trained dentists to defray costs.


Aims and Objectives of the ADC Examination

The ADC examination is a screening examination to establish that dentists trained in dental schools which have not been formally reviewed and accredited by the ADC, other than graduates of NZ, UK and the Republic of Ireland dental schools, have the necessary knowledge and clinical competence to practise dentistry with safety in the Australian community.


Format, Timing and Venues of the ADC Examinations
The ADC examination procedures have been developed specifically to assess the qualifications of overseas trained dentists.

The examination procedure comprises three parts:

· An Occupational English Test (OET) administered by Language Australia. For a satisfactory / overall pass result candidates are required to pass all four macro-English language skills the OET seeks to test (ie for the listening, reading, writing and speaking sub-tests). The ADC requires a pass at "A" or "B" level for each of the four sub-tests.

The OET is held twice each year, both within Australia and overseas, in March / April and September / October. It can be taken, overseas, at Australian Embassies, High Commissions or Consulates; in Australia in any of the State capital cities and some larger provincial centres. Unlimited attempts at this examination are permitted, but a new fee must be paid for each attempt.

· A Preliminary Examination - multiple-choice question (MCQ) and Short Answer Questions (SAQ), administered over two consecutive days. Examinations are conducted twice each year, in March and September . Unlimited attempts at this examination are permitted, but a new fee must be paid for each attempt. A pass is valid for a period of three years.

It is designed to test knowledge of the science and practice of dentistry and of clinical and technical procedures as they are practised in Australia.

· A Final (clinical) Examination, the general objective of which is to evaluate the clinical competence of the candidate in terms of dental knowledge, clinical skills and professional attitudes for the safe and effective clinical practice of dentistry in the Australian community.

The clinical examination can be taken only in Australia, and is held over six days. It includes three blocks:
- Operative Dentistry and Paedodontics;
- Periodontics and Removable Prosthodontics
- Oral Surgery, Oral Diagnosis and Radiology

Aspects of all clinical disciplines such as Orthodontics, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Pharmacology are also included where appropriate (practical and / or theoretical and / or Vive Voce). Candidates are examined at the same level as that reached by graduates from Australian universities.

Clinical examinations are conducted twice each year, in July and November. Unlimited attempts at the examinations are permitted, but a new fee must be paid for each attempt. If a supplementary examination is granted, a separate fee is payable for this examination. The final examination must be undertaken within three years of passing the Preliminary Examination.

These examinations (OET, Preliminary and Final) must be taken sequentially. Each fee for the OET, ADC Preliminary and ADC Final Examination allows only one attempt at the examination. Withdrawal from any examination may result in a cancellation fee being charged.

The range of topics covered in the ADC examination is based on the clinical curricula of Australian dental schools with an emphasis on common conditions in the Australian community. The patients used in the clinical examinations are drawn from a similar pool of patients to those used to assess final year dental students.

The ADC has appointed a Committee of Examiners with broad expertise over the full range of disciplines covered in the ADC and dental school examinations to ensure that the format and content of the ADC examinations are consistent with the undergraduate dental courses and the standard of examinations in Australian dental schools.


Examination Initiatives
The ADC has adopted several initiatives that aim to improve confidence in the fairness of the examination, while ensuring that appropriate standards are maintained.

The ADC will consider any concerns and grievances put to it in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. Initiatives include:

· Appeal Procedures
Candidates who fail the Final Examination are counselled concerning areas which require improvement. This is done to assist the candidate should she/he enrol for a further attempt at the examination.

· Supplementary Examinations may be granted where a candidate has a marginal fail grade.

· Clinical Examination
The ADC is concerned about the prospect of delay to some candidates in obtaining a place in the first exam. In the event that applications exceed available places in this examination, a system of priority will be applied.

Recognition of Overseas Trained Specialists
There are significant differences in the format and content of primary dental training throughout the world, reflecting local dental health care patterns and priorities. In the case of specialist dental practice these differences between systems of training are even more pronounced.

Approval for specialist dental practice in Australia is the province of the State and Territory Dental Boards.

Uniformity Matters
Each Australian State and Territory has separate legislation to regulate the practice of dentistry.

The Dental Boards and Dental Practice Boards are the designated legal authorities under the relevant legislation to administer registration.

The ADC provides advice to the State and Territory Dental Boards in order to encourage uniform approaches to the registration of dental practitioners.

Mutual Recognition between States
Under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992, subject to certain conditions, if a person is registered to practise an occupation in one State or Territory they can carry out an equivalent occupation in any other State or Territory.

ADC Certificate
Upon successful completion of the OET, Preliminary and Final Examinations, the candidate is eligible to receive a Certificate issued by the ADC. This Certificate is proof of having passed the Council's total examination requirements and is sent to the successful candidate. The ADC Certificate in Dentistry is an acceptable qualification for registration in all States and Territories in Australia. Upon receiving the ADC Certificate, candidates may apply for registration to one of the Australian Dental Boards.

Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council
The ADC has had informal discussion with the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) to have the ADC recognised as the accrediting body for dentistry as the Australian Medical Council is for medicine.


ADC Introduction

Dentistry in Australia

Application for Assessment