It’s been an eventful start to the year with the Council’s staff being forced to leave our offices on the Terrace in Wellington, due to the recent discovery of structural damage caused by the November Kaikoura earthquakes.
We are in the process of securing new temporary offices which we hope to be moving into later in the month – there is more detail on this later in the newsletter. While it’s been an unsettling time, staff have worked hard to ensure our delivery of services is maintained. We have appreciated the messages of support and understanding we have received from many of you, thank you.
Despite the disruption to our physical location, Council work is continuing at a rapid pace.
The annual practising certificate (APC) round for dental hygienists, dental therapists, orthodontic auxiliaries, clinical dental technicians and dental technicians is well and truly underway. We encourage anyone who has not yet returned their APC or retention form to do so quickly – we recommend you ensure your form is in the mail by 23 March to allow enough time for delivery to us and processing by 31 March, when your current APC will expire. As you are no doubt aware, the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 requires every practising health practitioner to have a current APC. If you have not renewed your APC by 1 April 2017, you must cease practice immediately and not recommence until you have a valid APC.
We are hosting a symposium on our recertification review for policy-makers and other parties with a variety of roles in health regulation, support and advocacy for oral health professions, and with consumer perspectives later this month. This is the first step of our engagement process on this important project. Following the symposium, we will finalise a discussion document which we will be sending to all practitioners for feedback. We aim to meet and talk with as many practitioners as possible through a series of workshops or forums later in the year.
Finally, you should have received an invitation to take part in our annual engagement survey late last week. We really want to hear from you, to better understand how we can improve how we communicate with you all. Please complete the survey – it should only take 5-10 minutes and will be of immense help to us. You can access the survey here.