Apply for an annual practising certificate


If you have not received your APC application form, you are beginning practice for the first time, or you are returning to practice, download an APC application form.

You must hold a current annual practising certificate (APC) to practise as an oral health practitioner in New Zealand. It is an offence to practise without one. If you do so, you may be:

  • prosecuted by the Ministry of Health and liable to a fine of up to $10,000 and
  • liable to disciplinary proceedings before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and cancellation of your registration. 

You will be granted an APC if we are satisfied that you meet the criteria set out in section 27 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. This means you:

  • are fit to practise
  • have maintained the standard of competence required for your scope of practice
  • have held an APC within the 3 years immediately before your application
  • have lawfully practised your profession within the 3 years immediately before the application
  • have complied with any condition included on your scope of practice
  • have completed the requirements of any competence programme that we, the Dental Council, may have directed you to undertake
  • do not have a health condition that adversely affects your ability to practise.

For new graduates from New Zealand accredited programmes competence is "deemed" if the graduate applies for an APC within a year of graduation.  Accordingly the requirements for practising and having held an APC within the 3 years before your application do not apply.

APC cycle

The practising year for dentists and dental specialists runs from 1 October in each year until 30 September in the following year. APCs must be renewed on or before 1 October in each year.

If you have not renewed your APC by 1 October, you must cease practise until such time that you have a current APC. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary proceedings.

APC fees

We set the fee for your APC annually.


The following policies describes how the budget, fees and levies are set on an annual basis:

Being retained on, leaving, or returning to the register  

The following information will assist you to change your registration or practising status on the register.

Apply to be retained on the register if you are taking a break from practice but intend to return

Notify us if you do not wish to remain on the register

Apply to be restored to the register