Recertification review documents and background

On this page, you will find background information about recertification and all the documentation relating to our current review.

On this page

Implementing the new recertification programme

The Council has deferred the start of the new recertification programme. This means the new programme will start from:

  • 1 October 2021 for dentists and dental specialists
  • 1 April 2022 for all other oral health practitioners.

Key features of the new recertification programme 

Read the summary of the key features of the new recertification programme, including the most recent decisions by Council.

Focus groups

To understand the full range of practitioner perspectives before confirming the detailed design, we completed a series of practitioner and stakeholder focus groups in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in November 2019. Background reading material was provided to the focus groups for discussion.

In December 2019 the Council considered feedback from the November 2019 focus groups, finalised the detailed design and asked the project team to do more work on the eye health requirements. In March 2020, the Council decided to put the eye health requirements on hold.

Further practitioner and stakeholder focus groups were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in March 2020 to check the guidance resources (including templates and examples) we are developing are easy to use and understand. We have summarised the feedback received.

What's happening now?

We are now working on updating our IT system so that the new recertification requirements can be integrated where possible with the APC application process. This will allow you to confirm your progress against the new recertification programme requirements when you apply for your APC each year.


We have collated questions and answers based on your emails and questions that regularly came up in the focus groups. We will continue to update this link to reflect your commonly asked questions. 

Previous updates

Recertification update 2 July 2020

Recertification update 5 May 2020 (COVID-19)

Recertification update 18 February 2020

Recertification update 12 December 2019

Recertification update 23 September 2019

Notice of extension to current recertification programme

Pending implementation of the new recertification system for all oral health practitioners, the Council has decided to extend the current recertification programmes for all practitioners to 31 December 2020.

However, recognising the impacts on practitioners due to the COVID-19 response, Council notified practitioners  on 5 May 2020 of its decision to waive recertification requirements for 12 months until 12 December 2021.  

Recertification review and consultation phases

DC Recertification logo 30 percent

Phase 2 outcomes document, issued March 2019

We have considered all of the feedback on our proposals to improve our approach to recertification. An outcomes document that summarises the main themes from the feedback and Council's consideration is now available.

You may also be interested in the following additional information relating to the outcomes document:

  • The General Dental Council 2019 literature review on continuing professional development 

Phase 2 Discussion document, issued August 2018

In 2017, we started a conversation with you about recertification. Having analysed your feedback, we developed draft proposals to share with you.

We issued a discussion document for consultation seeking your comments and views.

Consultation closed on 26 October 2018. You can view submissions received

If you want to rehear the presentation (from the Wellington forum) you can view the video and presentation slides online. 

Background material

The following information is intended to support our discussion document by providing further context and background information.

Key themes from phase one consultation

Phase one: Discussion document June 2017

What is recertification?

What does the law require us to do?

Our current approach to recertification

Our 2015-2016 Strategic Plan

Our Standards Framework 

Literature and research

In 2016, as part of the information gathering process, we conducted a review of New Zealand and international literature on recertification. The literature review is below. For ease of use, we have also broken down the literature review to align with specific aspects of recertification and potential areas of change identified in the discussion document.  

A literature review: Recertifying our oral health practitioners (Dental Council, 2017) 

March 2017 symposium

The Council held a symposium with key stakeholder organisations in March firstly to start our national conversation about the recertification of oral health practitioners and secondly to test the logic and thinking in our preliminary discussion document.

We invited policy-makers and representatives from DHBs and other parties with roles in health regulation, support and advocacy for oral health professions, as well as consumer advocacy.

The presentations and speaking notes from our March 2017 symposium are below, as well as a summary report of the day's proceedings and discussions. The summary report was finalised and distributed to symposium attendees in June 2017.

Summary report from the symposium on recertifying our oral health practitioners June 2017

Recertifying our oral health practitioners: Thinking about our future (Robin Whyman, Dental Council Chair)

Keynote address - What patients want: competent oral health therapists (Ron Paterson, Professor of Law, University of Auckland)

Keynote presentation - What patients want: competent oral health therapists (Ron Paterson, Professor of Law, University of Auckland)

Risk based health practitioner regulation in Australia (Paul Shinkfield - National Director, Strategy and Research, AHPRA)

Speaking notes, plenary session, David Crum, New Zealand Dental Association

Speaking notes, plenary session, Arish Naresh, New Zealand Dental & Oral Health Therapists' Association