Assessment of individual qualifications, training and experience


Assessment of your overseas qualifications, training and experience for registration

If you hold an overseas qualification that is not prescribed by the Dental Council, you may still be able to apply for registration.

The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act) provides that we may treat any overseas qualification as a prescribed qualification if, in our opinion, the qualification is equivalent to, or as satisfactory as, a prescribed qualification.

If you consider your qualifications, training and experience are equivalent to a prescribed qualification for the scope of practice in which you wish to register, you can apply for an individual assessment.

To have your qualifications, training and experience assessed, you need to submit the following:

The process to assess your qualifications, training and experience

An academic involved in the teaching of a New Zealand prescribed qualification, to which your qualification is compared, assesses your qualification curriculum and any further studies completed, to determine whether it is comparable to the New Zealand prescribed qualification. 

In cases where a conflict of interest exists between your application and the educational institution offering the New Zealand prescribed qualification, the academic assessment may be completed by an Australian academic. The assessor must teach in a programme approved for registration in Australia, in a similar scope of practice.

For specialist applications, a professional peer, registered in the scope of practice in which you wish to apply for registration, will also assess your clinical experience.

Once the assessment report has been received, your application and the report are considered at the next available Council meeting. It will determine whether your qualifications, training and experience may be considered equivalent to, or satisfactory as, a prescribed qualification. Council will also consider whether you satisfy the fitness for registration requirements.

Due to the process involved, these applications take some time from receipt until a decision is reached. 

What you need to provide

You need to submit information on your qualifications and training, and on your experience since graduating. You will also need to provide evidence of continuing professional development. 

Other information required relates to your fitness to register, such as good character, health and ability to communicate effectively in English. The information includes certificates of good standing and referee reports. 

The registration of non-prescribed qualifications and experience under section 15(2) of the Act application form or registration of specialist non-prescribed qualifications and experience under section 15(2) of the Act application form tells you what you need to submit.

You also need to submit a self-assessment form if you are applying to be assessed to register as a dental hygienist, dental therapist or dental technician.

Dental hygiene self-assessment form

Dental therapy self-assessment form

Oral health therapy self-assessment form - please contact

Dental technician self-assessment form

We need three copies of your application and the supporting documents — an original and two copies.

We recommend that you keep a copy of your application form and all the accompanying documents you submit.

Getting your documents certified

We need certified copies of most items in your supporting documentation.

Your identification documents must be verified and certified by the same authorised person. These include your:

  • passport photo(s)
  • copies of your identification pages
  • Verification of Identity section
  • Statutory Declaration section of the form.

The person certifying your documents must be authorised by the law where you live to administer an oath for a judicial proceeding. Below we list who may act as an authorised person.

In New Zealand:

  • Enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Notary Public
  • Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar
  • Member of Parliament

In other Commonwealth countries

  • Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Notary Public
  • Judge
  • Commissioner of Oaths
  • Commonwealth representative
  • Other person authorised by the law of your country to administer an oath there for the purpose of a judicial proceeding.

In non-Commonwealth countries

  • Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
  • Notary Public
  • Judge
  • Commonwealth representative.

Getting your documents translated

If any documents are not in English, you are required to submit an official English translation together with a certified copy of your original document.

Certificate of good standing

You are required to submit an original certificate of good standing from each Board or Council where you have been registered during the last seven years.

Certificates of good standing must be no more than three months old at the time your application is received.

English language requirement

If you require a pass in a Council-approved English test to meet the English language requirement, you will need to submit your pass test results with your application form. 

Please remember that:

  • results must be obtained in one sitting
  • a pass is valid for two years for new applications.

If you are not sure about your specific English language requirements, refer to the Policy on English language requirements.

The fee for assessment

The fee for the assessment of your qualification, training and experience is payable with the application form.

If you are assessed as being eligible to register

If Council determines that you are eligible for registration in New Zealand, we will send you a confirmation of eligibility letter and a registration form.

Send the registration form and registration fee to us, and we will confirm your registration.

You need to familiarise yourself with New Zealand’s conditions of practice

To practise in New Zealand, you need to understand the cultural, social, and legal framework in which we practice.

You must familiarise yourself of the New Zealand healthcare and dental environment, by reading the New Zealand Conditions of Practice handbook.

You will be required to declare that you have read and understood the content of the handbook when you apply to register.

If you are assessed as not being eligible to register

If Council determines that your qualifications, training and experience are not equivalent to a prescribed qualification, you could consider sitting the relevant New Zealand Dental Registration Examination, or completing a prescribed qualification.  

Details on the various registration options available for your profession: