Pathways for gaining registration as a dental hygienist in New Zealand
To apply to register as an oral health practitioner under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, you must meet these criteria:
- you must be fit for registration
- you must have a prescribed qualification
- if you don’t have a prescribed qualification, you must have a qualification that’s assessed as being equivalent to, or as satisfactory as, a prescribed qualification for your scope of practice
- you must be competent to practise within that scope of practice.
Your qualifications may be recognised in New Zealand
You can apply for registration as a dental hygienist if you have a prescribed qualification.
Registering with a prescribed qualification
A prescribed qualification is one that has been through a formal accreditation process to verify that it is of an appropriate quality and standard, either by us or another jurisdiction whose accreditation processes are recognised by us. Prescribed qualifications are gazetted against the relevant scope of practice.
To see if your qualification has been prescribed, refer to the list below.
Prescribed qualifications for dental hygienists
Some prescribed qualifications could result in exclusions being placed on your practice as certain areas of practice were not covered in the training, such as local anaesthetic, orthodontic procedures and intra and extra oral radiography. If your qualification did include these areas of practice, or you have completed subsequent training courses in these areas, once you have gained registration, you may apply to have these exclusions removed from your scope of practice.
If your qualification is not prescribed, you have two choices
If your qualification is not prescribed, you can either:
- sit an examination
- apply to have your overseas, non-prescribed qualifications, training and experience assessed.
You can sit an examination
If you want to register as a dental hygienist, and you do not have a prescribed qualification, you can sit the New Zealand Dental Hygiene Registration Examination. The examination consists of two parts, written and clinical. You must pass the written examination before you can sit the clinical examination.
The New Zealand Dental Hygiene Registration Examination
You can submit your overseas, non-prescribed qualifications, training and experience to be assessed
If you do not have an overseas prescribed qualification, but believe your qualifications, training and experience are equivalent to a prescribed qualification for dental hygiene, you can apply for individual assessment.
Individual assessment of qualifications and experience
If you are registered in Australia, you may be eligible for Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition
If you are registered in Australia, you can register in New Zealand in a similar scope of practice, under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.
Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition
Please see our fees page for applicable fees.