The purpose of accreditation is both to assure the quality of education and training and to promote continuous improvement of the programmes. All New Zealand prescribed qualification must be accredited and monitored by Council.
The Dental Council and the Australian Dental Council have established a joint accreditation committee for the purpose of accrediting and monitoring educational programmes to ensure common standards across both countries1.
The role of the Accreditation Committee is to advise the Council on accreditation of New Zealand programmes, and other accreditation related matters.
The Council monitors 19 New Zealand programmes across the oral health professions.
The accreditation status of the programmes accredited by the Dental Council.
The joint accreditation committee developed standards for the accreditation of Australian or New Zealand educational programmes in dentistry, dental specialities, dental hygiene, dental therapy and clinical dental technology (dental prosthetists in Australia).
The accreditation standards specify the criteria against which education and training programmes are assessed for accreditation. The standards support the defined knowledge, competencies and professional attributes required of graduates to register as a dental practitioner.
The following Accreditation Standards have been developed by the joint Accreditation Committee, and approved by Council:
The ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Standards: Education Programs for Dentists
The ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Standards: Education Programs for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists
The ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Standards: Education Programs for Dental Specialists
The ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Standards: Education Programs for Dental Prosthetists/Clinical Dental Technicians.
Council's accreditation policy is based on the joint Accreditation Committee standards and guidelines.
The accreditation of dental technology and orthodontic auxiliary programmes fall outside of the ambit of the joint accreditation committee. Council is responsible for the accreditation of these programmes.
Council has developed the following standards, based on the same principles as the joint accreditation standards:
- The Dental Council Accreditation Standards for Dental Technology programmes
- The Dental Council Accreditation Standards for Orthodontic Auxiliary programmes.
As part of the accreditation process, the Council require an annual report for each accredited programme. Details of any significant changes, planned or unplanned, must be provided at that time. It is the responsibility of the programme to notify the accreditation committee in its annual reports of any planned significant changes before they are implemented. It is expected that progress on relevant conditions, recommendations and suggestions made at previous accreditation visits will also be addressed and documented in the annual reports.
Annual reports are formally reviewed by the Chair of the most recent accreditation review team and the joint accreditation committee. Recommendations are then made to the Council regarding the continuation of the accreditation status of the programme.
1 The Australian Dental Council (ADC) has been appointed by the Dental Board of Australia under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, as the accreditation authority responsible for accrediting Australian education and training programmes. The Dental Board of Australia has responsibility for approving programmes accredited by the ADC as providing a qualification for the purpose of registration.