The skills assessment process depends on the country where an overseas candidate completed their general dental qualifications.
- Qualified in United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia – Initial Assessment of Documents
- Qualified and certified in Canada after March 2010 – Initial Assessment of Documents
- Qualified in other countries – Full Assessment including Initial plus Written and Practical examinations
Minimum requirements for an Initial Assessment are:
- Qualification(s) at the required level comparable in duration and content to the relevant Australian dental profession
- Registration or license in a home country or country of training with no withdrawal of registration
- Letter/Certificate of Good Standing from the most recent registration/licencing authority
- Two written professional references attesting to competence and good standing
Skills Assessment applicants do not need to provide English language test (ELT) results. However, as written and practical examinations that are part of the full assessment are conducted in English, candidates are expected to have a language knowledge comparable to the minimal scores for each module in various tests described in the following table.
The qualifications duration vary between professions.
- Dentists – 4-year, full-time university dental degree, or diploma at an acknowledged university
- Dental hygienists and therapists – at least two-years equivalent full-time study from a recognised provider
- Dual qualified dental hygienist/therapists – at least 3 years full-time study from a recognised provider
- Dental prosthetists – at least 3 years full-time qualification from a recognised provider
All applicants need to submit certified copies of official work statements for each period of employment in the last five years. In case of self-employment, applicants need to submit certified copies of business registration certificate, practice and tax documents and accountant records. If applicants have not practised in the past five years, they will be required to provide a statement explaining the reasons for the lack of recent practice.
Only candidates who successfully completed the initial assessment process are eligible to sit the computer-based examination that consists of four sections with 80 multiple-choice questions each. The examination is done over two days and is held in multiple locations in Australia and overseas. Two exam sessions are scheduled each year usually in March and September.
Results are released via the ADC candidate portal approximately six weeks after the exam date. Candidates must get a pass grade or higher in all four sections in order to be successful and their result is valid for three years. Failed exams can be taken again and there are no limits on the number of attempts.
Practical examination can be taken within three years of a successful written exam results. The examination is done over two days and consists of a technical skills day and a clinical skills day. It is held almost every week of the year but only in Australia, at the examination centre in Melbourne.
Results are posted on the ADC candidate portal in about six weeks after the exam date. Successful candidates, who get a pass mark or higher for both technical and clinical skills, will be awarded an ADC Certificate confirming their eligibility to apply for registration with the DBA. Failed exams can be re-taken again provided that written exam results are still valid.
Candidates who failed either written or practical examination can apply for results verification, a review of the administrative procedures or an appeal against the administrative procedures of the examination. Applications for verification or review must be submitted within 28 days of the respective exam results being available online. The verification process only confirms or amends previous results and cannot be appealed. The review process only deals with the administrative procedures and may be appealed by requesting a hearing from an Independent Appeals Committee (IAC).
Initial assessment takes approximately 8 weeks from the date of the application provided that no additional information is required. The overall timeframe for written examination is about five months and for practical examination from six to nine months.