​Accredited Training

HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting

The nationally-accredited qualification, HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting, provides the skills and knowledge needed to assist a dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist during all health care procedures and help maintain high standards of infection control and safety in dental clinics. This is a nationally recognised qualification suitable for school leavers wanting to enter into a dental profession, mature age workers entering into or currently employed as dental assistants and those who enjoy working with people, have good manual dexterity, empathy and communication skills. The qualification is also available through the Traineeship pathway (applies to some states) and Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and experience is also available.

About The Dental Assistants Professional Association Inc (DAPA)

The association is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO Provider No 90424) and is accredited with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). We have been providing training and support to dental assistants for over forty years. Our educators are highly qualified and skilled with extensive experience and currency in the dental industry. DAPA offer accredited and professional development courses through classroom delivery or distance learning – or a blend of both these options.

All trainers and assessors at DAPA are required to continue with their Professional Development to ensure students receive current, up-to-date knowledge and techniques in their training and feedback. Each DAPA trainer and assessor has a minimum five years clinical experience and completes an ongoing Continuous Professional Development program.

Entry requirements for HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting

• Minimum educational entry level is a School Certificate (Year 10) or equivalent.
• Candidates must have a sound knowledge of English (minimum ESL 5.5) and be able to write and read documents in English and have a basic concept of maths to Year 10 level, otherwise will be requested to complete a LLN skills test.
• Work placement is essential to gain the practical skills and competence required for this course by week 6. Minimum of 350 hours required.
• Students should have immunisation for Tetanus and Hepatitis B in order to work in the Health Industry and other recommended vaccinations by Health Department or as required by employers
• It is the policy of the Association to accept entry without discrimination provided the language skills are demonstrated and there is no physical or psychological impediment for the student to be employed as a dental assistant.


A Traineeship is a great way to start your career in dental assisting and study for your HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting qualification. Trainees may enrol in Classroom Learning, Distance Learning or Blended Learning streams. Trainees may be eligible for funding assistance through the relevant State or Territory Government Apprenticeship & Traineeship Program, Depending on the State or Territory funding contract, students are responsible for a co-payment, administration or enrolment fee.

In NSW, Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. Its purpose is to help people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers. NSW Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas.

For more information and to check your eligibility, go to https://smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au or contact Smart & Skilled State Training Services Customer Support Centre – 1300 772 104.

The Dental Assistants Professional Association Inc is approved to provide training in HLT35021 Certificate III in Dental Assisting under the Smart & Skilled Traineeship funding program to the following areas in NSW - Capital Region, Central Coast, Central West, Coffs Harbour and Grafton, Far West and Orana, Hunter Valley Newcastle, Illawarra, Mid North Coast, Murray, New England North West, Richmond Tweed, Riverina, Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and Sydney.

Certificate III in Dental Assisting is also approved as a school based traineeship in some states. School students in Years 10, 11 and 12 may enrol in this course and units will contribute towards their HSC. Successful completion of this course means the student will be job ready to enter the workforce as a qualified dental assistant. For more information contact DAPA office on 02 9569 3220.

Course Delivery Options

• Classroom Learning - at our fully equipped Sydney based training centre - 1 half day per week over selected weeks - detailed timetable available on request.
• Distance Learning - learn at your own pace from work or home
• Blended Learning - flexible learning opportunity to mix classroom and distance delivery

Course Outline – HLT35021

The certificate consists of eight (8) core units and two (2) elective units - a total of 10 units of competency, and you must successfully complete all 10 units to be awarded the qualification. Units are:
• CHCCOM005 Communicate and work in health or community services
• CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
• HLTDEN015 Prepare for and assist with dental procedures
• HLTDEN016 Assist with dental radiography
• HLTDEN017 Assist with administration in dental practice
• HLTINF006 Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control
• HLTINF002 Process reusable medical devices and equipment
• HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety
• BSBTEC201 Use business software applications (Elective)
• BSBTWK201 Work effectively with others (Elective)
• HLTAID011 Provide First Aid (Elective)(This unit is only delivered by face to face training, and is not available online or distance delivery. DAPA will deliver this unit at our training rooms in Stanmore, Sydney on a scheduled date. Students are required to attend the full day course. If this is not suitable, students will need to arrange their own external course attendance at their expense. )

Topics include

Anatomy, Dental anatomy, Microbiology, Pathology, Oral pathology, Dental Pharmacology, Dental Instruments & materials, Specialist areas of dentistry, Dental Jurisprudence, Communication, Workplace Health & Safety, Infection Prevention and Control, Instrument reprocessing, Dental Radiography, Reception, Office management.


Assessments will be in the form of written, simulated workplace, verbal questioning, observation and workplace demonstration. Students are required to complete written assessments for each unit and holistic practical assessments are conducted by our assessors at the workplace on a minimum of two (2) visits. Additional workplace visits may be required. The workplace visits are mainly observation style assessment with additional verbal questioning and scenario format.
Assessment is competency-based and designed to determine whether the student can demonstrate the target competencies. All assessment must meet the criteria of the Training Package.

Recognition for Prior Learning

Applicants who have extensive experience in dental assisting may apply for recognition of those skills. Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that assesses the individual’s formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards for entry to, and/or partial or total completion of, a qualification. For further information contact the administration upon application.

Course Fees

See the below brochure for the latest course fees. Instalment plans are available.
To register your interest, please fill in your details here.

Enrolment Resources

Course Information Brochure – HLT35021
Training and Assessment Strategy – HLT35021
Student Handbook
Code of Conduct
Complaints Handling and Appeals Policy
Smart and Skilled Consumer Policy
LLN Skills Check

The Dental Assistants Professional Association is an approved NSW Smart and Skilled* provider, and more information on this can be found at the smart and skilled website https://education.nsw.gov.au/skills-nsw
*'This training is subsidised by the NSW Government.'