Review of Certificate III and Certificate IV in Dental Assisting Qualifications

This year the vocational qualifications of Certificate III and Certificate IV in Dental Assisting are due to be reviewed and any required changes made.
A Technical Advisory Committee has been convened under the Dental Industry Reference Committee for Skills IQ and this committee had its initial meeting in mid January. DAPA has representation on both these committees.

If you are a trainer and assessor involved with the delivery of these qualifications we urgently need to hear from you!
If you are an employer with a student undertaking qualification training and would like to comment, we need to hear from you!
If you are a current student or a past student who would like to suggest improvements in the course content so it meets the skills required of your job role, we need to hear from you too!
This is your opportunity to provide feedback on what you perceive to be the changes needed by industry to make these qualifications relevant and essential to the dental profession. Most of us would strongly agree that dental assistants should undertake mandatory training so lets be involved to ensure that the content of these courses meets the needs of the dental profession today and in the near future.

In 2015, these qualifications were updated and many changes made, however DAPA received numerous complaints from educators who "didnt know the training package was being reviewed", "would like to have contributed", were "not happy with the new changes" and felt they were "left out". Well, this is YOUR chance to be included - we NEED your thoughts and suggestions. Every voice is important so please email us ( with your contact details and we will keep you posted. If DAPA has no response from our members and readers, then the decisions could be made for you by others not directly at the coalface of training or actually working as a dental assistant.

We can advise that DAPA has requested the addition of some elective units (not compulsory) to be added to the Certificate IV to cover Orthodontic Assisting and Assisting in Implant Procedures. Training in these areas is not currently available in the Vocational Health Training Package and there is a considerable interest in Professional development for these assisting roles. Many dental practices are providing implant surgery to patients and staff are very cognitive of the essential need for training in sterile procedures(which is often seriously lacking) so lets get this process included!

We urgently need to hear from our Orthodontic colleagues as to the topics/subjects/content which we should be looking at and any current training modules you source from outside Australia. If you have an overseas based course you are currently using for training, please let us know.

Does your practice provide dental implant services? What topics of interest would enhance your skills and help you in assisting for these procedures? Send us an email to and be an active contributor to our workforce dynamic! The future training content relies on your feedback so lets get it right for our new employees.

Please send your thoughts and your email contact to if you would like to be a voice in this discussion - you will not be identified but your comments will be tabled by DAPA. at upcoming meetings.
We will also keep you updated with the Skills IQ website page link for your feedback opportunity when the draft changes are placed up for comment.

Once again - your voice will make a difference - but you need to communicate your suggestions to us please.