DBA Scope of Practice Standard is changing – What you need to know

On Friday, Health Ministers approved the proposed Dental Board of Australia’s Scope of Practice Standard. The new Standard will take effect from July 2020 and will remove the requirements for dental hygienists, dental therapists and oral health therapists to work in a structured professional relationship (SPR) with a dentist.

The ADA constantly campaigned on this issue throughout the period of consideration and ADA Branches also undertook significant activity to raise issues with state health ministers.

As part of the effort to retain the SPR, the ADA:

1. Provided the DBA a comprehensive submission on the benefit of the SPR to local clinical governance.

2. Urged members to also provide a submission to the DBA.

3. Urged members to meet with their local members of parliament.

4. Undertook a comprehensive international review of models and provided it to ministers before the previous Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council meeting.

5. Were successful in having the matter referred to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

6. Further raised with ministers ahead of last weeks COAG

The ADA constantly campaigned on this issue throughout the period of consideration.

The ADA has argued against the change in the absence of clearly defined scope of practice statements for each professional division and will continue to request that these statements are developed to ensure both practitioners and consumers can make informed choices.

As more details come to light, the ADA will provide members with an analysis of the changes and what they will mean for dentists who either employ or work in teams alongside allied dental practitioners.

In the meantime, current arrangements remain in place.

Carmelo Bonanno


Australian Dental Association

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