Prescribed qualifications for dental hygienists

Prescribed qualifications are the qualifications prescribed for a scope of practice under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

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The Dental Council has prescribed the following qualifications for the dental hygiene scope of practice.

New Zealand


  • Bachelor of Oral Health, University of Otago before 1 November 2017
  • Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health, Auckland University of Technology before 1 November 2017
  • Certificate in Dental Hygiene issued by Otago Polytechnic and approved experience in the provision of oral health services within the scope of dental hygiene practice, and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography
  • New Zealand Defence Force training programme in Dental Hygiene and approved experience in the provision of oral health services within the scope of dental hygiene practice, and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene issued by a New Zealand educational institution and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene, University of Otago (Orthodontic Procedures conferred from 2002) and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic and Extra-oral Radiography
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Endorsement in Dental Hygiene), University of Otago
  • an undergraduate dental hygiene degree or diploma, or undergraduate dental degree, and a pass in the Dental Council Dental Hygiene Registration Examination

Australia


  • an Australian Dental Council accredited programme1 that included education in Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography and registration in Australia
  • a Dental Board of Australia approved programme of study providing a qualification for the purposes of registration in dental hygiene in Australia2 that included education in Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography and registration in Australia

1 Before 30 June 2010, and before 17 October 2010 for Western Australia
2 From 1 July 2010 onwards, and 18 October 2010 onwards for Western Australia

General Dental Council (GDC) accredited dental schools in the UK


  • a General Dental Council (GDC) accredited undergraduate dental hygiene degree or diploma from the United Kingdom, and registration with the GDC, and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography
  • a Certificate or Diploma in Dental Hygiene conferred by the GDC, and registration with the GDC, and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography

USA or Canada


  • an undergraduate dental hygiene degree or diploma or undergraduate dental degree and a pass in the USA National Board Dental Hygiene Examination or Canadian National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination and a pass in a USA or Canadian regional or state board dental hygiene clinical examination, and registration with a USA or Canadian dental authority, and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography
  • a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited undergraduate dental hygiene degree or diploma, a pass in the USA National Board Dental Hygiene Examination or Canadian National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination, registration with a USA or Canadian dental authority, and Dental Council approved courses for Administering Local Anaesthetic, Undertaking Orthodontic Procedures, Intra-oral Radiography and Extra-oral Radiography