Consultation on proposed changes to scopes of practice and prescribed qualifications

Consultation on proposed changes to scopes of practice and prescribed qualifications

The Dental Council regulates six separate and distinct professions under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Under section 11(1) of the Act the Council must describe the contents of each profession in terms of one or more scopes of practice (scopes), and section 12 requires us to prescribe the qualification/s for every scope.

An external quality assurance review initiated by the Council highlighted some practices dating back to the inception of the Act that may have a potential for confusion or create legal uncertainty on what is, or is not, within a scope of practice. 

To address the issues related to scopes, Council proposes to:
  • attribute each scope to the profession it actually describes by removing references to a “subset of dentistry” or “part of the practice of dentistry” (except for the general dental practice and dental specialists’ scopes which do describe the profession of dentistry)
  • remove the title Detailed scope from the scopes
  • consolidate its Gazette notices by publishing one notice to replace all previous scopes and prescribed qualification notices.
The proposed amendments will NOT change, limit or impact the tasks practitioners registered in the affected scopes and related professions are currently able to perform in their day-to-day practice. Similarly, the professional relationships, established working relationships and agreements or supervision levels under which practitioners practise will not change as a result of these proposals.

The Council is also proposing some minor updates in this consultation to provide clarity and equity around prescribed qualifications for general dental practice and dental specialist scopes.

More specific details about these proposed changes are contained in the consultation document.

We invite your feedback

Council invites all practitioners and other individuals or organisations with an interest in this proposal to comment. Your feedback will inform the Council’s final decision.

You can complete your submissions online or email them to Alternatively, you can post submissions to Dental Council, PO Box 10-448, Wellington 6143.

Your submissions must reach us before 5pm on 12 December 2019.

Submissions are publicly available

All submissions received will be published on the Council’s website and will remain there as a public record. If you are an individual making a submission, only your name and profession (if you are a registered health practitioner), will be published on the Council’s website. All personal contact details will be removed from your submission.

As this is a public consultation, “in confidence” information will only be accepted under special circumstances. Please contact us before submitting material in confidence.

The Council holds the right not to publish any derogatory or inflammatory submissions.