We’re more than halfway through 2016 and the year has been a busy one for the Dental Council. We have just completed our strategic planning day, which is a chance for our council members to get round the table and work through some of the projects our staff are working on and provide guidance, feedback and direction on where to go next.
One of the major projects we are working on is the recertification review, which is one of our five strategic priorities. The Council has been gathering information and scoping the project for some time now. There is still work to be done in terms of getting enough information together to understand what kind of system will deliver the best outcomes for the public and for our practitioners. Once we have a clearer idea of the kinds of systems that we could use, we will be talking with practitioners and asking for your views on what you think works and doesn’t work with the current system, and where you think the priorities should lie. We hope to begin this consultation process later this year.
Another of our strategic priorities is for the Dental Council to be a capable organisation. In line with this, we have recently undergone a restructure and experienced some staff changes as a result. In May, we said goodbye to some long-standing staff members—Corporate Services Manager Kevin Simmonds and Finance Officer Kim Hopkinson who had been on the Council staff for seven and 16 years respectively. We thank them both for their contributions to the Council and wish them all the best for the future.
The restructure has seen us welcome several new staff, which has added depth and experience in the areas of policy, research, engagement, business planning and IT. For the past few years we have frequently required the input of consultants and short term staff appointments to manage the workload in these areas. Our new staff will help ensure we are able to deliver the strategic priorities agreed to by the Council.
We are currently consulting on the Sedation practice standard and proposed changes to prescribed qualifications in oral surgery and oral pathology. I encourage you to go to our current consultations pageand make a submission.
Lastly, I was pleased to speak at the Dental Hygienists’ Association conference last week—it is always refreshing to talk directly with our practitioners. The sense there was that practitioners were positive about the Council's strategic direction and activities. Conference delegates were encouraged by the Association to participate in Council consultation to ensure their voice is heard - Council values and considers all submissions to inform its decision-making.