We suddenly find ourselves at the end of 2018 – a year that has proved to be one of the busiest in my time with the Council.
We reached an important milestone with our new IT system in September as we started using the new system for the dentist and dental specialist APC round. Although we received the APC applications on paper, they were processed by our team using the new IT system. The next milestone will come early next year when we open the practitioner portal for our practitioners to submit their applications, make payments, and update their contact details online.
You can learn more about our IT system changes in the IT system update section of the newsletter - please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.
The Council remains focused on improving our current recertification system. Following some intensive and robust discussions around the Council table and in other forums, a discussion document was released for consultation on 13 August 2018. Consultation ended on 26 October and we are now reviewing over 400 submissions received before preparing a report for Council's consideration.
In mid-July we visited the University of Otago for the 12 postgraduate programmes accreditation review. This year we had a core team review all the generic accreditation standards and discipline specific sub-groups (made up of international academics – mostly from Australia, and a New Zealand practising dental specialist from each discipline) that focused on the individual curriculum and assessment aspects of the programmes under review.
This year is also the first time that the new Dental Council (NZ)/Dental Board of Australia dental specialist competencies was used as benchmark for the dental specialist curriculums and assessment processes. This new approach strengthened the robustness of the accreditation review process.
The Council also completed the accreditation review of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists’ orthodontic auxiliary training programme and the Auckland University of Technology’s undergraduate oral health programme.
The accreditation reviews are ongoing, with final accreditation decisions expected in early December.
I’ve visited the University of Otago on a number of occasions this year and have enjoyed watching the transformation of the new dental school from a construction site towards a state of the art facility. The new school in Dunedin and the teaching facility planned for South Auckland will be a valuable resource for our oral health students and graduates, and the public of New Zealand.
Finally on behalf of the Dental Council, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend congratulations to our ex Council Chair, Prof Robert Love, on becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to dentistry and research earlier this year. Prof Love is recognised as an international expert in dental accreditation, dental education and regulation, and a multi-award-winning researcher.
This is a wonderful personal achievement for Prof Love, and much deserved recognition of his leadership in the area of endodontics and dental regulation, amongst many other contributions to the dentistry profession.