We recently completed accreditation reviews for University of Otago, AUT and orthodontic auxiliary training programmes.
The University of Otago offers 12 postgraduate programmes that are accredited for registration as a dental specialist or a clinical dental technician with the Dental Council in New Zealand. These include the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry programmes in 10 disciplines, a Master of Community Dentistry and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dental Technology.
A joint postgraduate accreditation review was conducted, with the site visit from 16 to 19 July 2018 at the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry in Dunedin. The site evaluation team (SET) interviewed stakeholders that included:
This is the first New Zealand accreditation where the new Dental Council (NZ)/Dental Board of Australia dental specialist competencies were used as a benchmark for the dental specialist curriculums and assessments.
The SET consisted of a core team that reviewed all the generic accreditation standards, with discipline specific groups comprising of an international academic primarily from Australia, and a New Zealand practising dental specialist from each discipline who focussed on the individual curriculum and assessment aspects of the programmes under review. This significantly strengthened the review process with the relevant discipline expertise available to inform the process.
The SET concluded that the following eight postgraduate programmes met all the accreditation standards, and were granted accreditation until 31 December 2023:
The Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (paediatric dentistry) programme was also granted a five year accreditation period until 31 December 2023 conditional on increased clinically immersive hospital sessions and/or placements being put in place by May 2019. The reason for the condition is to increase the exposure of paediatric postgraduate students to the management of acute paediatric dental emergencies and complex paediatric cases, and experience in hospital management of paediatric patients.
Two of the DClinDent programmes did not meet the programme of study accreditation standard, and substantially met the assessment standard. These were the oral medicine and special needs dentistry programmes.
Due to the nature and extent of the shortcomings identified, the assessors considered these programmes have significant shortcomings that support a shorter accreditation period. However, the assessors considered that the programmes can put appropriate measures in place to address these shortfalls within a reasonable timeframe to ensure graduates are competent at completion of their programme.
DClinDent Oral medicine programme
The programme was granted accreditation with conditions until 31 December 2019.
Key concerns of the oral medicine programme were:
Conditions were put in place for the programme with strict timeframes within which evidence that these have been implemented should be provided to the Council, the last of which should be reported back by 15 November 2019.
The conditions relate to:
DClinDent special needs programme
The programme was granted accreditation with conditions until 31 March 2020.
Key concerns related to the special needs dentistry (SND) programme were:
Conditions were placed on the programme relating to: establish appropriate outplacement opportunities for all SND students; revisiting and strengthening its final examination process and assuring SND external examiner participation, with an external examiner report to the Council confirming that the issues identified have been addressed. The last condition must be reported on by 31 January 2020.
Conditions common to all programmes
Conditions applicable to all the accredited postgraduate programmes were placed relating to:
Oral and maxillofacial surgery programme
The SET considered that based on the evidence provided the accreditation standards related to the programme of study and assessments were not met. Consequently, accreditation for the programme was declined.
The key concerns by the team were:
The assessors identified a number of areas that the programme must address to enable the programme to meet the required accreditation standards. This will allow the programme to address the deficiencies. The Faculty can resubmit the programme for accreditation once they consider that the accreditation standards are met. Revisiting the accreditation of the programme can then occur. There was no active DClinDent OMFS student in the programme at the time of the visit.
What do shortened accreditation or accreditation declined mean?
The three programmes with conditions must report on their conditions to the Dental Council by the timeframes stipulated. All reports will be submitted to the ADC/DC(NZ) Accreditation Committee, following which the Dental Council will consider whether the conditions have been met. Accreditation of programmes may be revoked if the Council considers that the conditions have not been met.
The programmes with shortened accreditation periods or where accreditation was declined, will communicate the accreditation outcome to existing students and future applicants to the programmes. Graduates from unaccredited New Zealand programmes are not eligible for registration with the Dental Council.
The full report is available on our website. Section 2.1 relates to the accreditation standards common across all programmes, and the programme-specific commentary follows in section 2.2.
Overall, the Council was concerned about the level of serious deficiencies identified in a number of programmes. With the Faculty being the sole dentist and dental specialist training provider in New Zealand, the Council saw this as a risk for the education of the dental workforce. The Council believes that it is in the best interest of patient care to have access to a range of dental specialty educational programmes to serve the oral health needs of the New Zealand population, but it must ensure that the graduates entering the profession are competent and safe to practise within their respective scope of practice.
To this end the Council is committed to work with the Faculty to ensure that the programmes where serious deficiencies have been identified, are brought back up to standard.
The Bachelor of Health Science (oral health) programme gained full accreditation in 2008, ending on 31 December 2018. The site visit was conducted on 20 and 21 September 2018 at the Faculty in Auckland.
During the site visit, the site evaluation team (SET) held interviews with the Faculty and programme leadership teams, staff from all years, most clinical educators, students from all years, recent graduates, Māori and Pasifika specialist advisors, clinic managers, chair of the advisory committee and professional bodies.
The new AUT University Akoranga Integrated Health Clinic, Buckland Road clinic and pre-clinical space were visited by the SET.
The SET considered that all the accreditation standards were met, but made a number of quality improvement suggestions to ensure that the programme continued to meet the accreditation standards and improve programme delivery.
The primary areas of focus for the programme are:
The New Zealand Association of Orthodontists - Orthodontic Auxiliary Training Programme (NZAO OATP) leads to the Certificate of Orthodontic Assisting and enables successful trainees to register as orthodontic auxiliaries with the Dental Council in New Zealand.
The programme was developed by the NZAO to address the workforce needs for auxiliary staff to assist orthodontists, and was granted its first accreditation in 2010. Training is undertaken in-house in orthodontic practices, and trainees are supervised by approved orthodontists.
The site visit was conducted on 31 August 2018 during the final assessment held at the Faculty of Dentistry Department of Orthodontics in Dunedin. Interviews were held with the programme leadership, administrator, supervisors, clinical evaluator, chief examiner, examiners, and current and recent trainees.
The site evaluation team (SET) considered that all accreditation standards have been met.
A number of focus areas have been identified to ensure the programme continues to meet the accreditation standards, along with some suggested improvements. These include:
The Council granted accreditation until 31 December 2023.