DBA changes rules for overseas speakers

Legalise it!

At the most recent meeting of the Dental Board of Australia (DBA), the board has decided to change the rules regarding the limited registration of overseas speakers, according to its latest communiqué. The change has been greeted enthusiastically by the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), which claimed the previous policy—that overseas qualified dental practitioners must seek limited registration, even if they’re only here to speak—had caused a number of problems for members.

The DBS’s communiqué said: Under the National Law limited registration in the public interest is an all-purpose subtype of limited registration for dental practitioners who do not qualify for general or specialist registration, but in order to undertake practise in Australia are required, under the National Law, to be registered by the Board. These dental practitioners will usually be visiting from overseas for a short period and hold relevant qualifications in the division of dental practitioners and want to undertake, for example; clinical presentations, assist in an unexpected situation where a natural disaster has occurred or a pandemic was declared where dental practitioners were urgently needed, or fill a short term locum position or a short term exchange of practice with a dental practitioner. In order to grant Limited registration in the public interest the Board must be satisfied that it is in the public interest for the dental practitioner to practise the profession given the dental practitioner’s qualifications and experience.

In considering the above, the Board has agreed to an interim policy position until 30 June 2012:

Overseas qualified dental practitioners, not eligible for general registration in Australia, are not required to have limited registration in the public interest where they are making a presentation, speaking or lecturing which does not involve (hands on) clinical practice. The overseas qualified dental practitioners must not:

a. undertake clinical practice or supervise dental practitioners in any capacity in Australia; or

b. use a protected title under the National Law or hold themselves out as a registered dental practitioner in Australia.

“This is a great outcome for members, with ADIA having raised the matter at both a departmental and parliamentary level with the aim of securing this policy outcome,” the ADIA said in a statement to members. “Organisations such as the Australian Dental Association (ADA) made similar representations, with the DBA’s decision reflecting the benefits of an increasingly cooperative relationship between ADIA and ADA.”

The DBA will reconsider the policy at the end of the current financial year.


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  1. Wise decision by the Dental Health Board of Australia and the Trade Association are to be congratulated. Dr. Gordon Christensen, DDS,, MSD, Phd had to provide evidence of his very personal details, his proof that he is a dentist,his visa,copies of his undergraduate qualification,, his registration as a dentist and his work history + a fee of $547 to submit to the Board. I actually felt it demeaning to a person of his stature.


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