Questions about Dental Practice Accreditation


Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of some frequently asked questions by our clients. if you don’t find the answer you seek, please feel free to contact us.

Dental practice accreditation is the formal recognition that a dental practice meets the requirements of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

The NSQHS Standards were developed in 2010 by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The primary aim of the NSQHS Standards is to protect the public from harm and improve the quality of care.

There are ten Standards, but only the first six are applicable to dental practices. These standards detail the minimal level of documented practice management required for accreditation.

Accreditation is all about creating written policies for your practice and demonstrating with supporting documentation that you are following them and constantly seeking to improve everything you do. Remember, if it’s not documented, it’s not done! And all documentation must meet the requirements set by the NSQHS Standards.

The documentation (evidence) is then provided to an independent third-party auditing agency.

An introductory dental practice accreditation (first-time accreditation) is a desktop audit only, as onsite audits are only required for a four-year reaccreditation period.

The process is the same for both general and specialist practices.

Register through the member’s section of the Australian Dental Association’s website or contact an independent auditing agency that has been approved by the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Once registered, you are given 12 months to submit all your evidence.

This will depend on how ready your practice already is. If there is a lot of documentation still to develop and staff to train, it can take 4–6 months.

It also depends on how urgently the practice wants it. The process can be accommodated in as little as 2–3 months or up to the 12 months available from the date of registration.

Each practice is unique and the timing depends on how much work is to be done and how quickly the practice can provide the required input, review and approvals.

It is a great opportunity to reflect on, review and improve all facets of your practice:

  • Confirming compliance with current legislation, regulations and standards
  • Developing effective policies and other documentation or updating existing paperwork
  • Ensuring workplace effectiveness via communication, staff performance reviews and consistent professional development
  • Reinforcing high levels of client confidentiality
  • Increasing staff confidence in practice operations because they understand why things are being done a certain way
  • Improving your professional reputation and giving your practice the recognition it deserves!

Accreditation to the Standards is mandatory for public dental practices and currently voluntary for private dental practices. Given increasing patient expectations, it is reasonable to expect that it will become mandatory for private practices in the near future.

Accreditation is awarded to the practice, not the individual practitioner.

No. Practices already must have risk management, infection control and prevention processes in place that comply with their relevant State or Territory legislative requirements.

The Introductory Dental Practice Accreditation Scheme does not impose new or heightened compliance requirements on dental practices or dental professionals. What it does is provide a simple framework for a practice to use to make sure they are compliant in all areas.

So, if you haven’t ticked all the boxes, this is an easy way to make sure!

Introductory Dental Accreditation is awarded for two years.

It is important to know upfront how much accreditation will cost.

To pursue accreditation, a dental practice must first register and pay the auditor’s fee. A current list of fees can be found in the member’s section of the ADA website if applying through the ADA.

The fee charged by Amalgamate does not include the accreditation registration fee.