Approved Qualifications

When applying for registration with the GDC it will be essential to provide a copy of your qualification certificate.

From 31st July 2008 the following qualifications are accepted for entry to the DCP register as a dental nurse:

  • National Certificate for Dental Nurses (NEBDN)
  • S/NVQ Level 3 Oral Healthcare: Dental Nursing (City & Guilds and SQA)
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Nursing (awarded by Dental Hospitals)
  • Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing (awarded by The University of Portsmouth)

From July 2008, only registered dental nurses are able to use the title ‘dental nurse’. The GDC also decided to legally protect the title ‘dental surgery assistant’ this title will only be available to people registered with the GDC. The GDC state that this is not because they think that dental nurses will want to be known as DSAs – they know that is not the case, and they will continue to use the title ‘dental nurse’ – this action was taken to stop the title DSA being used by anyone who decides for some reason not to register.

Student (Trainee) Dental Nurses

Student dental nurses are not required to register with the GDC and are NOT required to inform them that they are in training. Student dental nurses are deemed in training if they are studying for a registrable qualification in their field.

The GDC Council has agreed, as a result of the Scope of Practice consultation undertaken in early 2008, that student dental nurses are those that:

  1. Are employed by a practice and enrolled on a training course but waiting for the course to start; or
  2. Are employed by a practice and waiting for enrolment for a training programme to open; or
  3. Have passed the examination for the National Certificate but are still completing the 24 months’ chairside experience needed to get their certificate.

In all the above cases:

  • Before the student dental nurse undertakes any duties in the practice he or she must receive an appropriate induction, which must include confidentiality and health and safety in the practice
  • The student dental nurse must keep a log book of the training they receive in the practice;
  • The student dental nurse must not undertake exposure prone procedures, including cleaning instruments, until they have received their appropriate vaccinations as required in the area where they practice.

A named supervising registrant must take responsibility for supervising a dental nurse in training. By undertaking this responsibility, the supervising registrant agrees to be accountable for the work of the student dental nurse.

A short distance learning course to support the induction of newly employed student dental nurses is available in the East of England through Barnfield College in Luton further information is available on the right side of the page. This short course ensures that the employer is meeting the GDC requirements for induction as set out in the Scope of Practice document.

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