The Dental Council of New Zealand (DCNZ) is a regulatory authority created by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. It ensures oral health practitioners meet and maintain DCNZ standards in order to protect the health and safety of the public of New Zealand. Use this website to review qualifications and contact details for all oral health practitioners, and download DCNZ practice standards.
DCNZ regulates dentists, dental specialists, dental therapists, dental hygienists, oral health therapists, clinical dental technicians, dental technicians, and orthodontic auxiliaries
The annual registration process involves recertification the practitioner is competent and fit to practice. Evidence is requested from practitioners to support recertification.
DCNZ is responsible for:
- setting standards for entry to the Register
- registering oral health practitioners
- setting standards of clinical and cultural competence, and ethical conduct to be met by all oral health practitioners
- recertifying all practising oral health practitioners each year
- reviewing and remediating the competence of oral health practitioners
- investigating the conduct or health of oral health practitioners where there are concerns about their performance, and taking appropriate action.
As a part of those functions and responsibilities DCNZ will:
- set accreditation standards and competencies for each of the dental professions
- monitor and accredit the oral health programmes to ensure the quality of education and training is appropriate
- set scopes of practice within which oral health practitioners may practise
- prescribe qualifications for each scope of practice
- maintain a public register of all registered oral health practitioners, including those who are not currently practising
- issue annual practising certificates to oral health practitioners who have maintained their competence and fitness to practise, to continue practising their professions
- develop and maintain minimum standards through practice standards that all oral health practitioners must comply with
- require registered oral health practitioners to undertake continuing professional development education
- manage oral health practitioners suffering from health issues affecting their practice
- place conditions on, or restrict an oral health practitioner’s scope of practice, or suspend their practising certificate, if that is appropriate to protect the health and safety of the public.
DCNZ’s role is to protect the health and safety of patients and the public, not to protect the interests of oral health practitioners. DCNZ has legal powers that permit it to enforce the standards the public have a right to expect of oral health practitioners in New Zealand, and it is the goal of the DCNZ to administer those powers, consistently, fairly and effectively.