Policy Statement 3.10 - Clinical Practice Placements

Position Summary

Clinical practice placements must provide participants with the learning experiences to enable them to apply theory to patient care safely and with high quality. 

1. Background

1.1. Clinical practice placements are regarded as an essential element in the education and training of dental students.

1.2. Clinical practice placements provide the ability for dental students to engage in hands on learning to complement their theoretical and pre-clinical education.

1.3. The content and volume of learning opportunities and skills developed may vary widely depending on each clinical placement.

1.4. Placement numbers and demand in Australia have increased due to:

•  increased numbers of dental students;

•  the introduction of new curricula;

• limited clinical facilities at universities; and

• demand from students for broader clinical experiences.


1.5 BOARD is the Dental Board of Australia.

1.6 CLINICAL PRACTICE PLACEMENTS (PLACEMENTS) are positions in clinics which provide clinical teaching for dental students.

1.7 DENTAL PRACTITIONER is a person registered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency via the Board to provide dental care.

1.8 CLINICAL SUPERVISOR is a person providing professional guidance to Participants.

2. Position

2.1. Placements for dental students should further the knowledge, attitudes and skills of dental students.

2.2. Placements for dental students should provide observation and/or participation in a range of clinical experience for dental students which is commensurate with their anticipated scope of practice in the following:

• Both public and private sector dental practice

• Community and hospital settings: and

• Regional and remote areas.

2.3. Education providers and facilitators of Placements should ensure the protection and safety of the public.

2.4. The Australian Dental Council should ensure the inclusion of clinical placements in accredited dental courses.

2.5. There must be, for each Placement, a formal agreement which clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of all parties.

2.6. Placements must fully comply with Board requirements.

2.7. Clinical Supervisor must be registered as Dental Practitioners by the Board to at least the level of the Division for which the student participant is training and have at least two years’ experience.

2.8. The Clinical Supervisor must not be subject to conditions by the Board.

2.9. Dental students must be provided with high quality academic support and clinical supervision and a broad range of clinical experience.

2.10. Academic institutions and government departments/agencies participating in Placements must provide appropriate training, support and offer appropriate financial remuneration for clinical supervisors.

2.11. Governments should provide adequate funding to ensure that Placements may be conducted throughout Australia.

2.12. Educational outcomes for Placements must be clearly defined.

2.13. Placements must be subject to regular comprehensive evaluations of educational outcomes. 

Approved by Federal Council

Document Version:
April 2021
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Policy Statement 3.10

Adopted by ADA Federal Council, April 12/13, 2007.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, November 13/14, 2008.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, November 12/13, 2009.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, November 17/18, 2011.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, November 13/14, 2014.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, August 17/18, 2017.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, November 20,2020.
Amended by ADA Federal Council, April 23, 2021.