Skill Assessment For The ADC Exam: The Gateway to a Dental Career In Australia

If becoming a dentist in Australia is your dream, then the skill assessment is your stepping stone. Here’s why.


  • Why is skill assessment important?
  • Who is eligible for the ADC skill assessment?
  • An overview of the ADC skill assessment

It is no surprise that healthcare professionals from around the world are flocking to Australia. The healthcare system in Australia is advanced and impressive. There are lots of opportunities for dentists in Australia. The lucrative salary packages, high standards of living, opportunities for learning and growth, and career development are some of the few factors out of the long list of advantages that allure healthcare professionals to migrate to Australia. Let’s take a look at the skill assessment process for dentists aspiring to migrate to Australia.

Table of Contents

  • What is the purpose of the skill assessment process?
  • The eligibility for the skill assessment
  • The skill assessment process
    • Creation of the ADC Connect Account
    • Identification of the application type
    • Completion of the initial assessment 
    • Arrangement for the certificate/letter of good standing to be sent to the ADC
    • Receiving of the initial assessment outcome 

What is the purpose of the Skill Assessment process?

Before attending the ADC exam, the candidate needs to be considered eligible. The skill assessment conducted by the Australian Dental Council, will check if the candidate is eligible or not. This skill assessment will ensure that the internationally trained dentists meet the necessary standards and requirements to practise safe and effective dentistry in the Australian setting. Several components including qualifications and educational background, professional experience and references, and document verification are taken into account during this process of skill assessment. Here are the important purposes of conducting a skill assessment while choosing candidates for the Australian Dental Council Exam. 

  • Ensuring competency and safety

The primary purpose of the ADC skill assessment is to ensure that internationally trained dentists possess the necessary skills and knowledge to practise dentistry safely and competently in Australia.

  •  Establishing equivalency

The skill assessment process helps establish the equivalency of internationally obtained dental degrees with the Australian dental qualifications. Australia has specific educational standards for dental practice, and the ADC assesses the qualifications of overseas-trained dentists to determine if their educational background aligns with the required standards. This evaluation ensures that candidates have received education and training that is comparable to that of Australian dental graduates.

  • Validating professional experience

Through the skill assessment, the ADC validates the professional experience of internationally trained dentists. This validation process ensures that dentists have a solid foundation of practical experience before entering the Australian dental workforce.

  • Assuring ethical conduct and professionalism 

The ADC skill assessment evaluates the ethical conduct and professionalism of candidates. Dentists are entrusted with the responsibility of providing care with integrity, empathy, and respect for patients’ rights and well-being.

The Eligibility for the Skill Assessment

The skill assessment by the Australian Dental Council will make sure that the candidate applying for the ADC has the qualifications at the required level comparable in duration and content to the Australian dental profession context. 

The candidate must hold a four-year, full time university dental degree, or diploma, from a recognised university. He/she must also hold full and unrestricted registration or licence in their home country or country of training. Letter/Certificate of Good Standing from the most recent registration/licensing authority must be provided by the candidate. When the Australian Dental Council starts assessing the candidate’s initial assessment, he/she will be given a reference number. This number should be provided when they are contacting the Australian Dental Council about their application. 

The candidate can apply any time for the initial assessment. The timeframe of the assessment is approximately 8 weeks. It can be further delayed when the information submitted by the candidate is incomplete. The validity of the assessment is 7 years. This means that the candidate should proceed with the ADC written exam within seven years of clearing the initial assessment. 

The Skill Assessment Process

There are a few steps the candidate needs to take to complete his/her initial assessment conducted by the Australian Dental Council before getting into the ADC written exam.

Creation of the ADC Connect account

Creating an ADC Connect account is the first and foremost step that needs to be taken by the candidate while starting his/her dental practitioner assessment process by the ADC. With the help of an ADC Connect account, the candidate can finish off the initial assessment any time. 

Identification of the Application Type

The candidate needs to confirm his/her registration and the type of application in the beginning of the application process. Registration type refers to the general registration division that the candidate wants to register with the Dental Board of Australia. The registration type for internationally trained dentists can be different from the Australian citizens.

The application type refers to the application that the candidate wishes to complete. There are mainly three options for application types that the dentist can choose from. 

  • Initial assessment for registration 
  • Skill assessment 
  • Initial assessment for registration and a skills assessment

If the candidate prefers to complete an initial assessment for registration and skill assessment, he/she must meet the documentation requirements mentioned in the skill assessment section in the official website of the Australian Dental Council.

It is recommended by the Australian Dental Council that the internationally trained dentists contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs before starting their application to find out if they require a skill assessment.

Completion of the Initial Assessment

The initial assessment application and the payment must be completed as instructed.

There is a list of documents that the candidate should compulsorily submit along with the application. The list is as follows.

  • Current passport
  • Recent passport photo (that meets Australian passport photo guidelines)
  • Evidence of change of name (if required)
  • Dental qualification, official certificate, or testamur
  • Academic transcript
  • Internship certificate (if completed as part of your qualification)
  • Evidence of registration or licence to practise dentistry.

Passport photographs must be clear and uploaded as a .png file. All other documents must be clear and submitted in .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .docx, .doc, .tif, or .tiff format.

Providing an English translation of any document issued in a language other than English is mandatory for the candidate. 

If the candidate’s supporting documents have a different, or different versions of his/her name, they will need to provide evidence. Evidence must be a legal change of name document, issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages, or an official change of name by deed poll. If their educational institution or registering authority has altered or abbreviated their name, they must provide an explanatory letter directly to the ADC. It is to be noted that newspaper or gazette articles, affidavits of statutory declarations are not considered legal evidence.

Arrangement for the Certificate/Letter of Good Standing to be sent to the ADC

The candidate must arrange for a certificate/letter of good standing to be sent to the ADC. This must be sent directly to the Australian Dental Council from the organisation responsible for regulating dental registration or dental licence in the candidate’s country of practice. Certificates/letters of good standing in electronic and hard copy formats will be accepted by the ADC. Letters of good standing received before the candidate submits his/her application submission are valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

Receiving of the Initial Assessment Outcome

The Australian Dental Council will contact the candidate via email advising of the outcome of their assessment once it is assessed. There are three possible outcomes. 

  • Your application is successful, and you are eligible to apply for the written examination.
  • Your application is incomplete, and you are required to submit additional information.
  • Your application is unsuccessful, and you are ineligible to proceed with the process.

The ADC skill assessment serves a vital purpose in the pathway to dental practice in Australia. Through comprehensive evaluation of qualifications, clinical skills, ethical conduct, and professionalism, the assessment ensures that internationally trained dentists meet the necessary standards for safe and high-quality dental care. By establishing equivalency, validating experience, and facilitating registration, the ADC skill assessment plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the dental profession and safeguarding the oral health of the Australian population.

If you need help with the preparation of the ADC exam or have questions in your mind, reach out to us today!

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Q: Can a dentist from India attend the ADC exam?

Ans: Yes. A qualified dentist from India can attend the ADC exam. He/she must have graduated from a university or institution recognised by the ADC.

Q: Is English proficiency required for the initial assessment?

Ans: The skill assessment applicants need not provide English Language Test results. However the candidate is expected to have English proficiency as the written and practical exams are conducted in English. 

Q: Can the initial assessment be completed from India?

Ans: Yes. The initial assessment can be completed from India. The ADC exam centres are also available in India.

Dr. Akram Ahmad, PhD is the brainchild of Dr. Akram Ahmad. He has done his PhD from the Faculty of Medicine and Health, the University of Sydney, Australia. He is a self-motivated clinical pharmacist and committed lecturer with over 9 years of teaching and research experience in various subjects of medicine at the leading Universities in Australia, Malaysia, and India.

Dr. Akram is the recipient of prestigious “Best Promising Researcher Award” from the UCSI University (Malaysia). He has also published over 110 papers, book chapters, conference papers including in high-impact journals. In addition to that, he is a reviewer and editorial board member in
several journals of medicine and pharmacy.

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