Involving consumers in dental decisions

13 March 2019
Can patients meaningfully contribute to accreditation processes?
Following a competitive tender process, the Australian Dental Council has appointed the University of Sydney to complete research into the involvement of consumers in the design and delivery of dental assessments and examinations.
dental examination


It is becoming internationally recognised that consumer participation in the design and delivery of healthcare plays a vital role in providing safe, quality services in all settings, but what are the benefits of patient involvement in accreditation processes?

New research being conducted by The University of Sydney School of Dentistry will identify possible areas for consumers and the community to meaningfully contribute to the processes of accreditation authorities, such as the Australian Dental Council (ADC).

As the end users of the services performed by dental practitioners, lead investigator Dr Alexander Holden says, "it's increasingly important for dental patients to take an active role in the process of designing and implementing the assessments and examinations that allow dental practitioners to register as qualified clinicians."

As an emerging area of inquiry, there is a growing focus among accreditation authorities on what benefits consumers can bring to organisational processes and this study will help the ADC better understand how other organisations, nationally and internationally, can involve consumers and the community in similar processes.

The preliminary assumptions of the research are:

  • that consumer contribution to the design and delivery of accreditation processes has the potential to bring about service wide improvements in quality; and
  • the findings of this study will provide evidence to inform future policy and assessment processes and play an important role in helping the dental education and research community to set priorities and lines of inquiry.

More information on the ADC’s dental practitioner assessment process is available here.


Lead researcher

Dr Alex Holden
Dr Alexander Holden
View academic profile

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