The Dental Assistants Professional Association

Previously operating under the NSW Dental Assistants (Professional) Association, we have revised our constitution and rebranded to become the Dental Assistants Professional Association Inc, (DAPA) we invite membership of dental assistants throughout Australia who want to add their voice to the profession and promote the career of dental assisting in a national forum.

The Dental Assistants Association was originally formed over 50 years ago to work for the general advancement of our members and further the professional, social and industrial welfare of dental assistants and receptionists. Today, having rebranded and revised its constitution, the Dental Assistants Professional Association offers membership to dental assistants and practice managers working in private practice, public health and defence forces throughout Australia. The Association offers training, professional development, conference and events, advice and support for industrial and employment enquiries, and a national certification register of qualified professional staff. We are a Registered Training Organisation with Australian Skills Quality Authority to offer Nationally Recognised and accredited courses. The Dental Assistants Professional Association is the national voice and peak body for Dental Assistants in Australia. Through advocacy, employment advice, education and training, events and professional development we provide a network of opportunity and support for the dental staff.

Governance

The Dental Assistants Professional Association (DAPA) is a Not for Profit Association registered in NSW and governed by a Board of Directors who are nominated by members and elected for a four year term. Directors are volunteers (unpaid) who are bound by the DAPA Constitution and the Code of Conduct for Board Directors. The DAPA Constitution is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Changes to the constitution must be passed by Special Resolution at a General Meeting of the membership. Such changes require a 75% majority vote. You can download a copy of the current Constitution here.

As a Not for Profit Association, DAPA is subject to the legal requirements of the Associations Act (2001) and reports annually to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) and Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The DAPA is listed on ASIC and operates in all states and territories with an ABRN 166 156 183.

The AGM for the Dental Assistants Professional Association is held annually in October and Executive Committee Meetings are held bi-monthly.

DAPA's rules and governance structure are based on the principles of participatory democracy. We actively invite and encourage our membership to participate in and contribute to decision-making and direction-setting.

The Board

The Executive of the DAPA Board of Directors consists of:
President: Joanne Tomkins
Secretary/Treasurer: Darin Grace
Committee Member: Deborah Warnock
Executive Officer: Barbara Hayes

Aims of the DAPA

• To improve, protect and foster the best interests of its members and to assist them to obtain their rights, professional status and recognition as an integral part of the health care team
• To maintain, commence or revise training courses related to the work of Dental Assistant or Dental Secretaries at the end of which an appropriate Certificate shall be awarded, subject to the completion of any method of assessment which has been adopted in order to ensure Students have satisfied and satisfactorily understood the requirements of the course;
• To work for the certification and registration of Dental Assistants by the appropriate Registration Body;
• To express the views of Dental Assistants in matters affecting their professional, social, economic and educational welfare;
• To further the education of members by arranging or sponsoring or otherwise promoting discussion groups, seminars, lectures, workshops, conferences or other methods of on-going education.

Activities of the DAPA

• Registered Training Organisation delivering Nationally recognised Dental Assisting Qualification
• Conducts Continuing Professional Development Courses and Workshops
• Hosts annual Conference Event for the Dental Team
• Provides information and advice to members
• Provides website and discussion forum
• Employment assistance for employers and employees
• Maintains employment register and register of Certified Dental Assistant members
• Provides in-surgery training sessions
• Membership services and networking opportunities
• Quarterly newsletter

Privacy

The Dental Assistants Professional Association Inc is subject to the provisions of the PRIVACY ACT 1988 and applicable state and territory Privacy Acts. Any personal information you supply to us is used strictly in accordance with the Act and kept in the strictest confidence. You have the right to access and correct any personal information that the Association holds about you. Your personal information may be used only by this Association (or approved service providers) to improve our services and to provide you with the latest information about any new related services and promotions such as workshops, conferences and membership reminders.

To change or access information that may be stored by the Dental Assistants Professional Association please email privacy@dapa.asn.au. Our full privacy policy can be found here.

Dental Assistant Code of Ethics

“Ethics” are a set of moral principles or values. This code of ethics was developed by members of the original dental assistants association to set the standards of behaviour to maintain and improve the status of dental assisting within the health care profession. The welfare of the patient is the predominant focus of this code. All dental assistants should act by this minimum code.
• Foster the aims of the Association and maintain association standards
• maintain honesty, loyalty and diplomacy in all contacts with the profession and society
• give to the employer the co-operation and show the initiative and efficiency needed to serve all patients capably and efficiently
• work in a collaborative manner with all health care professionals and others involved with providing care, respecting their particular contributions within the care team
• work co-operatively with patients and their families, recognizing their involvement in the planning and delivery of care
• respond to patient’s need for care and comfort, exercising courtesy, kindness and consideration irrespective of origin, religion and cultural beliefs, or the nature of their health problems
• not advise any treatment for patients which require the professional expertise of a dentist, at the same time acknowledging any limitations in knowledge and competence and decline any duties or responsibilities unless qualified and able to perform them in a safe and skilled manner
• keep in confidence all professional details of dental colleagues, individual patients and the dental profession in general
• refrain from criticising the employer’s treatment of patients or any previous dental treatment or the dental profession in general
• contribute to and maintain a safe and effective care environment for patients and colleagues
• maintain and increase professional knowledge and competence by taking advantage of every educational opportunity available; and
• assist professional colleagues to develop their professional competence and assist others in the care team

In summary, your ethical duty to the patient is to:
- be competent in work and be abreast of the progress of dental science applicable to the work situation
- understand the patient as a human being
- bring to bear the full resources of training and not exceed the legal range of duties and observe the rules of professional confidentiality.