Certificate III in Dental Assisting

The national qualification, Certificate III in Dental Assisting (HLT31812), provides the skills and knowledge needed to assist a dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist during all health care procedures and help maintain high standards of infection control and safety in dental clinics. This is a nationally recognised qualification suitable for school leavers wanting to enter into a dental profession, mature age workers entering into or currently employed as dental assistants and those who enjoy working with people, have good manual dexterity, empathy and communication skills. The qualification is also available through the Traineeship pathway and Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and experience is also available.

About The Dental Assistants Professional Association Inc (DAPA)

The association is a registered training organisation (90424) with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). We have been providing training & support to dental assistants for over forty years. Our educators are highly qualified and skilled with extensive experience and currency in the dental industry. DAPA offer accredited and professional development courses through classroom delivery or distance learning – or a blend of both these options.

Entry requirements for HLT31812 - Certificate III in Dental Assisting

• Minimum educational entry level is a School Certificate (Year 10) or equivalent.
• Applicants must have a sound knowledge of English (minimum ESL 5.5) and be able to write and read documents in English and have a basic concept of maths to Year 10.
• Work placement is essential to gain the practical skills and competence required for this course by week 6
• Students should have immunisation for Tetanus and Hepatitis B in order to work in the Health Industry.
• It is the policy of the Association to accept entry without discrimination provided the language skills are demonstrated and there is no physical or psychological impediment for the student to be employed as a dental assistant.


A Traineeship is a great way to start your career in dental assisting and study for your Certificate III in Dental Assisting qualification. Trainees may enrol in Classroom Learning, Distance Learning or Blended Learning streams. Trainees may be eligible for funding assistance through the relevant State or Territory Government Apprenticeship & Traineeship Program, Depending on the State or Territory funding contract, students are responsible for a co-payment, administration or enrolment fee.
In NSW, Smart and Skilled is a reform of the NSW Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. It's purpose is to help people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers. From 1 January 2015, Smart and Skilled provides eligible students with:
an entitlement to government-subsidised training up to and including Certificate III
government funding for higher-level courses (Certificate IV and above) in targeted priority areas.
For more information and to check your eligibility, go to https://smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au or contact Smart & Skilled State Training Services Customer Support Centre
– 1300 772 104.

The Dental Assistants Professional Association Inc is approved to provide training in Certificate III in Dental Assisting under the Smart & Skilled Traineeship funding program to the following areas in NSW - Capital region, Central Coast, Central West, Coffs Harbour & Grafton, Far West & Orana, Hunter Valley Newcastle, Illawarra, Mid North Coast, Murray, New England North West, Richmond Tweed, Riverina, Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven & Sydney.

Certificate III in Dental Assisting is also approved as a school based traineeship in some states. School students in Years 10, 11 and 12 may enroll in this course and units will contribute towards their HSC. Successful completion of this course will means the student will be job ready to enter the workforce as a qualified dental assistant. For more information contact DAPA office on 02 9569 3220

Course Delivery Options

• Classroom Learning - at our fully equipped Sydney based training centre - 1 half day per week over selected weeks - detailed timetable available on request.
• Distance Learning - learn at your own pace from home
• Blended Learning - flexible learning opportunity to mix classroom and distance delivery

Course Outline

The certificate consists of eight core units of competence, and you must successfully complete all eight units to be awarded the qualification.
HLTHIR301C - Communicate and Work Effectively in Health
HLTIN301C - Comply with Infection Control Policies and Procedures
HLTIN302C - Process Reusable Instruments and Equipment in Health Work
HLTWHS200A - Participate in WHS Processes
HLTDA303D - Prepare For and Assist with Oral Health Care Procedures
HLTDA304D - Assist with Dental Radiography
HLTDA306D - Assist with Administration in Dental Practice
HLTFA311A - Apply First Aid (For our Classroom Learning students this unit is included in the course content. However, Distance Learning students will be required to complete this unit at our training centre in Sydney or in their own time, at their expense.)

Topics include

• Anatomy, Dental anatomy, Microbiology, Pathology, Oral pathology, Dental Pharmacology, Dental Instruments & materials, Specialist areas of dentistry, Implant dentistry, Dentistry for the aging, Diet and nutrition, Dental Jurisprudence,and Career options.


Assessments will be in the form of written, simulated workplace, verbal questioning, observation and workplace demonstration. Demonstration of competencies (practical skill demonstration) assessments will be conducted throughout the year.

Recognition for Prior Learning

Applicants who have extensive experience in dental assisting may apply for recognition of those skills. Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that assesses the individual’s formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes, or standards for entry to, and/or partial or total completion of, a qualification. For further information contact the Course Co-ordinator upon application.

Course Fees

See the below brochure for the latest course fees. Installment plans are available.

To register your interest, please fill in your details here.