Since the National Law was introduced, the AMC has developed templates for reporting accreditation findings against the accreditation standards, to support the AMC governing body making a decision on whether standards are met or substantially met. This revised reporting format provides a more detailed assessment of each program and provider against the accreditation standards than was provided in AMC reports before the National Law was introduced. Because it had enhanced the level of detail by providing a public statement of findings against each standard, the AMC decided that it needed a clear mechanism to facilitate consistency between AMC assessments of providers and programs against the standards.
Inter-agency collaboration to create efficiencies – a pilot between ANMAC and the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA)
The project was the first and currently only formal inter-agency arrangement conducted to identify: similarities in organisational requirements/processes, areas for collaboration; opportunities for sharing resources and the feasibility of a mutual recognition system in the assessment and accreditation of Australian higher education providers.
In 2014, the ADC engaged with many of the specialist academies and societies to identify how the duplication of effort could be reduced and the two processes aligned. A revised ADC accreditation process for specialist dental programs was developed that required a specialist assessor to be included in the ADC SET for each specialist program being reviewed. Each of the relevant academies or societies were invited to nominate members to the pool of ADC Accreditation Assessors to fill these roles.
In 2014 the ADC agreed on a gradual shift to more risk-based accreditation processes. In this case, risk was defined as the risk of a program failing to meet one or more of the ADC Accreditation Standards. The desired end goal of such a shift is that programs deemed to be at low risk of not meeting the Accreditation Standards can be subject to a more focussed and ‘right touch’ accreditation process, while those deemed to be at higher risk of not meeting the accreditation standards can be subject to a more rigorous accreditation process. As a first step on this journey the ADC revised its annual reporting process to focus on the collection of ‘risk data’ for each accredited program.
At the beginning of 2014 the ADC, in partnership with the DC(NZ), undertook to fundamentally review and revise its accreditation standards. A Program Accreditation Standards Steering Committee was formed to oversee the review process and as well as including representatives from the dental profession it also included representatives from the Australian and NZ Podiatry Accreditation Council, Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia and Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.
With the introduction of ADC’s new Accreditation Standards for Dental Practitioner Programs (the Accreditation Standards) at the beginning of 2016 the ADC accreditation process has moved to a much stronger focus on program outcomes. To this end, from 2016 the ADC is offering a free annual written examination for dental students to be conducted part way through the students’ final year. This will be a standardised examination provided by the ADC to all dental program providers that wish to participate in this benchmarking exercise. Participation is not mandated.
The ADC Accreditation Monitoring Framework was introduced in 2014 and updated in 2016. Distributed to all providers of ADC accredited programs and available on the ADC website the Framework provides clarity on the key accreditation monitoring activities undertaken by the ADC to ensure that accredited programs continue to meet the ADC Accreditation Standards for Dental Practitioner Programs (the Accreditation Standards).