Item Portal

Domain 7. Assessing overseas qualified practitioners


Australian Dental Council


Quality Framework for Accreditation Function: Domain 7 Assessing overseas qualified practitioners.

Issue addressed

The ADC assessment of overseas qualified dental practitioners is a three-step process:

  1. Initial Assessment of documents
  2. Written Examination
  3. Practical Examination

The ADC maintains a large item bank to support the Written Examination. In order to maintain examination content which is current and topical, the ADC continually engages dental professionals to review existing content and to write new questions.

The current process involves face-to face workshops or electronic circulation between dental professionals.

Key issues identified in relation to current processes include:

  • manually intensive administrative processing,
  • high cost and limited output of face-to-face workshops
  • data (including reviewers versions of examination questions and notes, reviewers, approvers, historical detail etc.), is held in disparate systems such as Microsoft Word, Excel, writing pads, emails and item bank,
  • security of examination content is difficult to ensure

Key challenges that need to be addressed by any alternate system include:

  • multiple simultaneous reviews of exam content must be possible,
  • any solution needs to be intuitive,
  • interaction between  Reviewers,  Approvers  and  other  specialists associated with any solution must encourage collegiality, and
  • a complete history of any changes to existing content must be maintained.

Practice introduced or changed

The ADC has embarked on a project to develop an online web portal (Item Portal) allowing:

  • secured access to the system by Contributors using managed credentials (e.g. User ID and password),
  • presentation of work to be completed by Contributors using a Dashboard/Work-tray approach, workflow of data (e.g. the progression of reviewed Items or new Items from Contributor to Contributor on that completion of their work) using a set of pre-defined rules,
  • the ability to add/edit/delete Images to items,
  • provision of a Forum facility allowing Contributors to discuss the specifics of Items being worked on,
  • the inclusion of a super-user with an ability to oversee all projects,
  • an interface with the current item


It is anticipated that, on implementation, the Item Portal will provide a simple to use, stream-lined system for item authoring and review.

The interface with the current item bank will allow content to be moved securely in and out of the item bank.

The Item Portal will allow authors and reviewers to work on items at any time and to discuss items with other contributors in a secure environment. Author resources and guides will be in a single site and updates to authoring guides, etc. can be pushed out quickly to all contributors.

Projects, workflow and contributors can be managed by a single “super user”, reducing the resource burden of the current system.

Where to go for more information

Please contact the ADC Director, Assessments and Examinations Denise Bailey at