Dental Therapist Recruitment

Background

SA Dental Service is a health unit within the Central Adelaide Local Health Network.  We provide population health based dental services for children and eligible adults through clinics across South Australia in metropolitan and country areas. Some clinics are located in hospitals or community health centres whilst others are located in school grounds or are discrete dental facilities.   We also work in partnership with the University of Adelaide to educate and train many of the State’s dental professionals.

The Service consists of 2 clinical Divisions –

Adelaide Dental Hospital (ADH) –is a provider of specialist services and a centre for undergraduate dental education in South Australia in conjunction with the University of Adelaide.

Statewide Dental Services (SWDS) – provides dental services in the metropolitan and country areas of South Australia and is another key contributor to undergraduate dental students. The Division has two branches:-

School Dental Service – all South Australian children (aged up to 18 years) are eligible for oral health care with the School Dental Service.

Community Dental Service – provides eligible adults with a range of general, emergency and removable prosthetic dental services.  Adults (or their adult dependents) with a current Commonwealth government issued concession card are eligible to receive services.

Dental Therapist positions

Dental Therapists (DTs) in SA Dental Service are classified under the SA Health “Allied Health Professional” (AHP) stream. They may be registered with the Dental Board of Australia as either a Dental Therapist or an Oral Health Therapist.

The classification levels for Dental Therapist positions are at the AHP1, AHP2 and AHP 3 levels. Within each classification level there are a number of salary increments.

  • AHP1 & AHP2 level positions are general DT positions
  • AHP 3 level positions are Senior Practitioner roles with responsibility for clinical KPI’s and staff development in the organisation.

The starting classification and increment level for a newly qualified Dental Therapist is at the AHP101 increment level. Dental Therapists with 5+ years’ experience will be appointed at AHP105.

Dental Therapists who have been at the AHP105 level for 12 months will be eligible to apply for the AHP2 classification level after satisfactory completion of probation and sustained achievement of clinical and business KPI’s over four consecutive quarters.

Recruitment

SA Dental Service recruits DT’s 1-2 times a year (depending on staffing requirements) for the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool. The recruitment process aims to find suitable candidates for permanent and contract Dental Therapy roles at the AHP1 or AHP2 levels to fill vacancies which can arise at any time. The candidate pool is explained on page 3.  Positions at the AHP3 level are promotional roles which are advertised when a vacancy becomes available.  The selection process is merit based with candidates ranked in relative order of merit against the Position Descriptions.

Recruitment Process

Step 1 – Lodge Applications 

Step 2 – Reference checks

Step 3 – Interviews

Step 4 – Outcome (Successful or Unsuccessful)


Step 1 : Application

All vacancies are advertised on the SA Health Careers website www.sahealthcareers.com.au 

Applications for Dental Therapy positions can only be completed and lodged electronically through this website when the application period is open.

The advertisement contains the electronic application form for applicants to complete and attach a brief cover letter and a current resume.

Step 2 : Reference Checks

All applicants will be required to provide at least two referees for the selection panel to contact. It is important the referees are relevant– i.e. able to provide comment on a range of questions relating to the candidates clinical skills and abilities, rather than a character reference. A dentist or dental therapist colleague who has worked with the candidate within the past 2 years would be in a better position to provide comment than a non-dentist /non- dental therapist.

For final year Bachelor of Oral Health/ Oral Health Therapist  Students  it is imperative that referees are supervisors /tutors involved in the clinical sessions during the final year of study and are able to answer questions relating to the skills and abilities of the student.

Step 3 : Interviews

Shortlisted  candidates are invited to participate in an interview undertaken by the Selection Panel. Interviews can be undertaken in person and where it is difficult for a candidate to attend a phone interview can be arranged.

Step 4 : Outcome

  • Successful – included in the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool
  •  Unsuccessful – candidates are welcome to reapply in the next selection process

Dates for the next DT selection process

Open date:  Friday 4 September 2020

Closing date : Sunday 20 September 2020

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on various days across the period : Monday 19 –Monday  26 October 2020

Outline of the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool     

  • SA Dental service utilises the Dental Therapist Candidate Pool to fill Dental Therapist vacancies in the organisation
  • As staffing in any organisation is rarely static, vacancies can occur at any time. It is therefore useful to have a pool of candidates to directly approach who have been selected as suitable for employment (via a merit based selection process) to fill vacant positions. This is more efficient than having to conduct a separate selection process each time a vacancy occurs.
  • When vacancies arise the information (including location, description of the role, hours per week etc.) is circulated to the candidates in the pool.
  • All candidates in the pool are asked to indicate if they are or are not initially interested in the available role/s and are asked to respond within a 3 day timeframe.
  • Candidates who are not interested in a position remain in the pool for 12 months and continue to be notified of any available positions for which they can express interest.
  • For the group who indicated interest, careful consideration is given to match the vacancy to the skill and experience levels of candidates. Discussions commence with the highest ranked candidate.
    • After further discussion with relevant managers to provide more detailed information to assist candidates make a decision, if it is a role they would like to accept we arrange appointment to the position.
    • If it is a role they decide they are not interested in, the candidate remains in the pool as described above and the next ranked candidate from those interested is approached. This process is repeated until the vacancy is filled. 

Pre- employment

Candidates who accept an offer of employment will be sent the necessary pre-employment documentation to complete including the screening checks listed below. An offer of employment can only be confirmed if these mandatory checks are satisfactory.

Health Care Worker Immunisation Screening – it is a requirement to provide the SA Dental Service Staff Health Nurse with documented evidence of immunisations and blood test results for immunity against a range of diseases.  Immunisation boosters may be required to complete the Pre-employment screening and gain a clearance to work with SA Dental Service.

Working With Children Check – undertaken via the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI).  National Police Checks are not sufficient to gain employment with SA Dental Service.

Credentialing  -  All dental operators need to be credentialed before they can commence their clinical position. Credentialing is the formal process of checking

….“to verify the qualifications, experience, and professional standing of health care practitioners for the purpose of forming a view about their competence, performance and professional suitability to provide safe, high quality health care services “.

Dental practitioners are asked to provide certified copies of relevant documents to support the declaration made in their application form.

When these clearances are in place, a start date as well as arrangements for induction & orientation are confirmed which includes a clinical program, policy discussion and training in the Titanium system (patient charting, recording and appointing system utilised in SA Dental Service).

Recommended action

To keep updated on DT Selection processes we recommend registering for a “Job Alert” on the SA Health Careers website.

Log onto the SA Health careers website http://www.sahealthcareers.com.au/

  • When the page is loaded, select the “Job Alert” button on the left hand side.
  • Enter your email address
  • Keywords : Dental
  • Tick the following items to ensure all dental advertisements are drawn to your attention :

Categories : Select All    Locations :   Select All     Work Type : Select All

The job alert will last 90 days and the details can be updated if required.

As positions are advertised, registered users will be sent an email to their nominated email address which will then provide information of the positions available and will provide a link to the position’s online application form.