Dental Assistant Courses

Please click on the links below to access the 2017 Information Booklet and download the Enrolment Form.

Download a copy of the DA Information Booklet

Download the DA Course Enrolment Form



The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) Certificate in Dental Assisting is a modular, online correspondence course which includes a mix of self-directed learning activities, lectures, on-line assessments and practical experience. 


The course is held over one academic year commencing in February and concluding in November. The course provides an opportunity for participants to develop the skills to work as a Dental Surgery Assistant, competently and safely assisting a dentist, dental therapist or dental hygienist during oral health care procedures. It also includes material relevant to dental practice administration.


The NZDA Certificate of Dental Assisting is recognised by the NZ Qualifications Authority; is registered on the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications; and leads to the qualification New Zealand Dental Association Certificate of Dental Assisting (Level 3).


Course Arrangements

The Certificate in Dental Assisting is an online correspondence course , meaning that module assessments are completed online through a specially designed website.


Participants enrolled on the course will receive a personalised username and password in order to access their online assessments as well as learning tutorials, crosswords and charting scenarios. This is in conjunction with their own copy of the course material which includes detailed information on a wide range of dental matters.


Modules completed through the Certificate in Dental Assisting are;
- Communicate and work effectively in health
- Biology
- Pathology and oral disease
- Comply with infection control policies and procedures in health work
- Process reusable instruments and equipment in health work
- Participate in occupational health and safety processes
- Dental materials
- General practice dentistry
- Prepare for and assist with oral health care procedures
- Assist with dental radiography
- Assist in administration in dental practice
- Instrument identification

Course Completion Requirements

To successfully qualify on this course, participants must complete all online assessments within the alloted time frame. The modular nature of this course is such that each module must be completed before the next can commence. Participants who fall behind in satisfactorily completing the modules and assessments may be unable to progress on the course.


Evidence that participants have attended a NZ Resuscitation Council Certificate in Resuscitation and Emergency Care (level 4) within 24 months of the conclusion of the course is a prerequisite for qualification on the course.


Participants are required to submit a completed portfolio of course work and workplace assessments to their Regional Co-ordinator at the conclusion of the course.

Course Entry Requirements 

Participants must be permanent residents and have current employment as a dental assistant for a minimum of 20 hours per week.


The dentist(s) in this practice must be a NZDA member who is able to provide workplace assessment and support to the dental assistant participant on this course. Participants must also have use of a computer with internet access.

Course Support

The course is co-ordinated through the NZDA Education Team based at NZDA House in Ellerslie, Auckland.


Participants will be assigned to one of five Regional Co-ordinators who are based in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago and who provide additional support and guidance to participants. Participants will provde material at the conclusion of the course to their Regional Co-ordinator.


Two lectures are given in the five regional centres. These cover topics relevant to the course modules and are held on a Saturday so participants outside the major centres are able to travel to attend. These lectures are free to course participants.

More Information

For more information on the NZDA Certificate in Dental Assisting please download our DA Information Booklet.


Kirsten McCarthy          e:
Course Co-ordinator