Certificate III in Dental Assisting

National Code: HLT35021
TAFE SA Code: TP01274


This qualification reflects the role of workers who assist dental practitioners during oral health care procedures. The role includes maintaining high standards of infection control, assisting with practice administration and supporting quality and professionalism in the dental sector.

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6 months 

Full Time or Part Time equivalent

Dental Workers/ Dental Assistants

Locations & Applications

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by date of application to this course.
Campus / Location
Study Mode
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

  • You must be currently working as a Dental Assistant
If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by date of application to this course.

Please Read Before Applying

Entry Recommendations
You will need to be proficient in speaking, reading and writing English.

Attendance Requirements (subject to change)
Students will be on-campus for 3 to 4 days per week. Trainees and Existing Workers are on-campus for one day or night a week for workshop attendance.

Industry Conditions and Skills
You will have excellent communication skills, enjoy interacting with other people, be organised, meticulous, pay attention to detail and an efficient time manager. You will also have good manual dexterity, enjoy responsibility, can understand and follow instructions and multitask.

Additional Uniforms, Equipment and Costs
You will need:

  • a TAFE SA polo shirt, $33.00
  • safety glasses $17.00.

Vocational Placements
You will need to complete a vocational placement of 300 hours (minimum) to complete this course. Your vocational placement may be in your existing dental workplace or you will placed by TAFE SA's Placement unit. Your vocational placement will be scheduled over the duration of your course depending on your current dental experience. To make sure that you are able to be placed, you will need to provide the required clearances and checks by the date advised.

Mandatory Requirements
Many health care facilities including SA Health, residential aged care, and dental clinics require students and other health care workers to provide a National Police check and evidence of immune status. If you do not comply with any of these requirements, you may not be able to take your vocational placement and complete this course.

Total Fees for the 6 month course
You may be eligible for government subsidised training.
Subsidised training may require applicants to complete a Core Skills Profile Assessment (CSPA).

This course is part of the Fee Free TAFE initiative. Fee Free TAFE and vocational education is a joint initiative of the Australian and South Australian Governments providing tuition-free training places to students wanting to train, retrain or upskill. The eligibility check below is an indication only and does not confirm your eligibility status. Eligibility verification will take place before the enrolment process and may include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. The number of Fee Free TAFE places that are funded is limited by the terms of the skills agreement signed by the Australian and South Australian Governments. Should all available Fee Free TAFE places be taken, subsequent applicants will be offered a subsidised place.

Fee Free Training Eligibility
Full Fee
  • Upfront Payment

    Each semester, fees can be paid online with VISA or Mastercard or at an Australia Post outlet.

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    Payment Plan

    If you have difficulty paying your fees upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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  • Employment Outcomes

    Dental Assistant

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Certificate III in Dental Assisting (HLT35021)
    This course covers communication, working with diverse people, dental radiography, infection prevention and control, medical devices and equipment and workplace safety. To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 8 core units and 2 elective units.

    Note: Students who successfully complete only one or more units of competency but not the full qualification are eligible to receive a Statement of Attainment.

    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.
    of TAFE SA graduates would recommend their training.

    * 2023 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Below is a list of all units that TAFE SA can offer in this qualification. The selection of elective units you will be enrolled into depends on the campus you attend, and the qualification packaging rules described on www.training.gov.au.

    Not all elective units listed below must necessarily be completed to achieve your qualification.


    Name Nominal Hours
    Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control 35
    Assist with administration in dental practice 40
    Assist with dental radiography 35
    Communicate and work in health or community services 30
    Participate in workplace health and safety 20
    Prepare for and assist with dental procedures 350
    Process reusable medical devices and equipment 30
    Work with diverse people 40


    Name Nominal Hours
    Construct models 40
    Provide effective oral hygiene instruction to patients with an oral health treatment plan 70
    Provide First Aid 18
    Use business software applications 60
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