Course Description

Open Colleges has partnered with Integrated Care & Management Training to offer the HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting. What this means is that you not only get a high standard of education, but also a nationally recognised qualification that you can use across Australia.

The HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting offers the best of both worlds: the flexibility of online learning, with a practical 300-hour work placement in a dental surgery of your choosing, so you can practice what you learn.

The course is based around a fictional dental clinic which gives context to everything you learn. As you work your way through the course, you’ll be introduced to the clinic’s employees and clients and immersed in a range of scenarios that regularly arise in real work settings.

The HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting is a great stepping stone into further dental study. 

Your studies will train you to maintain and store instruments, equipment materials and medications, as well as how to communicate with dental professionals and patients within a health setting. You will also learn how to help with practice administrative duties like maintaining client records and organising appointments.

This course is offered by Open Colleges on behalf of Integrated Care and Management Training.

This course involves work placement that currently needs to be undertaken in Australia. More information available in our FAQs

Potential career outcomes

  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Hygienist Assistant
  • Dental Laboratory Assistant
  • Dental Prosthetist Assistant
  • Dental Receptionist
  • Dental Therapist Assistant
  • Dental Therapist Assistant
Course number E1100
Qualification name HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting
Course duration Maximum 12 months
Delivery Method Online with Work Placement
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Case studies, Demonstrations, Knowledge tests, Multiple choice questions, Presentations, Scenario-based questions, Short-answer questions
Awarded by
  • Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197)


You will need to have completed year 10, or equivalent. Equivalency can be demonstrated by one of the following:

  • A qualification at Certificate II level or higher OR
  • 2 years of industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
  • Accessing and searching the internet
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites
  • Uploading documents through websites
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images and audio files
  • Connecting digital video devices and downloading and storing videos
  • Compressing image, audio and video files.


You will need to provide a certified and current First Aid certificate from a Registered Training Organisation to demonstrate competency for HLTAID003 Provide First Aid at your own cost. You are required to complete your First Aid Certificate before commencing Module 4, as this will be required prior to you commencing work placement.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Module. Modules 1 to 3 have been released and are available. The subsequent Modules will be available on the following dates:

  • Module 4: July 2017
Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Safely navigating the dental practice

  • Follow safe work practices
  • Implement safe work practices
  • Contribute to safe work practices in the workplace
  • Reflect on own safe work practices
  • Prepare to clean safely
  • Clean and maintain surfaces in clinical areas
  • Ensure maintenance of cleaning standards
  • ​Manage waste
  • Store equipment and cleaning agents safely

Infection prevention and instrument maintenance

  • Prepare to clean used items
  • Clean and dry used items
  • Prepare and pack items for sterilisation
  • Sterilise loads
  • Comply with quality management requirements
  • Follow standard and additional precautions for infection prevention and control
  • Identify infection hazards and assess risks
  • Follow procedures for managing risks associated with specific hazards

Chairside assisting

  • Prepare the dental surgery for oral health care procedures
  • Use dental terminology in communication within the health care setting
  • Record personal, medical and dental details
  • Select and prepare syringe safely for local anaesthesia
  • Assist the operator during oral health care procedures
  • Maintain and store instruments, equipment materials and medicaments
  • Prepare for dental radiography
  • Prepare equipment and materials for dental radiography
  • Process and mount dental radiographs
  • Maintain stock of unexposed radiographic film and chemicals
  • Assure the quality of dental radiographic processing
  • Identify patient’s oral hygiene requirements to ensure good oral health
  • Assist and support patients in an appropriate manner
  • Assist and support patients in their identified oral hygiene needs
  • Recognise and report changes in patient oral hygiene requirements

Communication and administration

  • Communicate effectively with people
  • Collaborate with colleagues
  • Address constraints to communication
  • Report problems to supervisor
  • Complete workplace correspondence and documentation
  • Contribute to continuous improvement
  • Reflect on own perspectives
  • Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefits
  • Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations
  • Promote understanding across diverse groups
  • Communicate effectively with patients and other persons
  • Respond appropriately to enquiries from patients and visitors
  • Allocate appointments appropriate to patient and organisation requirements
  • Calculate and record basic financial transactions
  • Handle cash and record financial transactions
  • Maintain patient records
  • Assist with patient recalls

First Aid

You will need to provide a certified and current First Aid certificate from a Registered Training Organisation to demonstrate competency for HLTAID003 Provide First Aid at your own cost. You are required to complete your First Aid Certificate before commencing Module 4, as this will be required prior to you commencing work placement.

  • Respond to an emergency situation
  • Apply appropriate first aid procedures
  • Communicate details of the incident
  • Evaluate the incident and own performance

Open Colleges does not offer this Unit of Competency. You will be required to undertake the Unit of Competency with an external provider at your own cost. 



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Fiona Greenlaw

Fiona has extensive experience working in the dental industry, both in the city and remotely. She has worked in a variety of private practices and the government sector, including Dental Health Services and the Perth Dental Hospital.

Fiona has 5 years’ experience as a trainer and assessor with a Registered Training Organisation and is currently working with the Royal Flying Doctor Service Remote Area Dental Unit.

Natalie Katers

Natalie has nearly 15 years’ experience in the dental industry, from starting her career as a dental assistant, furthering her training to become a dental hygienist and also becoming a senior educator in the vocational and higher education sectors.

Natalie has successfully trained, assessed and mentored dental assistants, hygienists and oral health therapists, as well as developed resources and curriculum guides.

Work Placement

Open Colleges has a work placement partnership with these organisation(s):

1300 Smiles has twenty three full-service dental facilities in ten major population centres in Queensland, Sydney and Adelaide, making it is easy to find affordable quality dental care and up-to-date treatments for the whole family, using only the highest quality materials.

1300 Smiles has a work placement partnership with Open Colleges for the following courses:

  • Certificate III in Dental Assisting



The course contains a minimum of 300 hours of work placement

You will need to complete your placement in a general dental practice that has access to specialised dentistry including endodontics and oral surgery. Your workplace must be a registered business.

Workplaces will need to be involved in the delivery of dental services and have access to paid clients, as well as provide you with access to specialist equipment and resources such as dental instruments, materials and equipment used in the delivery of general and specialised dentistry services.

Work placement for this qualification will be completed in two sections to allow you to observe and practice your skills via simulation before you begin the practical component.

Pre-Structured Work Placement duration:
50 hours of simulation minimum

Structured Work Placement duration:
250 hours of practical experience minimum

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197). The testamur will be issued by Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd.

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Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.