NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practice of Dental Nursing

Health, Public Services and Care, Health
Shortlist for approval
Support Materials

Level 3
Minimum entry age
Credit Value

This qualification encompasses the current General Dental Council (GDC) learning outcomes and Skills for Health National Occupational Standards

The GDC has confirmed approval of the qualification which is listed on their website and on completion, learners will be able to apply for registration as a dental nurse with the GDC.

This qualification can also be taken as part of the Dental Nurse Apprenticeship Standard (England) and as part of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Health (Dental Nursing) framework in Wales.

What does this qualification cover?

The qualification focuses on direct chair-side work and support during a range of dental treatments. It encompasses the underpinning ethics, professionalism, teamwork and communication required to work as a dental nurse.

Who is it suitable for?

All those who wish to work as a dental nurse or trainee dental nurse and who wish to obtain a dental nursing qualification leading to GDC registration.

What are the entry requirements?

Learners should be at least 16 years old. It is the Centre’s responsibility to ensure that learners have the necessary underpinning knowledge before entering a placement/the workplace. We do not set any other entry requirements but colleges or training providers may have their own guidelines.

How many credits are required to complete it?

Learners must achieve 49 credits from the 17 mandatory units.
All knowledge and skills Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria must be met for each unit. In addition, learners must achieve a pass, merit or distinction in the two external assessment tests (part 1 and part 2) covering the underpinning knowledge across units DN 12-16.

There is no compensation between units or between observations and unit tasks within a unit.

Do you need to be working to take this qualification?

Learners will need to be working or on practical placement to be able to show competence in both knowledge and skills.

It is recommended that a minimum of 16 hours per week be spent in a real work environment.
For learners undertaking the Dental Nursing apprenticeship, providers should refer to the apprenticeship standard (England) document: Or apprenticeship framework (Wales) document: for clarification of requirements

How long does it take to complete?

Learners can usually complete the standalone qualification, or if taken as part of an apprenticeship, in two years or less.

What related qualifications can you progress to?

Learners can progress to a range of qualifications in the following areas:

• specialist dental nursing roles
• dental hygiene or therapy
• dental technology
• teaching dental nursing
• dental practice management

Funding for our qualifications

Find out more about funding for this and other qualifications on the Funding page.

Which type of job roles can you apply for on completion?

Learners may progress into employment as a Dental Nurse or to other career pathways including:

• dental hygiene and therapy
• dental technician
• practice management
• teaching and assessing
• lecturing

Qualification Specification with units

This document contains everything you need to know about this qualification in PDF format and should be used by everyone involved in its planning, delivery and assessment.

Unit List

Purpose Statement

This document outlines the content of this qualification, who it’s designed for, and the opportunities it could lead to.

Guidance for Qualification Approval and Quality Audits

Dental Nursing FAQs

Key Facts

This document outlines the key information of this qualification for the Centre, learner and employer.

Support Materials Summary Table

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Pathway to progression

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