Oral Health Therapist Graduate Year Program (OHTGYP) - Program Guidelines

3. Program Description

Page last updated: 03 April 2013

Fifty full time OHT graduate placements will be supported per annum from 2014. It is expected that placements will be distributed in public sector facilities and other areas of need across Australia, where adequate resources and support can be provided. Areas of need will include rural and regional areas, aged care settings, Indigenous settings and providing services to low socio-economic status communities, including children. The location of placements will be determined in consultation with the appointed OHTGYP administrator.

OHTGYP participants will be fully qualified and registered OHTs. The OHTGYP is a voluntary program and does not restrict existing employment options for graduating OHTs and is not linked to registration requirements.

Through the OHTGYP, participating OHT graduates will have access to theoretical and practical continuing education and training opportunities, including potential rotations through a range of settings and exposure to a broad range of clinical experiences. OHT graduates in the OHTGYP will have an opportunity to gain experiences not typically available to new OHT graduates, which could include broader, more complex and/or more unique experiences or practice settings.

Placements will be informed by the OHTGYP curriculum, which will set out the clinical, academic and professional development components of the program. The development of this overarching curriculum will assist in consistent implementation of the program and in achieving the OHTGYP objectives and desired outcomes.

Infrastructure funding is available to ensure participating service providers are appropriately equipped to offer an OHTGYP placement. It is anticipated that requests for infrastructure funding will be considered on merit and a competitive basis.

The OHTGYP will be implemented by an external administrator. The administrator will be required to form agreements with service providers to support OHT graduate placements and supply appropriate mentors.

Ideally, the administrator will establish agreements with providers across a range of clinical settings, such as rural and remote services, services in Indigenous communities, aged care services and services to low socio-economic clients and facilitate rotations for participants during their OHTGYP year. It is envisaged that the administrator will structure the program to enable at least two rotations within the OHTGYP year, with some degree of flexibility to tailor the experience to the individual needs/interests of the graduate. The length of individual rotations will be determined on the basis of the experiences that can be provided in the particular setting and in negotiation with the OHTGYP administrator.

Participation will be on a voluntary and competitive basis. Should the demand exceed available places, the administrator will be required to select and place OHT graduates from amongst the applications received. Further information on the roles and responsibilities of the administrator and participants is outlined in Section 7.

Areas within and outside of the scope of the OHTGYP are summarised in the following table.

Areas within and outside of the scope of the OHTGYP
Within scopeOutside scope
OHTGYP placements in public dental services and/or other areas of need (priorities to be determined in consultation with stakeholders in recognition of varying local needs and priorities)OHTGYP placements in private dental services without a recognised need or opportunities to provide unique experiences
Placements for dental professionals other than OHT graduates.
Funding for OHT graduate and pro rata mentor salaries
Participating OHT graduates and mentors registered with the Dental Board of Australia
Funding beyond state based awards
Funding for one to one mentoring
Funding for international OHT graduates
Funding for travel, accommodation and associated costs of OHT graduates and mentors
Funding to support service provider administration costs.
Bonus payments to participants on completion of programPayment of bonuses for pro rata completion of program
Incentive payments for mentors
Infrastructure funding to establish additional dental chairs, refurbishments and/or new equipment to support OHTGYP placements
Building on existing resources or infrastructure projects currently underway
Infrastructure funding not directly used to support OHTGYP placements or major new capital buildings
Resources such as office supplies and overhead costs that would already apply to the practice
Infrastructure projects that cannot be completed in time to support OHTGYP placements from 2014
Major capital builds (unless a strong case is made, there are no alternative options and it can be completed in time to support OHTGYP placements as scheduled under the program)
Development of a national curriculum for a voluntary OHT graduate year, including mechanisms to enable suitable rotations, exposure to a broad range of experiences and continuing professional developmentImplementation of OHT graduate placements without consideration of the curriculum or overall OHTGYP objectives and desired outcomes (noting enough flexibility is needed to ensure the OHTGYP can be tailored to the specific needs of communities or placement settings)
Building on existing programs and resources where possibleDuplicating or replacing existing efforts, including new graduate recruitment and support efforts
Communication and marketing activities for the OHTGYPActivities and associated funding not directly used to promote the OHTGYP
Evaluation of the OHTGYP, including effectiveness of the program to meet objectives and outcomes and recommendations for the futureEvaluation of issues beyond the OHTGYP objectives and outcomes
Implementation of the OHTGYP curriculumFunding activities/curricular that are not associated with the OHTGYP.