Project Description

Incorporating the Dental Practice Manager Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard and ILM Level 4 certificate in Leadership & Management.

These qualifications help learners to really get to grips with their role, gain comprehensive business knowledge, and develop the technical skills they need to lead effectively at this level.

Managing all non-clinical aspects of a dental surgery, leading the practice team and achieving excellent patient care and cost efficiency.


This apprenticeship is 95% government-funded with a 5% employer co-investment.

Benefits for individuals

  • Consolidate your management skills and experience
  • Build knowledge of specialist business areas such as finance and marketing
  • Develop the capabilities and personal awareness you need to be a leader
  • Accredit your experience with nationally recognised qualifications.

Benefits for employers

  • Middle managers with an advanced understanding of their role and function in your organisation
  • Managers who can assess and improve their own leadership styles and behaviours
  • Flexible choice of units – customise these qualifications to close skills gaps in your organisation.
  • Duration: 21 Months

  • Location: Workplace

Entry Requirements

It is expected that the candidate will have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above. However, for long- standing employees, evidence of the ability to work at a Level 3 standard will be considered as an entry requirement.


This will include an initial assessment and is sector specific:

  • Understanding of ethics and its impact on a role within a dental practice.

  • Understanding the safeguarding implications of working within a dental practice.

  • A skills-scan to take into account any prior learning which can be credited.


1. Human Resources

Policies, procedures and processes for:

    • recruitment, selection, contracts
    • personal/professional development planning (induction and training)
    • performance management (supervision and appraisal)
    • equality, diversity, grievance, discipline, whistleblowing
    • rota management and absence management

2. Patient Care

Clinical frameworks, guidelines and processes for:

    • establishing high quality patient care/customer service standards
    • managing the patient journey
    • managing patient records and databases (updates, recalls, governance)

3. Clinical

  • Understanding and knowledge of all roles within dental team.

  • Broad understanding of dental diseases.

  • Understanding and executing of clinical audits.

  • Understanding of dental terminology.

  • Understand how to initiate and manage change by identifying barriers and know how to overcome them.

  • Understand data security and management, and the effective use of technology in an organisation.

4. Marketing

The market within which the practice operates with regard to:

    • size, share, competitor profile
    • effective strategies for attracting and retaining patients
  • how to represent the practice in the local community

5. Risk Management

Legal and ethical requirements set out by external regulators with particular reference to:

    • General Health and Safety (e.g. facilities, fire)
    • Healthcare Safety (e.g. Infection Control, Waste, Radiation, Medical Emergencies)
    • Information Governance (e.g. confidentiality, information security, data protection, access to records)

6. Quality Assurance

A Registered Manager’s responsibilities to:

    • Establish internal standards (policies & procedures) for high quality care
    • Train the team to meet internal and external standards
    • Implement monitoring systems for continuous improvement e.g. complaints handling, learning from feedback, incidents, complaints

7. Finance

How to collect, use, interpret and report relevant financial data to:

    • establish budgetary & production targets
    • manage claims and monitor compliance with claim requirements
    • meet the expectations of organisational stakeholders

8. Dental Industry 

Requirements for:

    • service delivery and remuneration under the National Health Service
    • service delivery and remuneration for private delivery of dental care
    • local / national changes in dental service delivery

9. Leadership Skills

Lead (in non-clinical matters) and motivate the practice team effectively by:

    • Understanding the role and responsibilities of a manager
    • Communicating the organisation’s vision and strategy
    • Clarifying & supporting company policies
    • Setting clear goals and expectations
    • Supporting individual personal and professional development
    • Providing mentoring & coaching for individual team members
    • Being able to seek feedback on workplace performance
    • Leading by example
    • Strategic thinking at a local/practice level

10. Management Skills

Organise efficient operational practice systems by:

    • setting SMART objectives
    • planning and delegating work
    • allocating resources efficiently to meet deliverables and deadlines
    • monitoring, evaluating and improving individual and team processes
    • developing advanced IT Skills to meet requirements in role (SOE/R4)

11. Communication Skills

Communicate effectively with internal/ external stakeholders (senior management, patients, team, dental reps, colleagues, third parties) when:

    • negotiating
    • presenting internal & external marketing plans and campaigns
    • presenting and interpreting data for Senior Management
    • briefing the work team
    • communicating change

Course Delivery

Employers can work with learners to find the units that best fit individual and organisational requirements.

This qualification will include a wide range of teaching and learning techniques and styles including one-to-one teaching (a minimum of 7 hours of one-to-one tutorials), teaching, observations, practical assessments, coaching, mentoring, independent research and e-learning.

Depending on the employer, the candidate and the pace of work, this course will typically take 15 months to complete.

A PMA Tutor will be assigned to work with the candidate throughout the duration of the course and will support them through their journey. The programme will be delivered through face-to-face learning with their Tutor, online via the ILM Illuminate portal and Tutor observations. The Total Qualification Time is a minimum of 130 hours.

End Point Assessment

Candidates are supported and coached towards the End Point Assessment, gathering their portfolio of evidence for assessment.

The End Point Assessment will comprise of:

SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT – Projects assessment of a scenario-based project which links and tests skills and knowledge in a holistic way.

SYNOPTIC ASSESSMENT – Interview Professional face to face review of Reflections from Portfolio and Qualification

Join Over 25,000 PMA members today and benefit from our services

As a PMA member, you will benefit from regular news and updates in key issues and regulatory changes that effect GP practices. You will gain access to exclusive training and events that ensure you maintain currency of knowledge and skills. You will have the opportunity to meet and network with your peers from around the UK.

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