Oral Health Practitioner | EPA Standards | NCFE | NCFE

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EPA Standard

Oral Health Practitioner

Level 4     £9,000      14 months

1. What the role entails

Oral Health Practitioners work directly with patients, performing a wide range of oral health preventative procedures, which involve working in a patient’s mouth. The Oral Health Practitioner role complements the role of other dental professionals and fits in the dental career structure at a higher level than a Dental Nurse but below a Dental Hygienist, Hygienist/Therapist or Dentist. Working to the direction of a Dentist, you will take dental bacterial plaque indices and debris scores, apply fluoride varnish, take clinical photographs, take impressions,and carry out tooth brushing in the patient’s mouth. You will prepare and maintain the clinical environment, carry out infection control and prevention procedures, and prepare, mix and handle biomaterials.

Oral Health Practitioners often work alone in the community, delivering oral health education and promotion to the public. Community settings may include Early Years groups, primary and secondary schools, care homes, in ‘care at home situations’, in the child and adolescent mental health arena, and hospitals.

To become an Oral Health Practitioner, you must already be a Dental Nurse or other appropriate dental care professional registered with the General Dental Council.

2. On-programme assessment

The apprentice must achieve the following on-programme assessment requirements prior to Gateway:

  • Level 2 Functional Skills English and maths or equivalent qualifications
  • a completed clinical activity log and enhanced continuing professional development plan to underpin the Professional Discussion.

3. Gateway requirements

The decision to take an apprentice through Gateway is made between the employer, Independent Training Provider (ITP) and the apprentice. The apprentice should only enter Gateway once the employer is content that the apprentice is working at or above the level of the occupational standardand can confirm the apprentice has General Dental Council registration. The apprentice must also have completed all the on-programme elements before they enter Gateway, including keeping a clinical activity log and enhanced continuing professional development plan to underpin the Professional Discussion.

4. End-point assessment

The EPA for Oral Health Practitioner contains three methods of assessment:

Multiple Choice Question Exam

The Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Exam is a 60 minute, closedbook exam, comprising of 40 equally-weighted, multiple-choice questions. The MCQ Exam is appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence and cover the knowledge criteria assigned to this assessment method.

Grading: Fail, Pass or Distinction.

Observation of Practice

The Observation of Practice allows the Independent End-Point Assessor (IEPA) to see the apprentice during their normal everyday work. This assessment method is undertaken in the apprentice’s workplace and will be a total of 90 minutes. The observation itself will last 60 minutes, followed by a 30 minute question and answer session to check the understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) observed.

Grading: Fail or Pass.

Professional Discussion

The Professional Discussion is a structured discussion designed to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence and excellence and cover the KSBs assigned to this assessment method. It is a two-way discussion which involves both the IEPA and the apprentice actively listening and participating in a formal conversation. The apprentice will utilise their completed clinical activity log and continuing professional development plan to provide evidence of their practice during the discussion. The assessment duration is 45 minutes.

Grading: Fail, Pass or Distinction.

5. Grade aggregation table

Observation of Practice Project and Presentation Professional Discussion Overall Grade
Pass Pass Pass Pass
Pass Pass Distinction Pass
Pass Distinction Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Distinction Distinction

If the apprentice fails any assessment method, the EPA will be graded Fail overall.

6. Completion and certification

We’ll activate certification once the apprentice has successfully completed all EPAs, and the IEPA has verified this. Working with the apprenticeship certificate issuing authority, we’ll ensure the apprentice receives their certificate.

7. What next?

As an Oral Health Practitioner, you may progress later in your career to a Dental Therapist or Dental Hygienist.


We’re an approved End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) specialising in EPA delivery across health, education, early years, digital, social care, finance and business apprenticeship standards. We offer flexible and reliable EPA solutions supported by sector expertise, guidance documents and proactive service and support.

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