Dental Therapists – Transition to AHP Stream

27 April 2018

The Public Service Association (PSA) received a letter on Thursday 26 April 2018 (here) from the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (CPSE) adding to the original proposed Translation Arrangements for the transition of Dental Therapists into the Allied Health Professional (AHP) Stream received 28 March 2018 (here).

The Further Points letter (26 April 2018) and the original letter of offer (28 March 2018) now combine to be the CPSE’s offer of translation.

The Dental Therapists transition is an outcome of the new South Australian Modern Public Sector Enterprise Agreement (Appendix 1 of Appendix 6A on page 119).

The PSA had received correspondence from members and conducted an evening discussion meeting with members in relation to the original offer. From that it appeared that while the majority of members would have transitioned seemlessly into the AHP stream, particular groups of members found that their translation arrangements were not totally satisfactory.

On this basis, the PSA then continued discussions with OPS and SADS staff and achieved some clarifications and concessions from the CPSE that partially addressed the outstanding concerns, including the following:

  •     SADS intends to continue payment of Rural Allowances
  •     SADS has undertaken to provide the opportunity in conjunction with the Allied and Scientific Health Office for experienced AHP1 classified therapists to complete their Peer Assessment straight away and translate to AHP2 without loss of pay
  •     Increment dates for those affected by delayed 2017 OPS4 to OPS5 reclassifications are being reviewed
  •     SADS have indicated a preparedness to have further discussions on a future title for those currently titled Dental Therapist with the time frame being the life of the Agreement
  •     SADS propose to expedite any reclassification applications received by members who consider they meet the work level definitions for transition to AHP3 with the date of operation for a successful reclassification being preserved by virtue of Clause 24 of the current Enterprise Agreement, and
  •     it is proposed to vary Commissioner’s Determination 5 Attachment 1 – Minimum Qualification Requirements for Non-Executives as follows:
  •  Dental Therapists – Appropriate degree or equivalent qualification which entitles registration with the Dental Board.


It also should be noted that:

  •     SA Dental Service is still currently not willing to transition the 2.2 FTE (five staff) Dental Hygienists on the basis that they do not meet the minimum qualification required for the AHP stream. Should qualification arrangements for this group alter, SADS will initiate discussions for a replacement translation agreement.


PSA members need to be aware that to implement the agreed arrangements the PSA is required to provide formal written agreement to the proposals in full to the Commissioner by COB 30 April 2018.

PSA members who have further concerns or comments about the offer or any other issue in relation to this transition process need to email PSA Senior Industrial Officer Sue Cummins by midday Monday 30 April 2018 on sue.cummins@cpsu.asn.au. Sue is the PSA Industrial Officer with responsibility for this matter.