The benefits afforded by apprenticeship schemes are clear. The Apprenticeship for Dental Practice Managers is the latest to be rolled out in dentistry and we at Dentabyte were excited to recently commence our first course with Barnet and Southgate College, London. Next year, we look forward to offering courses with the University of Bolton too.
For delegates on this scheme, there is a unique opportunity to learn the craft of dental practice management on a practical level. Mentored by highly experienced professionals during classroom-based workshops and tutor support throughout two years, they also gain invaluable experience from working in a modern practice environment. What’s more, a Level 4 ILM certificate in Management and Leadership is gained within the first 6 months, standing apprentices in excellent stead for more advanced management qualifications in the future.
From the employer’s perspective, they can develop their existing team or introduce fresh staff members, confident in the knowledge that they will learn all the skills they need to perform the role competently and efficiently. By developing the talent of tomorrow, employers are also investing in the future of their business and ensuring a highly skilled workforce to continue driving the profession forward.
The apprenticeship programme is designed specifically to equip delegates with the knowledge, skills, behaviours and practical workplace experience they need to manage a modern dental practice effectively. A wide range of topics is covered including human resources, patient care, clinical excellence, marketing, risk management, quality assurance, finance and trends within the dental industry. Key skills such as those needed for strong leadership, management and communication are emphasised in all relevant areas and frequent reflection, reviews and assessments will ensure delegates are progressing successfully. As such, apprentices will develop a meaningful understanding of how to run and manage a dental business effectively, ethically and passionately.
The government has pledged to heavily subsidise apprenticeship programmes in order to facilitate delivery. For every £1 the employer invests, the government will therefore contribute £2. The cap on this core funding is set at £6,000 – available if the employer invests £3,000 – but additional incentives are on offer as well. For example, practices with fewer than 50 members of staff who enrol an apprentice aged over 18 in our programme will pay £2,700 and this will be matched by £5,400. They are entitled to a small business rebate of£900, which is paid three months into an apprenticeship course. Upon successful completion, a further £900 is also available. Therefore, including core funding of £5,400, incentive government funding of £1,800 and the employers’ own investment of £2,700, practices have a total investment of £9,900 for each apprentice aged over 18. The net employer outlay for a successful candidate is, however, just £900.
How does it work?
Usually, apprentices are required to have attained a grade C or above in English and Maths at GSCE level, with most holding an A-Level or equivalent qualification, although previous relevant experience may also be considered.
To establish an apprenticeship programme, employers need to ensure they have the correct structure in place for delivery of the work portfolio and funding. The employer will need to organise monthly learning reviews with the apprentice.
A Lead Provider must be chosen in the first instance, such as Barnet and Southgate College, who is allocated the government funds for the course. They become responsible for managing payments to the employer and for the subcontract of programmes to Dentabyte, the educational provider who delivers the classroom based content of the course.
Effective management is an integral aspect of the modern dental practice and this apprenticeship scheme offers exciting new opportunities for staff and employers alike. Is it time you got involved in the transformation of dental practice management?
For more information on the structure of the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management, please contact Barnet and Southgate College: