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Leadership and Management Skills

Leadership and Management Skills



The Apprenticeship for Dental Practice Managers has recently commenced at Barnet and Southgate College, London. Employers have the opportunity to train staff members on this fantastic new course, which aims to develop candidates’ ability to lead and support the workforce, manage a practice competently and drive the business forward.


The first 6 months of the apprenticeship programme is dedicated to the Level 4 ILM certificate in Management and Leadership covering three skill domains – leadership, management and communication. Dentabyte is delighted to be involved in delivering this nationally recognised qualification – a tremendous asset for any dental practice manager and a chance to progress into a number of career pathways. Here the renowned healthcare lecturer, Seema Sharma, explains how this section of the course will be structured:


“I am conducting the ILM Certificate part of the apprenticeship programme with full workshop sessions. These workshops encompass the three skills development domains but are cleverly wrapped into a project format and conveniently designed into three core units.


Understanding the managers role

The first unit will teach apprentices the specific responsibilities of middle managers to enable a dental organisation to achieve its goals. They will learn how communication and interpersonal skills affect managerial performance and how to assess personal development opportunities to improve their own managerial performance.


Managing a complex team activity

The second unit will show learners how to plan a complex team activity, communicate information effectively and how to lead a team. Candidates will need to organise efficient operational practice systems including elements such as:

- setting SMART objectives

- planning and delegating work

- allocating resources efficiently to produce reports and meet deadlines

- monitoring, evaluating and improving individual and team processes

- developing advanced IT skills to meet requirements in their management role


Leading innovation and change

This unit will teach apprentices how to improve through innovation. It will cover interpreting and presenting data, negotiation skills and overcoming barriers to change in order to improve compliance, patient care and business growth.


“Trainee managers will complete an assignment for each of the three areas. This could include completing a work-based assignment, a reflective review, a practical task and report or a group discussion and write up. It is hoped that during the ILM Certificate programme each trainee will learn one topic in depth whilst completing their own project and also gain an overview of how they can approach the other topics from their peers.”


The Level 4 ILM certificate in Management and Leadership is Phase 1 of the apprenticeship programme. Candidates are then required to compose a portfolio of evidence of practical skills gained, before end point assessments take place. All aspects of the course have been structured and designed by leading employers working within the dental sector to ensure that delegates meet the standards required to become valuable, leading members of the dental team.


“I will closely supervise the first assignment and then candidates will be required to complete further projects (eight in total) for their portfolio, with the support of their mentors,” continues Seema. “Along with the workshops, delegates will be expected to conduct independent study with access to email and telephone support from myself as well as online resources from the Dentabyte Learning Zone and the ILM Learning Zone.”


Barnet and Southgate College is running the Apprenticeship for Dental Practice Managers periodically throughout the year and the next start date is 16th March 2016, with more dates to follow.


For more information on the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management, please contact Barnet and Southgate College:

0203 764 4333

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

twitter @barnetsouthgate


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Get involved in National Apprenticeship Week - 14th to 18th March 2016

Get involved in National Apprenticeship Week - 14th to 18th March 2016


Designed by The National Apprenticeship Service, this special week celebrates the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. It highlights how apprenticeships can help businesses across all sectors ‘rise to the top’ with young, enthusiastic talent and invites employers to get involved.

Apprentices follow a comprehensive work-based programme and work towards a recognised qualification that is relevant to your business. You can harness fresh new talent to your team or use the schemes to develop the skills and experience of existing employees.

In dentistry, newly approved, employer led apprenticeships are available for:


·         Dental Nurses

·         Dental Practice Managers

·         Dental Laboratory Assistants and

·         Dental Technicians


With almost 9 in 10 of every employer that takes on an apprentice reporting benefits to their business[1], there has never been a better time show your support.

The National Apprenticeship Service has set up an online tool – Pledge-o-meter for businesses to share their apprenticeship and traineeship pledges – get involved and show your commitment at:


Find out more about dental apprenticeships at one of the

on March 16th at Barnet and Southgate College - and
on March 17th at the University of Bolton University -


For additional information from the National Apprenticeship Service, please visit:

[1] Skills Funding Agency. Key facts about apprenticeships: available at [Accessed 7th March 2016]



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Learn to lead

Learn to lead

Patients have more choice than ever. They want excellent dental care and impeccable customer service from the minute they step inside the surgery. For a practice to survive, it must be well-run, with a clear vision that an inspired team works together to achieve.


A great practice therefore needs great leadership. There are different ways you can lead people and even if you don’t think these skills come naturally to you, there are simple ways to develop them.

Decide what style of leadership is best in your circumstances. It is just as important that a small-to-medium sized practice is as properly run as a larger one, because losing a patient or employee will have a more noticeable impact on revenue. You won’t achieve anything without a plan and having shared vision, which is decided on and supported by everyone, is the first step to becoming a good leader. Recognise that your plans may change as your circumstances do, but be consistent in your long-term goals, so your integrity is not questioned.

A good leader will reward the contributions and achievements of the team that supports them; if you can’t do this financially, then share details of good work so people feel valued and appreciated. Real investment in the people that work with you – both professionally and personally - will create a happy, enthusiastic team and reduce staff turnover too.

Recruitment decisions that will enrich your practice and complement the team that you already have in post are crucial to your success. The support of your team will help you to make good decisions, including which tasks to delegate. Because you can’t do everything, especially with a full clinical schedule, empower those around you by giving them to the chance to learn and grow. Offer ongoing training and professional development opportunities for those who have voiced their desire to take on more responsibility and evolve their job description.

Think about enriching your team and growing your own talent with the new Trailblazers apprenticeship schemes. These programmes are supported by the government but lead by employers, including Mustafa Mohammed, Managing Director of Genix Healthcare and Sparkle Dental Labs, who is dedicated to improving standards and increasing the skills base of the nation. Currently, there are apprentice schemes available for dental practice managers and dental nurses and training individuals in this way has been found to be rewarding and cost-effective.[i] Taking on an apprentice is a fantastic way to tap into aptitude and potential and to create a committed, accomplished and loyal workforce.

Although there are different ways to lead, the ability to motivate, inspire and transform are qualities that every good leader needs. Most importantly, having a vision, the integrity to stick with your long-term plan and a team that will help you to fulfill it, is what will set your practice apart from the rest.

Follow Mustafa on Twitter @Mustafa_T_M or Facebook

For additional information from the National Apprenticeship Service, please visit

For any additional information please call 0800 138 6255 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit:


[i] UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey (UKCESS) 2012.


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Exciting new qualification in dental practice management

Exciting new qualification in dental practice management


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.

Course content

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.

Get involved

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:

020 8266 4000 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

twitter @barnetsouthgate



For more information on content and assessment, please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Catch 22 for Young People

Catch 22 for Young People

The term “Catch 22”, first used in Joseph Heller’s novel, described the constraints placed on soldiers during World War II. Since then it has become a familiar way to describe the predicament of being trapped by contradictory rules or circumstances.


When leaving education, many young people now find themselves in a “Catch 22” situation simply because they don’t have any knowledge of the working world, yet employers frequently prefer to hire candidates with some form of previous work experience.


There are around 1.85 million people unemployed in the UK[1] and an analysis by the House of Commons Library for Labour states that people aged between 16 and 24 now fare comparatively worse than others at any point since 1992, with this age group nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population.[2] Without enough jobs to go around, there are fewer opportunities for youngsters to work part time or have weekend jobs during education as previous generations did. Consequently, many are finding themselves out in the big wide world with very little or no work experience.


To address the situation the government is investing in apprenticeship schemes to encourage more 16-24 year olds into work. The new employer-led Trailblazers Apprenticeship programmes are ideal for young people, enabling them to earn as they learn, gaining valuable experience as they train in a worthwhile profession. From the employer’s point of view, the advantages of taking on an apprentice are multi-faceted. Not only are business owners and managers able to grow talent in-house, moulding and encouraging individuals to work to the methods and standards they need to increase productivity, but it also allows them to remain competitive and retain a committed workforce. What’s more, taking on an apprentice is rewarding, both on a personal level and for the team as they are able to pass on their knowledge and experience, feeling valued and pleased to play an active part in training a new recruit. Indeed, studies reveal that 92% of employers who employ apprentices believe that apprenticeship schemes lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.[3]


Apprenticeship programmes are now led and developed by employers to ensure that trainees attain the necessary skills and standards to meet the needs of UK industry and to build a competent workforce for the future. Along with other top employers and governing bodies, Mustafa Mohammed – owner of Genix Healthcare and Sparkle Dental Labs and Chair for the new Trailblazers Apprenticeship Programmes in Dentistry – has been instrumental in spearheading new apprenticeship programmes in both Dental Nursing and Dental Practice Management. Together they have created new training pathways and assessment methods to provide young people with the practical skills and experience they require for long and successful careers. Similarly, employers are able to gain the calibre of staff that they need to continue the high standards expected in dentistry.

With the top quality training and support the dentistry sector has to offer, it is possible to rescue some young people from the “Catch 22” situation. If you are thinking of recruiting a new member of your team, why not consider taking on an apprentice?


For more details contact the team today.



For additional information from the National Apprenticeship Service, please visit


For additional information please call 0845 838 1122, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit


[1] Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom as reported by the Office for National Statistics.

[2] Youth unemployment rate is worst for 20 years, compared with overall figure: Youth unemployment. The Observer. Available online at

[3] Skills Training UK


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Trailblazer Management Apprenticeship

Trailblazer Management Apprenticeship


Build on your existing skills by gaining all the business knowledge and practical experience you need to be the best dental practice manager you can be.


Plus, earn a nationally recognised Level 4 qualification with the ILM Certificate in Leadership and Management.


With only 3- 4 classroom-based days, held at Barnet and Southgate College in London, you can even hone your skills while taking next to no time away from your practice.

The exciting two-year programme covers:


Human Resources / Patient Care / Clinical / Marketing / Risk Management / Quality Assurance / Finance and The Dental Industry

The next starting dates are:


18th March 2016

13th May 2016

1st July 2016



Take the next step in your career and find out more about the

Trailblazer Management Apprenticeship today.


For more information or applications contact Barnet and Southgate College on 0208 266 4333 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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