The Blog

All that's new in the world of dentistry

Taking on a young manager

Taking on a young manager



Technology continues to evolve bringing new challenges and opportunities to dental practices. The role of the practice manager in particular has changed considerably, and now requires candidates with increasing knowledge of IT systems[i].


Taking on younger candidates can be an ideal way to meet the changing demands of the job and usher in the sort of diversity that is required. Many companies welcome young employees, while others tend to avoid them, opting for more mature and experienced individuals[ii]. However, while there are advantages and disadvantages of recruiting from either age group, the changes dental practices are and will continue to face favours the younger generation who are more readily able to understand and apply technology into business.


Good dental practices operate on a hierarchical system with patients’ interests and the dentist at the top and other members of the team supporting them to enable the practice to run to its optimum capacity1. The manager has to help deliver the most efficient service possible and contributes significantly to the smooth running of the business. With the increase in laws and regulations in recent years, there has also been a huge rise in administrative work, which the modern day practice manager must complete in a timely manner, along with their other duties. Implementing new IT systems and advanced technology can reduce time spent on mundane tasks, allowing the manager more time to provide support and direction to the team.


Having young employees can bring in fresh perspectives, providing new ideas and solutions to enhance workflow and meet the changing demands. They are often more adaptable, have an abundance of energy and a natural thirst for knowledge, which can inspire colleagues around them and invigorate the workplace. Hiring a young person can also give practices the opportunity to have a greater influence in the kind of employee they become2.


Youngsters can provide an inexpensive way to grow the workforce, particularly when taking on an apprentice. In recent years there have been significant improvements made to the UK’s vocational education and training systems, as well as an increase in government funding for apprenticeships, especially in England[iii].


Through well-developed pathways, apprentices can learn the skills in the workforce that go beyond general employability. The schemes allow individuals to gain essential experience in the workplace by learning from real professionals and thus acquiring industry-specific knowledge. Senior staff will be able to work with the new recruit to encourage common values and good ethics from the outset, giving them a chance to truly understand the practice. Having learnt from current team members, the practice manager will be more able to deliver a high performance in line with the practice’s strategy, goals and values3.


Currently, practices can benefit from offering individuals the Apprenticeship in Dental Practice Management. Barnet and Southgate College is a lead provider of the scheme and offers intake for the programme periodically throughout the year, with the next start dates on: 4th May, 6th July and 14th September 2016 with other dates to follow. Find out more today about this exciting scheme and start building your business for tomorrow.


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

0203 764 4333

twitter @barnetsouthgate

[i] Gorman, S. (2007). Vital guide to dental practice management. Vital, 4, 19-20.

[ii] Creative & Cultural Skills. Why hire a young person? Available online 20th August 2013: [Accessed 31st April 2016].

[iii] Apprenticeships that work: A guide for employers. Available online February 2012: [Accessed 31st April 2016].


  3578 Hits
3578 Hits

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


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.

  3169 Hits
3169 Hits

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]



  3833 Hits
3833 Hits

Please do not re-register if you have forgotten your details,
follow the links above to recover your password &/or username.
If you cannot access your email account, please contact us.