Audit in General Dental Practice

If a key assessment needs the cooperation of placement staff and students away from the university then listen to what they have to say about it well in advance and accommodate their needs wherever practicable. This takes a lot of time but is worth it.

Student with patient

The School of Clinical Dentistry knew that its developing outreach work placement scheme would present possibilities for students to conduct project work alongside their clinical work. Clinical audit was at that time a newly introduced requirement for NHS dentists. Dental students ought to have a good understanding of this topic but local dental hospital regulations did not allow students to carry out audits. The School saw an opportunity to have students carry out audits while on placement and build project work around this activity. However, would this be practicable and would the placement staff support this additional activity? A CILASS IBL award supported the collaboration required to make this happen.

The key stakeholders were the students, the School´s dental academics and the 11 outreach placements´ many dentists. All needed to be involved in developing this inquiry-based project work if it was to form a robust assessment.

While this case study concerns an audit activity in a Dentistry setting, the approach taken to introducing project work into a placement could apply in any discipline. Involving the placement in the development of an assessment is in line with the QAA Code of Practice (section 9).


placement learning; project based learning; assessment; student research; practice based learning

Project details:

Department: School of Clinical Dentistry
Project title: Audit in General Dental Practice
Date(s) of implementation: February 2008 onwards

Project Leader:

Dr Michael Smith