Incorporating the Dental Practice Manager Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard and ILM Level 4 certificate in Leadership & Management.


This qualification develops the registered manager’s responsibilities in managing all non-clinical aspects of a dental surgery, leading the practice team and achieving excellent patient care, cost-efficiencies and importantly, meeting CQC and other regulatory requirements.

It will really help learners get to grips with their role, gain comprehensive business knowledge and develop the technical skills they need to lead effectively at this level.

Managing all non-clinical aspects of a dental surgery, leading the practice team and achieving excellent patient care and cost efficiency.


This apprenticeship is 95% government-funded with a 5% employer co-investment. Please call or email for more information.

If you are an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year, you will automatically be paying into the apprenticeship Levy. Please call or email for more information.

Further funding information can be found here.

  • Duration: 21 Months

  • Location: Workplace

Entry Requirements

It is expected that the learner will have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above. Alternatively, learners with long-standing evidence of work to a Level 3 standard may apply if they are supported by their employer and would then follow Functional Skills training alongside the apprenticeship.

It should also be noted that the learner will need to achieve a Level 2 standard in English and Mathematics prior to their End Point Assessment. These are referred to as Functional Skills and during enrolment, learners will be required to complete both Maths and English Initial Assessments and diagnostic tests to assess their level of understanding. If learners are exempt due to prior achievements, certificates must be presented as evidence before enrolment if this is the case, failure to do so will result in learners having to complete Functional Skills.

To be eligible for the apprenticeship learners will need to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and have the support of their line manager and employer. Learners will complete a self-assessment to assess their knowledge, skills and behaviours to ensure they are eligible for the apprenticeship.


This unit will include an initial workplace assessment and one-to-one discussion with the learner and line manager and will cover:

  • Understanding of ethics and its impact on a role within a dental practice.

  • Understanding the safeguarding implications of working within a dental practice.

  • A skills-scan to take into account any prior learning which can be credited.


1. Human Resources

Policies, procedures and processes for:

    • recruitment, selection, contracts
    • personal/professional development planning (induction and training)
    • performance management (supervision and appraisal)
    • equality, diversity, grievance, discipline, whistleblowing
    • rota management and absence management

2. Patient Care

Clinical frameworks, guidelines and processes for:

    • establishing high quality patient care/customer service standards
    • managing the patient journey
    • managing patient records and databases (updates, recalls, governance)

3. Clinical

  • Understanding and knowledge of all roles within dental team.

  • Broad understanding of dental diseases.

  • Understanding and executing of clinical audits.

  • Understanding of dental terminology.

  • Understand how to initiate and manage change by identifying barriers and know how to overcome them.

  • Understand data security and management, and the effective use of technology in an organisation.

4. Marketing

The market within which the practice operates with regard to:

    • size, share, competitor profile
    • effective strategies for attracting and retaining patients
  • how to represent the practice in the local community

5. Risk Management

Legal and ethical requirements set out by external regulators with particular reference to:

    • General Health and Safety (e.g. facilities, fire)
    • Healthcare Safety (e.g. Infection Control, Waste, Radiation, Medical Emergencies)
    • Information Governance (e.g. confidentiality, information security, data protection, access to records)

6. Quality Assurance

A Registered Manager’s responsibilities to:

    • Establish internal standards (policies & procedures) for high quality care
    • Train the team to meet internal and external standards
    • Implement monitoring systems for continuous improvement e.g. complaints handling, learning from feedback, incidents, complaints

7. Finance

How to collect, use, interpret and report relevant financial data to:

    • establish budgetary & production targets
    • manage claims and monitor compliance with claim requirements
    • meet the expectations of organisational stakeholders

8. Dental Industry 

Requirements for:

    • service delivery and remuneration under the National Health Service
    • service delivery and remuneration for private delivery of dental care
    • local / national changes in dental service delivery

9. Leadership Skills

Lead (in non-clinical matters) and motivate the practice team effectively by:

    • Understanding the role and responsibilities of a manager
    • Communicating the organisation’s vision and strategy
    • Clarifying & supporting company policies
    • Setting clear goals and expectations
    • Supporting individual personal and professional development
    • Providing mentoring & coaching for individual team members
    • Being able to seek feedback on workplace performance
    • Leading by example
    • Strategic thinking at a local/practice level

10. Management Skills

Organise efficient operational practice systems by:

    • setting SMART objectives
    • planning and delegating work
    • allocating resources efficiently to meet deliverables and deadlines
    • monitoring, evaluating and improving individual and team processes
    • developing advanced IT Skills to meet requirements in role (SOE/R4)

11. Communication Skills

Communicate effectively with internal/ external stakeholders (senior management, patients, team, dental reps, colleagues, third parties) when:

    • negotiating
    • presenting internal & external marketing plans and campaigns
    • presenting and interpreting data for Senior Management
    • briefing the work team
    • communicating change

Course Delivery

This will include a wide range of teaching and learning techniques and styles including one-to-one coaching, discussions and teaching, observations, practical assessments, mentoring, independent research and e-learning. The assigned PMA Tutor/Assessor will use online face to face platforms such as Zoom/MS Teams/FaceTime/Skype, as well as periodic workplace visits.

Learners will have access to Aptem, our e-portfolio system that supports in monitoring progression throughout the apprenticeship.  It is the central system that keeps track of learner assignments, evidence and holds resources that will support learners to complete the apprenticeship.

Line managers will be a key driver in learner development, importantly in agreeing the unique learning plan and kept abreast of progress at every step.

A PMA Tutor will be assigned to work with the candidate throughout the duration of the course and will support them through their journey. The programme will be delivered through face-to-face learning with their Tutor, online via the ILM Illuminate portal and Tutor observations. The Total Qualification Time is a minimum of 130 hours.

What is 20% off-the-job training (OTJ)?

Learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. This can include training delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties. Both Learner and employer will receive a Guide surrounding 20% OTJ training.

Apprentices will be expected to keep a log of all learning activities working towards the 20% off the job requirements.

Off-the-job activities could include:

  • Attending masterclass teaching and learning sessions
  • Coaching
  • Independent research
  • In-house training
  • Shadowing
  • Industry visits
  • Mentoring
  • Supervision with employer
  • Writing assignments
  • Online learning
  • Manufacturer training
  • Role play
  • Simulation exercises
  • Team meetings that include training
  • Completion of reflective journal

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are nationally recognised qualifications in English and maths.  They are part of a government initiative and designed to improve literacy and numeracy skills across the workforce.  Due to this, Functional Skills are a mandatory part of Apprenticeship Standards.  Anyone enrolling to an Apprenticeship must complete Functional Skills English and Functional Skills maths unless they have already achieved them previously at Level 2 or have GCSE’s (or equivalent) in both subjects at Grade C or above.  Certificates must be presented as evidence before enrolment if this is the case, failure to do so will result in learners having to complete Functional Skills.

In order to support you in completing Functional Skills, PMA will undertake an initial assessment and diagnostic assessment which will enable its specialist tutors to identify which areas to focus on with you and this will form the basis of a personalised learning plan.

It is important to bear in mind that Functional Skills do require apprentices to sit formal examinations.  The team will support you with exam technique alongside your learning plan, and will arrange for the examinations to take place at your workplace.

If you are undertaking a Level 2 Apprenticeship, you are required to complete Functional Skills English and maths at Level 1.  If however you complete Functional Skills early, it is a government requirement for PMA to upskill you to Level 2 Functional Skills.  If you are undertaking an Apprenticeship at Level 3 or higher, then you will automatically be enrolled to Level 2 Functional Skills.

End Point Assessment (EPA)

EPA is the name given to a series of tests that an apprentice must complete at the end of their Apprenticeship in order to receive their certificate. The EPA confirms apprentices are capable of undertaking the job that they have been training to do.  These tests are undertaken with an external organisation (known as an end point assessment organisation) to remove any bias from the examination process.  The employer will choose the end point assessment organisation and PMA will support them to obtain information pertinent to this if needed.

When apprentices enrol on to an apprenticeship, they study various units covering a wide range of relevant topics for their job enhancing their knowledge, skills and behaviours. This is often referred to as being ‘on programme’ and apprentices must complete all of the mandatory components of this including Functional Skills where appropriate.

Once this is completed, it is at this point the employer, after discussion with their apprentice and PMA, ‘signs off’ their apprentice as ready for EPA. This decision process is known as the ‘gateway’ to End Point Assessment.

The apprentice must be assessed by a minimum of 2 different assessments methods and the methods used will be the ones most relevant to the job. This testing will examine that the apprentice is capable of doing their job.  After the EPA, the apprentice is graded by pass, merit or distinction. Clear grading descriptors set out the requirements for each grade.


Join our vibrant community of over 50,000 today and benefit from our services

As a PMA member, you will benefit from regular news and updates on key issues and regulatory changes that affect GP practices. You will gain access to exclusive training and events that ensure you maintain currency of knowledge and skills. You will have the opportunity to meet and network with your peers from around the UK.

Join PMA