Work within an equine dental service provision framework

This Unit of Competency covers the legal requirements and ethical principles and responsibilities of working as an equine dental service provider in the equine industry. It includes an overview of industry best practice techniques and procedures used in evidenced based equine dentistry and the scope of equine allied health provider fields.


This Unit is applicable to the equine industry where it may be necessary to provide equine dental treatment and other services. In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all Units of Competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort are minimised.


There are no pre-requisite Units for this competency standard

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria

1 Commit to the principles and practices of equine dentistry

1.1 Applied knowledge of good practice techniques and procedures used in equine dentistry and the scope of equine allied health provider fields is provided

1.2 Appropriate administrative support services, including records and charts, are developed, applied and maintained for all cases

1.3 The provision of all equine dental services is conducted within the limits of animal welfare requirements and professional and personal scope

1.4 National and state equine dental association regulations, standards and guidelines are identified and complied with

1.5 State/Territory veterinary surgeons/practitioners legislation and regulations are identified and complied with

1.6 Policies and procedures for animal management and environmentally sustainable work practices are developed, documented and promoted

2 Develop an industry network

2.1 Equine industry health service providers are identified and options for horse health care are evaluated

2.2 A network is developed with equine industry health service providers for sharing of information, collaboration and consultation in the care of the horse

2.3 Owners or carers are referred to veterinarians or other appropriate service providers when appropriate

3 Represent equine dentistry practices available to the community

3.1 The need for regular equine dental care is explained to owners, carers and members of the public as required

3.2 Qualifications of, and services provided by equine dental service providers are explained to the public

3.3 Information on equine dental conditions found and treatment options are provided to the public

Required Skills

Required skills include:

Ability to:

analyse and solve problems using available information and resources, including recording information and prioritising daily tasks

apply interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities

communicate effectively with others, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and consulting with or seeking advice from other relevant persons

comply with animal welfare legislation, animal care guidelines, state and territory veterinary surgeons or practitioners legislation and regulations, relevant equine dental association code of conduct, equine dental service provider accreditation requirements and standards

consult clearly and precisely with other appropriate service providers

identify when the needs of a horse are beyond the provider's professional and personal scope

prepare and maintain equine dental records using appropriate terminology in all cases attended to

recognise when to refer owners or carers to a veterinarian or other appropriate service providers.

Required knowledge includes:

Knowledge of:

equine health therapies and treatments

history of equine dental care, techniques and methods

industry, anatomical and dental terminology related to equine dental health care

professional indemnity and public liability insurance requirements

principles of animal welfare

relevant legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including OHS, animal welfare and ethics, veterinary practice, restricted dental practices and waste disposal

relevant state or territory legislation covering the supply, possession and use of restricted and controlled substances

standards, codes of practice, guidelines and approaches to environmental sustainability relevant to the animal care industry

safe work practices.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this Unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this Unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this Unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:

comply with legislation, regulations and codes of conduct for the provision of equine dental health care

uphold the ethical principles and responsibilities of working as an equine health care professional by working within the limits of professional and personal scope and promoting responsible equine dental health care

promote and explain the processes and procedures used in modern equine dentistry, using appropriate terminology, to horse owners and others

identify the range of options available in the management of horse health

identify conditions or situations where owners or carers should be referred to other appropriate service providers

use appropriate terminology when describing or explaining equine dental conditions and procedures to equine dental health providers and others

develop, apply and maintain administrative support services including records and charts.

The skills and knowledge required to work within an equine dental service provider framework must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment for this Unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.

There must be access to the appropriate equipment and resources to enable one to demonstrate competence.

Method of assessment

To ensure consistency in performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry standards, on more than two occasions over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities and over a number of assessment activities.

The assessment strategy must include assessment of competency in a work environment. Suggested strategies for this Unit are:

written and oral assessment of candidate’s required knowledge

observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate’s application of practical tasks

simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions

case studies

third-party evidence

workplace documentation.

This Unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other Units of Competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socio-economic backgrounds).

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Principles may include:

accepted preventative practices adopted by the provider or peers to minimise safety hazards and risks

maintaining provider, assistant and patient health and hygiene

adherence to principles of client confidentiality

conducting referral of horses who require treatment outside the provider's professional and personal scope

adherence to relevant code of ethics or code of conduct documents/policies

adherence to relevant national, state and territory regulations and guidelines.

Techniques and procedures used in the provision of equinedentistry including all levels of service may include:


horse handling

horse inspection

horse restraint which may include sedation

oral examination

speculum types and their use

manual file (float) use

motorised equipment use


performing manual or motorised equipment filing (floating)



wolf tooth




Records and charts should include:

client details

animal health records including history of prior treatment

written description of dental charts of conditions found and treatment using recognised industry standards for example:

anatomical nomenclature system

modified triadan number system

infection control records

recommended treatments, and treatments provided if different

recommendations given including diet, care and revisit requirements

Environmentally sustainable work practices may include:

environmentally friendly waste management

processes to support environment and resource efficiencies.

Equine industry health service providers may include:


advanced equine dental service providers

certified equine dental service providers

bit makers

equine chiropractors

equine massage therapists

alternative therapists, such as acupuncture

equine nutritionists

farriers and hoof care providers

saddle fitters

Alternative therapists, such as acupuncture

Equine dental conditions found may include:

congenital and genetic abnormalities

dental fractures

eruption, abnormal versus normal

evidence of infection of soft or hard tissues

excessively sharp buccal and lingual edges involving enamel, dentine or cementum

feed impaction

hard or soft tissue masses

malocclusions (acquired and congenital)

periodontal disease

endodontic disease

shedding of deciduous teeth (caps)

loose teeth (incisors, canines, premolars or molars) that are not easily removed or extracted

soft tissue injury

Treatment options at all levels may include:

calculus ("tartar") removal

dental correction and management with manual or motorised equipment


referral to veterinarian or other appropriate service providers


Equine dentistry

Employability Skills

This Unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this Unit. Therefore, it will be necessary to check with the relevant state or territory regulators for current licensing, legislative or regulatory requirements before undertaking this Unit.