• CHCOHC303A - Use basic oral health screening tools

Use basic oral health screening tools

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by workers to carry out basic oral health screening of clients using tools that are accepted by the oral health sector


This unit is appropriate for workers in a range of health and community services environments whose work roles involve the type of interactions with clients that would enable the use of basic oral health screening tools

Application could be stand alone or as part of other screening processes to identify the need for referral to an oral health practitioner or for additional education or instruction in oral health care

Examples of tools that are accepted by the oral health sector for oral health screening are listed in the Range Statement of this unit


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare for and participate in basic routine oral health screening services

1.1 Explain screening procedure and rationale to clients

1.2 Take into account client's ability to self report

1.3 Seek information and guidance on tools to work with certain individuals and the most suitable approach, taking into consideration factors such as, cognitive ability, communication methods and culture

1.4 Obtain feedback from client to determine that procedure is understood and obtain consent from client or relevant substitute decision maker to conduct screening

1.5 Prepare screening materials and documents

1.6 Perform basic routine screening in line with legislative requirements, organisation requirements and within own work role

1.7 Use only screeningtools that are currently accepted by the oral health sector and are fit for basic oral health screening as part of client support work

1.8 Use tools correctly, strictly according to instructions, guidelines and/or training approved by the oral health sector'

2. Follow screening tool questioning, observation and recording requirements

2.1 Use screening tool to question clients about their oral health taking into account specific individual issues

2.2 Document and record client responses to questions

2.3 Record observations about client's oral health in appropriate format according to tool and organisation guidelines

2.4 Consult with other health personnel where necessary to assist with, confirm or clarify screening and recording processes and outcomes

2.5 Complete reporting processes using information from client, significant others and own observations

2.6 Confirm available and appropriate referral pathways to address identified client needs in line with own work role

2.7 Where appropriate and in consultation with others where necessary, refer clients to address identified needs for oral health education and/or assessment

2.8 Where screening was unsuccessful report and follow up appropriately

3. Review screening process and outcomes

3.1 Ask for feedback from clients and other relevant stakeholders to determine the effectiveness of screening processes and identify any issues in own use of screening tool/s

3.2 Where appropriate, discuss with clients and other relevant stakeholders any issues or obstacles relating to referrals made

3.3 Discuss feedback with other members of the team and take appropriate action to address feedback where required

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

Own role in oral health screening

Relevant referral pathway options

Relevant screening tools and procedures and associated rationale for use

Relevant workplace policies, procedures and programs for screening

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Communicate effectively to provide information and ensure understanding of information provided in a range of formats

Consult effectively with other health and community services personnel

Reflect on and improve own level and application of skills and knowledge to achieve desirable outcomes and maintain own capabilities

Use appropriate referral practices and pathways

Use approved simple oral health screening tool/s appropriately and effectively in line with established oral health sector guidelines

Use communication skills to effectively establish a relationship of trust with clients and/or family or significant others

Use relevant technology, including information technology safely and effectively

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

Apply basic problem solving skills to resolve problems within organisation protocols

Apply literacy and numeracy skills required to fulfill work role in a safe manner and as specified by the organisation

Consistently demonstrate interpersonal skills, including empathy when relating to people from a range of backgrounds and abilities

Incorporate oral health screening processes with other organisation screening

Work effectively with clients, colleagues and supervisors

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit is best assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace under the normal range of conditions

Consistency in performance should consider the particular workplace context

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in health and community services environments should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

This unit can be delivered and assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged

Resources required for assessment include:

access to appropriate workplace where assessment can take place

simulation of realistic workplace setting

Method of assessment:

In cases where the learner does not have the opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios

Assessment of this unit of competency will include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes

Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over a range of relevant workplace conditions

Related units:

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application

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. Add any 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.

Basic routine oral health screening services may include:

Routine screening by age, sex, ethnicity and regional disease prevalence

Screening practices in line with relevant, organisation, local, state, territory and national guidelines

Screening refers to:

Following a process to collect specific information and determine a prescribed course of action

Tools to work with certain individuals may include but not be limited to:

Abbey pain scale - an augmentative pain screening tool for people with cognitive impairment, such as that caused by dementia

Augmentative or alternative communication systems, such as symbols or picture cards

Bite blocks

Tongue depressors


Substitute decision maker (in relation to consent) must be:

The person appointed with the right to speak for the client and may include:




health attorneys

medical power of attorney

members of family

other practitioners

parent of child

person responsible

public trustee

Legislative requirements refers to:

Federal, state or territory legislation that may impact on workers' practices and responsibilities, noting that implementation of the unit of competency must reflect the legislative framework in which a worker operates

Screening tools that are currently accepted by the oral health sector include:

Basic instruments that are appropriate for use in simple oral health screening, such as:

computer-assisted triaging tools, such as 'Relative Needs Index' and 'Information System for Oral Health'

'Lift the Lip'

Specific individual issues may include but not be limited to:

Ability to self-report


Cultural and socioeconomic background

Current knowledge and practices

Developmental stage

Document and record may include the use of:


Verbal reports

Written reports

Organisation guidelines may include but are not limited to:

Clinical protocols

Position descriptions

Workplace policies and procedures, including:

infection control

occupational health and safety (OHS)

Other health personnel may include but are not limited to:

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health workers

Allied health professionals, such as:


health promotion officers


occupational therapists


speech therapists

General practitioners

Members of the community who provide health care


Oral health practitioners


Feedback may be provided:

As a recording using sound or visual media

In writing

Using symbols or drawings



Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable