Unit of competency details

ACMEQD401A - Work within an equine dental service provision framework (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by ACMEQD401 - Work within an equine dental service provision frameworkUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Work placement requirement included. 28/Nov/2017

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 09/Mar/2012


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080301 Business Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080301 Business Management  03/Sep/2012 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

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.

Application of the Unit

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.

Licensing/Regulatory 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.


There are no pre-requisite Units for this competency standard

Employability Skills Information

This Unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

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 and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this Unit.

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 Guide

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 equine dentistry including all levels of service may include:

  • techniques:
  • horse handling
  • horse inspection
  • horse restraint which may include sedation
  • oral examination
  • speculum types and their use
  • manual file (float) use
  • motorised equipment use
  • procedures:
  • performing manual or motorised equipment filing (floating)
  • extraction:
  • cap
  • wolf tooth
  • intra-oral
  • supernumerary
  • surgical

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:

  • veterinarians
  • 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
  • extractions
  • referral to veterinarian or other appropriate service providers

Unit Sector(s)

Equine dentistry