What is the Childsmile training programme?

Childsmile training is delivered by NHS Education Scotland (NES). Dental Nurses and DHSWs are required to undertake the NES Childsmile training course.

Full details of when courses are available, course content, how to apply and pre-course requirements can be found on the NES website.

The NES Childsmile training course covers:

  • Dental Public health
  • Caries and fluoride
  • Oral soft and hard tissue
  • Application of fluoride
  • Health/safety and infection control
  • Breastfeeding/weaning and early nutrition
  • Child protection
  • Working with children in the clinical/community setting
  • Health behaviour change and effective communication
  • The social and medical model of health
  • Inequalities and equitable services in health
  • Action planning a Childsmile oral health promotion session

Childsmile training is delivered by NES Dental Nurses and DHSWs are required to undertake the Childsmile training course, organised by NES.

Details of when courses are available, course content, how to apply and pre-course requirements are available on the NES website. Applications to the course must come from the participants themselves.

Childsmile Coordinators must keep NES fully informed of the recruitment process and potential numbers of participants requiring training over forthcoming periods in order that sufficient courses are available.

NES should be advised by Coordinators in advance of any large recruitment drives planned and should be informed of potential numbers and names for the next available training course.

Procedure for application:

  • Dental nurses applying to undertake training must be employed by a Childsmile practice or salaried/community dental services
  • He/she must receive authorisation from a Childsmile Coordinator before applying for the course
  • Applications to the course must come from the participant DHSW or dental nurses

Additional requirements

As well as undertaking the NES Childsmile training course, there are a number of local training and shadowing requirements for participants.

Individual requirements depend on whether:

  • The participant is employed by an independent practice or a Health Board
  • They will be working solely in practice, nursery/school or both

The information below outlines the training and shadowing opportunities that are recommended in various Health Boards at the moment.

The training elements that are relevant to staff will depend on their role and place of employment. It is the responsibility of the Coordinator to ensure that staff are aware of the relevant training requirements in order to undertake their role.

This training may be carried out pre- or post- NES training.

NES have indicated that it is advantageous for participants to have a level of understanding of the programme before attending the Childsmile course. NES also recommends workplace shadowing.

Additional training


  • Hand washing
  • Basic life support
  • Manual handling
  • Infection control
  • Fire safety


  • Violence and aggression
  • Child protection
  • Weaning and nutrition
  • Breastfeeding
  • Domestic abuse
  • Equality and diversity
  • Suicide brief intervention
  • Community development
  • Post natal depression
  • Smoking cessation
  • Substance misuse

Local NHS policies and procedures

  • Lone working policy
  • Record keeping policy
  • Travel and timesheet procedures
  • Child protection guidelines
  • Code of conduct for Health Care Support Workers – NHS Scotland

Shadowing opportunities for

  • Childsmile staff
  • EDDNs
  • DHSW: Nursery/School and Practice
  • Toothbrushing staff
  • Dentists
  • Dental nurses
  • Dental receptionist
  • Public health nursing teams
  • Home visits
  • Clinics
  • Groups
  • Other public health groups and community staff
  • Speech therapists
  • Health promotion staff
  • School nurses