Continuous Professional Development for Childsmile Staff

Additional Development requirements

As well as undertaking the NES Childsmile training course, personal training and development requirements need to be idenitified and agreed locally for all staff.

Individual needs will 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
  • they have relevant experience.

Prospective and existing dental health support workers should also be supported, within their own health board, to ensure they meet the requirements of the Mandatory Induction Standards (external link) and the Healthcare Support Worker Code of Conduct (external link). These requirements should be monitored by the line manager through the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) processes.

The NHS circular CEL 23 (2010) (external link) provides background details about the creation of the Mandatory Induction Standards.

In addition to a number of other standards, dental health support workers must identify their own needs in relation to developing their knowledge and practice, and reviewing and improving their working practice as required (e.g. shadowing home visiting).

In 2012, Dental Health Support Workers across Scotland were asked to describe their experience starting out in Childsmile Practice, and specifically how they felt about home visiting and the support they received.

This report details the responses of Dental Health Support Workers. It gives valuable insight into the concerns new DHSWs have and the support and encouragement that helps develop confident colleagues. The feedback can be used as part of the PDP process.

A reflective practice tool to support staff development in this area is available from here.

NES also offer a reflective practice tool to help DHSWs and EDDNs develop confidence brushing children’s teeth. This can be found here.

Both these tools should be used in efforts to support local PDP processes.

The information below outlines examples of the sort of personal and professional development needs identified by dental health support workers in partnership with their managers. This list is illustrative and development needs should be identified and agreed in a partnership between the staff member and their manager.

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
  • autism spectrum disorder.

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
  • Extended Duty Dental Nurses (EDDNs)
  • DHSWs (Nursery/School and Practice)
  • toothbrushing staff
  • Dentists
  • Dental Nurses
  • Dental receptionist
  • public health nursing teams
  • home visits, clinics and groups
  • other public health groups and community staff
  • speech therapists
  • health promotion staff
  • school nurses.