Professional Profile and Competences of Dental Hygienists in Europe
The dental hygienist is the key provider of preventive oral care (primary, secondary and tertiary prevention) in order to promote and improve the oral health of individuals, families and groups in society. The dental hygienist possesses the necessary professional qualifications and is able to provide patient-centered, holistic and evidence based preventive oral care independently. The dental hygienist must possess a wide range of competences, knowledge and skills in order to provide the highest quality of patient care at all times. The right to carry the title of dental hygienist is restricted to the person to whom a certificate is given issued by an authority in a Member State certifying successful completion of professional training at higher vocational or university level according to the European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF level 6) and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (with a minimum of 180 ECTS credits).
The Professional Profile is unanimously adopted by the EDHF General Assembly on 12 September 2015 (Dublin) and is revised on 4 August 2016 with agreement of the Member Countries by mail vote. In 2019 the Professional Profile is adjusted to the Common Education Framework and adopted by the EDHF General Assembly on 21 September 2019 (Helsinki).
The profile is an initial step in the process of developing a common education framework for dental hygienists in Europe, recognized in EU-directives on Professional Qualifications.
The document can also be used in all European countries where dental hygienist education is planned and when communicating with authorities and decision makers about oral health strategies.