Specialist Disciplines

Fellowship and Membership – What is the difference?


Fellowship in Specialist Dental Practice is recognition of proven peer proficiency and is seen as a continuation of learning and professional development in that discipline.

Fellowship represents the successful assessment and peer review a level of proficiency such that the candidate will be expected to demonstrate advanced knowledge and clinical skill commensurate with an experienced specialist practitioner in the Specialist Dental Practice discipline. Fellowship is awarded following completion of a period of five (5) years of Specialist practice and the Fellowship Examination. Fellowship may not be granted through application for prior recognition of qualifications or experience.


Membership in Specialist Dental Practice is granted in recognition of a candidate’s standing as a specialist in their discipline and is achieved through completion of an examination or via the assessment of qualifications and experience.

Membership in Specialist Dental Practice is for those that have attained, or are eligible for, specialist registration in their country. Competency is based on demonstrated knowledge and clinical expertise commensurate with an Australian or New Zealand graduate of a structured specialist program in the relevant dental practice specialty or, in the case of Dental Public Health, a structured specialist program in Public Oral Health & Epidemiology, or equivalent as approved by the Board of Studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all supporting documents are required to be certified copies of the original. Please refer to the certification guidelines on the RACDS website. Please do not send original documents.

The relevant forms can be found on both the Fellowship(SDP) and Membership(SDP) webpages.

Enrolment forms can be sent electronically.

Each year the College will publish the College fees online. Refer to the Membership – Specialist Dental Practice (SDP) or Fellowship – Specialist Dental Practice (SDP) sections.

Enrolment in a Specialist Dental Practice examination does not include a mentor arrangement; however the College highly recommends you seek advice from senior specialists; particularly Fellows of the College for advice on case report preparation and viva voce examination techniques.

If you obtain Membership or Fellowship in a specialist dental practice discipline, it does not mean you will be eligible for registration or to practice in Australia. Please contact the local regulatory authority in your country of practice for information about registration.

Each program has its own dedicated administration team. Please email [email protected] in the first instance for more information on the Specialist Dental Practice pathways