New Zealand Dental Council expects all registered dentists to have an understanding of the cultural, social and legislative framework for the delivery of care in New Zealand.
New Zealand graduates are currently examined in these areas as part of their university degree. Overseas applicants are tested if the Council is not satisfied that they have sufficient knowledge of these areas.
The NZCOP is an open book two-hour examination which is designed to test knowledge of the
conditions that affect New Zealand dentistry. The examination is based on the New Zealand Conditions of Practice publication which is available from the Council on request. A summarised
version of the publication is on the Council's website (www.dcnz.org.nz).
The NZCOP examination is held every 6 weeks but can be staged on a one off basis for urgent
Upon application, you will receive an envelope, which contains the relevant papers for the
examination together with a book for recording answers. The envelope must not be opened
until the due date. The examination requires the presence of a witness.
You choose your own appropriate venue in which you will not be interrupted for 2 hours. The
venue need not be in New Zealand.
Due to the examination being taken by dentists in a variety of international locations, all candidates are required to sit this examination on the same date. The witness/invigilator must be present while the envelope is opened and the questions answered. The answers are sealed in a registered pre-addressed envelope or the candidate organises their own courier envelope if sitting overseas. The answers are returned to the Council within 5 working days.
The witness can be anyone that you nominate but not a relative. They will need to sign a statutory declaration in front of a Justice of the Peace or any other notary figure to witness that you opened the test paper, wrote the answers within the specified time frame, without assistance other than the use of the DCNZ New Zealand Conditions of Practice handbook and returned them to the Council in a pre-addressed envelope.
NZCOP consists of six questions. Two examiners are responsible for marking three questions
each. The complete scripts of all failing candidates are remarked.
A pass or fail grade is assigned to each question. You are expected to demonstrate sufficient
knowledge of all of the areas being tested.
However compensation for a marginal failure in one
of the six questions of the examination may be allowed in formulating the overall grade.
Failing candidates are required resit the entire examination.
You are expected to undertake the NZCOP after sitting and passing both the Written
Examination and/or Clinical Examination