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14/10/13 12:38

Developing Scottish-Indian higher education partnerships

Dental nursing standards announced

A partnership introducing formal regulation of dental nursing to India, alongside National Occupational Standards, was today sealed in New Delhi.

Witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Coatbridge College and Kuravackal Educational and Charitable Trust, Humza Yousaf, Minister for International Development and External Affairs, said:

“Coatbridge College and the Kuravackal Trust have been working for two years to develop National Occupational Standards for dental technologists, hygienists and assistants, as well as dental nurses. I am delighted to launch these National Occupational Standards in India today.

“Until recently, this kind of detailed regulation of dental nursing did not exist in India, and as a direct result of this partnership, there is now considerable demand from across the country for practitioners with these certified skills, from dental care providers and large teaching institutions.

“The partnership, funded by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), has resulted in strong links being forged with the Healthcare Sector Skills Council, National Skills Development Corporation, dental practitioners and Indian academic establishments. A degree in dental nursing is now being developed, largely influenced by this project, which is great for the college sector.”

The Scottish Government is one of UKIERI’s supporters. Some 42 partnerships have been established over the past seven years by UKIERI between Scottish higher education institutions and their Indian counterparts, several of which aim to develop skills for students in India that will enhance their prospects for sustainable employment.

Other projects focus on leadership development, innovation and enhancing mobility.

Babu Khan, Chief Executive of the Healthcare Sector Skills Council (HSSC) in India, commented:
“Coatbridge College and Indian Dental Nursing have worked closely with the HSSC in developing National Occupational Standards for dental support roles for India under the UKIERI funding. Under the project, Coatbridge College and Indian Dental Nursing reviewed the draft NOS developed by HSSC and took them through an extensive industry engagement and consultation process. These standards for entry level job-roles, validated by the industry, are expected to standardize the delivery of training services across India and improve quality.”
Alastair McGhee, Commercial Development Executive at Coatbridge College, said:
“We are delighted to have developed such strong partnerships in India in a relatively short space of time. Working with organisations such as Scottish Development International and the British Council has been invaluable and we look forward to many years of working together in this important area of healthcare.”

Dr Sanju Thomas from Indian Dental Nursing, said:

“This partnership will open the door of opportunity to standardise dental nursing practice across India. It will make dentistry safer for patients, reducing cross-contamination and the likelihood of infection.”

Notes to editors

National Occupational Standards (NOS) specify the standard of performance an individual must achieve when carrying out a function in the workplace, together with the knowledge and understanding they need to meet that standard consistently. NOS are benchmarks of good practice.

Further information about UKIERI, including details of the Scotland-India partnerships visit: