Dr Elaine Halley: BACD Accreditation

Post Graduate Training
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Dr Elaine Halley asks: “What do you gain from BACD Accreditation?”

The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) was founded by Drs Elaine Halley, Chris Orr and David Bloom. Here Dr Halley, of Perth-based Cherrybank Dental Spa explains why launching the industry-recognised Accreditation programme was a key driver for setting up the Academy.

We very much wanted a benchmark for BACD members to be able to prove a high level of clinical skills. It was also important for Chris, David and myself to demonstrate that we could attain the same standards. We were very much inspired by the AACD Accreditation process, but we wanted to adapt the requirements to make them more suitable for UK dentistry – including a posterior quadrant in the assessment criteria is an example of this.

At the time, I was due to be BACD President after Chris and David. I also had my third child, so I was very busy with work and the Academy. However, it was very important to me that I was undergoing Accreditation prior to taking the office as President. I wanted to demonstrate my belief in the programme.

During the process, I learnt that I am much more critical of myself than others are. Reviewing your work with close-up photography from every angle is very humbling and gives you a deep appreciation for the 3D nature of what we do. Over the years, being an Accredited member of the BACD has given me confidence that a standard of aesthetic care has been achieved.

Not every case can be completed to the exacting requirements for Accreditation, but attaining these standards trains your eyes to see more and, by default, that raises the quality of care delivered. Patients are reassured that you have been judged by your peers and have experience at a level that you can be trusted to treat their smile effectively.

From the beginning, Chris, David and I wanted the organisation to be inclusive so that, regardless of your experience or clinical skills, you would be welcomed. At the BACD, we believe that everyone is learning and sharing their knowledge to help each other and, ultimately, their patients.

I would advise anyone who is considering BACD Accreditation to choose one of the case types from the assessment criteria and to just start the process. I pinned the case types on my office wall so that I was constantly reminded to be on the lookout for an appropriate case.

In the meantime, work on your photography and get in the habit of taking the Accreditation series of images for every patient – you are never sure where the right case will come from. I would also recommend that you take advantage of mentorship. Don’t feel you have to turn up knowing everything.

Look through journals at examples of past cases so that you can train your eye to understand what the Accreditation examiners are looking for. It is also useful to attend the Accreditation workshops at BACD events such as the Annual Conference. Life is busy, so my advice would be to start one or two case types at a time and work to pass those first, rather than risk becoming overwhelmed trying to submit everything at once.

Accreditation, like many things in life, is a journey. Set the intention and begin. Don’t expect to pass everything first time, but be ready to learn and accept feedback. You will grow and take pride in what you can achieve.

For more information about the BACD, visit www.bacd.com