The Fellow of Dental Sleep Medicine (FDSM) program certifies the achievement of minimum clinical competencies in the practice of dental sleep medicine.
It was created by the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) to help both patients and referring medical doctors to identify dentists who have attained these competencies and who maintain their professional education in dental sleep medicine over time. FDSM is not a regulatory requirement to practise dental sleep medicine, but it does offer dentists with particular expertise in this field the opportunity to demonstrate this to potential patients and referring doctors.
Those who successfully complete the certification are entitled to use the post-nominal FDSM, display their completion certificate publicly, and be listed on the ASA public website as Fellows.
The program handbook details the process to attain the certification and how the program is run.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to enrol?
Any member of the ASA who is a dentist registered to practise in Australia or New Zealand can enrol in the program. Fellows must be either a Full Member of the ASA, or upgrade to become a Full Member as soon as they are eligible. Enrollments close for the 2023 FDSM on Friday 29th September 2023.
How much does it cost?
The application fee is $95AUD. The full program fee is $2900AUD (inclusive of GST). If a candidate is approved for recognition of prior learning, the program fee is reduced to $1900AUD.
What does the certification process involve?
To attain certification, candidates must:
- pass a 3-hour multiple-choice examination based on key topics and learning outcomes
- submit a logbook of dental sleep medicine cases they have completed which demonstrate clinical competence (minimum 15 cases)
- submit three detailed case reports demonstrating clinical competence
- attend a sleep laboratory placement to observe a set number of activities and
- obtain two references from sleep physicians in a specified format.
After passing the multiple-choice examination, candidates have 12 months to complete the remaining requirements. Candidates may submit other program requirements (e.g. logbook or case reports) prior to sitting the examination, but the recommendation is to complete the examination first, particularly for people who are fairly new to the practice of dental sleep medicine.
Is training included?
No, this program assesses clinical competencies rather than provide the training that develops them. Candidates can choose how to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge based on their individual circumstances and experience. The program handbook includes a reading list that covers all topics included in the program examination, along with suggestions for on-demand learning available through the ASA Learning Centre. The ASA provides other education and training opportunities in dental sleep medicine. It is recommended that potential FDSM candidates have undertaken 60 - 80 hours of training in the area of dental sleep medicine prior to commencing the FDSM and the program staff can provide recommendations on appropriate courses if required. In some instances, FDSM candidates may receive reduced registration fees for relevant ASA learning activities.
How long will it take?
A candidate's level of existing knowledge and experience will dictate how long it will take to complete the FDSM program. It may be as little as a few months. The only requirement is that all program activities are completed within 12 months of successfully passing the 3-hour examination. Examinations are conducted at specific times of the year, so this will impact timelines for program completion, along with when the candidate enrols in the program. We expect that candidates will mostly be able complete all the program requirements within 12 months.
Who runs the program?
The Australasian Sleep Association developed and manages the program, and ultimate responsibility lies with the ASA Board. The FDSM Advisory Committee oversees the operation of the FDSM program, which is run by employees of the ASA. Employees are managed by the ASA CEO. The FDSM Advisory Committee is a sub-committee of the ASA Education Committee, which reports to the ASA Board through the Education Chair, who is also a member of the FDSM Advisory Committee. More details are included in the program handbook.
How do I apply?
Access the ASA Learning Centre as the first step. Then complete and submit the Fellow of Dental Sleep Medicine application form located in the Learning Centre.
What's required to retain certification?
There is no formal re-certification process. Once a candidate has successfully achieved certification, they are only required to maintain their ASA membership and undertake ongoing professional development activities in dental sleep medicine. They must complete at least one relevant educational activity every year – a webinar, attendance at Sleep DownUnder or other dental sleep medicine educational activity. These should be recorded in each Fellow's ASA Learning Centre account which will be randomly audited by staff to ensure ongoing activity requirements are met. Learning activities undertaken through the ASA Learning Centre are automatically recorded in each user's account, and learning activities run by other organisations can be added to your ASA account via your Learning Centre 'Completed' tab.
Can I get recognition of prior learning or consideration for extensive practical experience?
The FDSM Advisory Committee will consider requests for prior learning recognition in dental sleep medicine for the first three years of the program only (until November 2024). These requests must be included in the program application form and retrospective requests will not be considered. Preference will be given to applicants with formal qualifications from a reputable university. Please provide a certified copy of any formal qualifications with your application form in order to request for recognition of prior learning.
All candidates regardless of prior learning must sit and pass the 3-hour multiple choice examination. Provision of a case logbook, detailed case reports, physician references and sleep lab observations will still be required, but candidates may use material prepared for previous courses to meet the program requirements. If a candidate is approved for recognition of prior learning, the program fee is reduced to $1900AUD. More information is in the program handbook.