Standards & Guidance

There is an extensive list of UK standards and guidance on decontamination and infection control within a dental practice.

Standards and Guidance

Which standards and guidance are applicable to your dental practice depends on where you are in the country.

England, Scotland and Wales have different standards and guidance that cover similar topics. The ones relevant to your practice are defined by geographical location.

These should be adhered to alongside UK wide documents.


If your dental practice is in England, the following standards and guidance are relevant to you, along with the UK wide documents.

HTM 01-05: 2013 Edition
Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practices
  This document provides guidance on decontamination policy within a primary care dental practice. Advice on local decontamination, engineering, technology and standards relating to the processing of re-usable medical devices is given. Periodic test schedules for decontamination equipment is also provided. 
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Code of Practice
  This document sets out the requirements a practice should adhere to in relation to obtaining, handling, using and disclosure of personal information. The document should be used to continually update and better any processes, policies in place; this will then enable a practice to provide detailed information for staff and service users in relation to the handling of confidential personal information. It is designed to reassure staff and service users about how our confidential personal information is to be handled and used. 
HTM 07-01:
Safe Management of Healthcare Waste
  This document provides information in relation to the safe disposal of all clinical waste and replaces the Health Services Advisory Committee’s (1999) guidance document. Its main aim is to focus on the management of infectious and medicinal waste and is designed to assist healthcare providers to meet legislative requirements. 
NPSA National Specifications for Cleanliness:
Primary Medical and Dental Premises
  The registration requirements of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 and the CQC requires us as healthcare providers to ensure that all who are at risk of healthcare associated infections are protected. It is a document designed to give guidance on the management and implementation of processes in place to ensure premises are clean and safe for all staff and service users. 
Infection Prevention Society (IPS)
Audit Tool V2 2013

  The audit tool is a document produced by the infection prevention Society and is designed to allow practices in a primary care dental setting to self-assess in line with HTM01-05 decontamination guidelines .This then should identify issues and process information based on the findings, this information is then used to improve the quality of decontamination processes within your practice. 
England: Care Quality Commission
  This is independent national body responsible for checking health care providers for compliance with the essential standards and requirements. The CQC website provides guidance on meeting the standards and how to register with the CQC. 


If your dental practice is in Scotland, the following standards and guidance are relevant to you, along with the UK wide documents.

Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme
  The organisation offers evidence based guidance and support for dental practices in Scotland in relation to clinical and organisational decision making. Their aim is to assist these practices in delivering the best possible care for dental patients. 
Scotland: Scottish Commission for Regulation of Care
(Healthcare Improvement Scotland)
  This is a health body formed to provide healthcare improvement advice that is evidence based and focuses on helping independent healthcare providers to deliver safe and effective patient care. The body is also responsible for examining such services to ensure that public assurance about the quality and care they receive is exceptional. 


If your dental practice is in Wales, the following standards and guidance are relevant to you, along with the UK wide documents.

HTM 01-05: Welsh Edition
Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practices
  This document is designed to assist dental practices in essential quality requirements and best practice in relation to decontamination processes in your dental practice. It is important to be aware that this document is produced specifically for primary care dental practices in Wales and differs slightly to the HTM 01-05: England. 
Health Inspectorate Wales
  The Health Inspectorate Wales is and independent body and regulator of health care providers in Wales. It focuses on improving the safety and quality of health care providers, and is specifically mentioned as key factor in the HTM01-05 Wales edition.  

Northern Ireland

If your dental practice is in Northern Ireland, the following standards and guidance are relevant to you, along with the UK wide documents.

HTM 01-05: Northern Ireland (DHSSPSNI)
Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practices
  Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 is a document designed to provide guidance to primary care dental practices to ensure that essential quality requirements and current best practice standards are met and maintained within the decontamination processes. It is important to take in account that guidance provided from the Northern Ireland Chief Dental Officer should be followed as some areas of this document may differ slightly from the HTM 01-05: England.  
Standards and Guidance Minimum Standards for
Dental Care and Treatment (RQIA)
  This document sets out the standards a patient or any individual attending with you should expect to receive from a primary care dental service. It is a set of standards designed to help you understand what quality of care you should be receiving and to ensure that you have a chance to actively express your views to continuously improve the quality and care a dental practice provides.  
Northern Ireland:
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority
  This organisation is responsible for monitoring and inspecting the quality and availability of health and social providers in Northern Ireland. It is an independent body that aims to ensure health and social care services in Northern Ireland are well managed and accessible and encourage these services to make improvements to its quality.   

United Kingdom

The following standards and guidance are relevant to all parts of the UK alongside the relevant geographical requirements.

Legionella L8
The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems

  This is an approved code of practice which provides practical help and advice on the control of legionella bacteria in our water systems. It gives guidance on compliance that is relative to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 1999. Management of risk, training, competency and good record keeping are also included in the document. 
Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare)
(HSE Referring to EN legislation)
  This document provides guidance for employers and employees to help them understand the legal obligations as set out by the Health and Safety Regulations 2013 to ensure that employers are meeting requirements to minimise the risk of sharps injury, are adequately assessed and have the appropriate control measures in place.