What does a practice manager do?

The practice manager deals with all of the non-clinical elements of running a practice so that the clinical side of the dental team can concentrate fully on treating patients. The manager’s role and responsibilities vary depending on the size and individual needs of their practice, but generally they perform the following duties:

  • Hiring staff
  • Managing costs and finances
  • Ensuring the practice is run efficiently so that the best possible standard of care is consistently delivered to patients
  • Developing business and marketing plans
  • Maintaining good working conditions for all their staff
  • Organising regular staff meetings so that every member of the dental team has the opportunity to express their ideas and report any problems
  • Ensuring health and safety standards are maintained in the workplace
  • Keeping up to date with any changes in the dental industry
    • Changes to dentists’ contracts
    • Patients’ needs and expectations
    • Business and financial requirements

What skills and qualifications do you need to become a practice manager?

Practice managers must have a very high level of literacy and numeracy, as well as excellent communication, interpersonal, organisational and leadership skills. They require a wide range of dental and management


Many practice managers begin their professional life in the industry as dental receptionists or dental nurses and ideally would hold formal qualifications in information technology and/or business. Many practice managers also obtain an ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) or a MBA (Master of Business Administration) accredited qualification in Practice Management. Practice managers don’t have to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), but may already be registered if they have previously obtained a Dental Care Professional (DCP) qualification.

British Dental Practice Managers’ Association (BDPMA)

What is the BDPMA?

The BDPMA is the body that deals with all aspects of dental practice management in the UK. It is a nationally recognised organisation that is run by practice managers. 

What does the BDPMA do?

The BDPMA looks after the interests of its members and provides information to practice managers by:

  • Keeping members up to date with information about changes in practice management to help managers to run their practices in the best possible way for both their patients and staff
  • Providing information about training and professional development opportunities for practice managers
  • Organising events to give members the opportunity to meet colleagues, network and exchange ideas
  • Organising an annual conference with expert speakers in the industry
  • Publishing a monthly newsletter and quarterly magazine Practical Focus