Dental Laboratories Association

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DLA logo.gif
Full name Dental Laboratories Association
Founded 1961
Members 1000 (2007)
Affiliation Orthodontic Technicians Association
Key people Gordon Watters, Chairman
Jonathan Bill, Vice Chairman
Richard Daniels, Chief Executive
Betty Doody, Financial Director
Office location Nottingham, UK
Country United Kingdom

The Dental Laboratories Association (DLA) is the professional body for dental laboratory owners in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that members of the DLA are responsible for over 80 per cent of the dental laboratory services in the UK.


The DLA began as a division of the Surgical Instrument Manufacturers Association, later becoming a separate entity. The first meeting of the DLA Council took place in London in 1961. The first Secretary was John Wrench and administration was provided by a firm of accountants called Hughes Allan.

In 1977 Trevor Roadley, a Nottingham dental laboratory owner was appointed as Secretary. Operating initially at his laboratory and then in the DLA's first premises, Roadley gradually built up the range of member services and heightened the standing of the association. The DLA moved to larger premises in Nottingham in 1986, a converted chapel that was being used as a dental laboratory. At this stage the DLA had approximately 400 members. In 1987 Bill Courtney took over as Secretary. Like Trevor before him, Bill was a dental laboratory owner and member of the DLA Council.

By now the DLA was a recognised and respected member of the dental world and regularly met with organisations such as the General Dental Council, Orthodontic Technicians Association, British Dental Association and the Department of Health. These close relationships continue to this day and the DLA has presented evidence to the Health Select Committee at the House of Commons on the challenges faced by the profession.

The DLA was instrumental in setting up the Dental Technicians Education and Training Advisory Board (DTETAB), which is now known as the Dental Technologists Association (DTA). The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of the Medical Devices Directive and the introduction of Quality Systems to the industry. The DLA worked to establish an industry-led standard and the first example of this was a system based on BS 5750 called the Certification Authority for Dental Laboratories and Suppliers (CADLAS), which is still operating as AMTAC MEDICA and is now audited to ISO9002. With the lessons learned in setting up CADLAS, a new system called the Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit Scheme (DAMAS) was launched in 1998. This is based around ISO 9000 and also addresses the Medical Devices Regulations (MDR).

By now the Association membership had risen to over 900 and the association moved into new offices at Arboretum Gate in February 1997.

There have been many changes since 2000, including the retirement of Bill Courtney and appointment of Richard Daniels as Chief Executive. Membership has passed the 1,000 mark, and the DLA is building a profile as a campaigning organisation with appearances across the media.


In May 2001 the Association moved to their current offices on Wollaton Road, Beeston in Nottingham.


The DLA logo is circular in shape with the initials "DLA" in the middle.

Current activities[edit]

The DLA's current projects include:

  • Occupational standards for technicians
  • Training trainers (lab owners)
  • Business advice systems
  • Business seminars
  • Health & safety advice
  • Employment advice
  • Materials non-conformance reporting
  • British Standards (including sports mouthguards)
  • Statutory Registration of technicians
  • Lobbying for ringfenced fees for NHS work
  • Running conferences, exhibitions and seminars
  • Regional meetings and roadshows
  • European affairs concerning laboratories
  • IDEA - Inspiring Dental Education & Advice

The DLA is a member of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Federation of European Dental Laboratory Owners (FEPPD).


Dental Technology Showcase (DTS)[edit]

As the flagship event of the Dental Laboratories Association (DLA), the Dental Technology Showcase (DTS) is a highly respected platform for dental technicians, clinical dental technicians and lab owners to update and refresh their knowledge and skills.

Held alongside The Dentistry Show since 2014, the event offers vast networking opportunities as well as outstanding education, verifiable CPD and access to the very latest innovations in the UK industry.

DTS 2015 will take place on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April at the NEC in Birmingham UK, ensuring a convenient and central location for thousands of dental professionals to attend. An extensive trade exhibition will host over 100 leading dental suppliers and manufacturers including 3Shape, Bracon, Cendres + Metaux, Nobel Biocare, Straumann, Metrodent, Ivoclar Vivadent and Schottlander to name but a few, each demonstrating the latest products, materials and technologies available. Experts will be on hand to provide any information, advice or guidance you may need, helping you to choose the most suitable equipment for optimal clinical results, streamlined workflows and maximum return on investment.

Further information about DTS can be found online:


The DLA Council is the governing body of the association and is elected by the members. The DLA is run by the Nationally Elected Council. All member laboratories may send an observer to Council meetings.

Current Council[edit]

Portfolio Council Member
Chairman Gordon Watters
Vice Chairman Jonathan Bill
Past Chairman Alan Petrie
Chief Executive Richard Daniels
Director of Finance Elizabeth Doody
PA to Chief Executive Vivien Downes
Professional Development Advisor Claire Poole
DAMAS Co-ordinator Janet Cameron
IDEA Co-ordinator Suzanne Charlton
Commercial Services Manager Frances Szymczak
Events/Advertising Co-ordinator Kim O’Connor
Publications Co-ordinator Guy Hughes
Membership Services Lynsey Dransfield
Membership Administrator Lorna Hudson
Council member Barbara Hibbert
Council member John Walton
Council member Graham Cobb
Council member Peter Natt
Council member Andrew Ball
Council member Tony Brown
Council member Jonathon Bill
Council member Jim Mackie
Council member Gordon Watters
Council member David Smith
Council member David Bentley
Council member Ian Taylor
Council member Graham Findlay
Council member Edward Attenborough
Council member Alan Petrie
Council member Anthony Laurie
Scottish Chair Bob Carse
Northern Ireland Chair Trevor Dundee
Welsh Chair Vacant

See also[edit]

External links[edit]