A dental assisting program that is not accredited cannot grant a certification designation to dental assistants. What this means is that the dental assistant cannot perform any intra-oral duties (inside the oral cavity). For example, a non-certified dental assistant cannot take x-rays, or polish teeth. There are too many restrictions to list. This link provides a list of duties that a CDA can perform: Canadian Dental Assisting Legal Scope of Practice,(CDAA, 2016). So, it is really important for a potential CDA to ensure that the institution of their choice is accredited, and believe it or not, of the 11 dental assisting programs in British Columbia, 2 are non-accredited. I’m confused as to why a person would register in a non-accredited program . . .
A publicly funded institution, like Okanagan College, solicits an assessment every 3 years (new program) or 7 years (established program) from the CDAC. My colleague who teaches at Okanagan College shared that the program was last assessed in 2013 by the CDAC. The accreditation package is lengthy and extremely comprehensive; it can be found on the CDAC website (CDAC, 2018). The staff begin working on recommendations immediately, and they also begin preparing for the next assessment which will be in 2020.
To be honest, the accreditation process of dental assisting programs is new information for me, and I am very impressed with the program’s commitment to the profession. All staff must have a vested interest in learner success, in the program’s success, and ultimately in the institution’s success as well!
CDAA. (2016). Canadian Dental Assisting Legal Scope of Practice by Province – 2016. Retrieved from http://www.cdaa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Canadian-Dental-Assisting-Legal-Scope-of-Practice-2016.pdf
CDAC. (2018). Dental Assisting. Retrieved from https://www.cda-adc.ca/cdacweb/en/accreditation_requirements/dental_assisting/
Follow the link in the above image’s caption to learn about the historic lighthouse. I love lighthouses, they remind me of safety and trust.