Certified Dental Assistant Quality Assurance Requirements

BCCOHP’s Quality Assurance (QA) Program helps ensure the public is well-served by competent oral healthcare professionals. 

Certified dental assistants (CDAs) are required to take mandatory continuing education courses and fulfill continuous practice requirements.

Note: BCCOHP’s QA program will be enhanced in order to promote career-long hands-on learning, encourage collaboration among oral health professionals and improve treatment outcomes for patients.  Harmonization of the quality assurance program and other individual requirements will be a priority after September 1, 2022.

Current QA Program

BCCOHP’s QA program has two main components:

  • continuing education (number of credits required to hold full certification)
  • continuous practice (number of practice hours required to hold full certification)

Below is a summary of QA requirements for CDAs. General information about continuing education and continuous practice can be found in the sidebar.

Following are descriptions of the categories under which CDAs may earn CE credits and the maximum number of credits allowed in each category over a three-year cycle.

​Category/ Modality

​Description

Max Credits Per Cycle ​

​CDAs

​Clinical Dental

​Relates directly to the provision of patient care and treatment

​No limit ​

​Dental Practice Management

Relates directly to the operation and management of a dental practice ​(does not include courses related to personal financial or retirement planning, or marketing products or services to patients)

​18

​Dental/
Medical Emergencies

​First aid, CPR, ACLS, and management of dental/medical emergencies

​12

​Non-Clinical Dental

​Topics that are applicable to the registrant’s practice of dentistry

​12

​Other Dental

​E.g. CDA modules, lecturers/ presenters/mentors/supervisors, university/college courses, examinations, publication authorship, and learning contract/directed study

​Variable

See pages 6-7 of Continuing Education Requirements (PDF) document

Note: There are credit limits associated with the various CE learning categories and modalities (e.g. live lecture versus self-study). For more information, read the Continuing Education Requirements (PDF) document.

CDAs are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria for continuing education credits, which is available here​.​

CDAs are required to maintain a minimum number of hours of mandatory continuing education (CE) in order to renew certification to practise each year.

Your CE cycle is assigned at the date of registration and runs on a three-year calendar cycle, e.g. January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022.​

Minimum required credits during a three-year cycle: 36 credits (one hour = 1 credit)

Detailed requirements, including course eligibility, are outlined in the Continuing Education Requirements (PDF) document. ​​​

CDAs must achieve at least 600 practice hours in the preceding three years in order to renew their full certification.

Acceptable continuous practice hours include the provision of clinical dental treatment, employment as a dental educator or dental researcher, or enrollment in a dental education program.

In order to fulfill this requirement, a CDA must perform the restricted activities that a CDA may perform under the BCCOHP Bylaws. If you work in both an administrative and clinical capacity, you should keep track of your clinical hours for your records. Dental reception hours are not eligible for your continuous practice requirement.

To meet the continuous practice requirement, CDAs must work approximately 17 hours per month (over a three-year period).