Continuous Practice - General Information

Maintaining current practice in dentistry is one of the requirements for certified dental assistants, dental therapists and dentists wishing to hold practising registration/full certification with BCCOHP.

The Continuous Practice (CP) requirement is outlined in the BCCOHP Bylaws and dictates the number of hours of continuous practice that registrants and certified dental assistants must have over the previous three years.

For those who do not meet these requirements, please read our answers to frequently asked questions about CP.

Dentists, dental therapists and CDAs must achieve the following minimum number of practice hours in the preceding three years (2017, 2018, 2019) in order to renew their 2020/21​ registration/certification as a practising dentist, dental therapist or CDA:

​Dentist​900 hours
​CDA​600 hours
​Dental Therapist​900 hours

Acceptable continuous practice hours include the provision of clinical dental treatment, clinical dental consultation (dentists only), 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.

Calculating your continuous practice hours

To meet the continuous practice requirement, dentists and dental therapists must work approximately 25 hours per month, and CDAs must work approximately 17 hours per month (over a three-year period).

You are responsible for keeping track of your own yearly hours, and will be asked to report them during your annual renewal.

The table below may assist with calculating the hours you have worked. These calculations are based on working an 8-hour day for 48 weeks per year.

​Days worked per week​1-year total​3-year total
​1​384 hours​1152 hours
​2​768 hours​2304 hours
​3​1152 hours​3456 hours
​4​1536 hours​4608 hours
​5​1920 hours​5760 hours

Insufficient practice hours

If you do not meet the continuous practice requirement you may submit documentation outlining what you propose to do to demonstrate competency.

Learn more about your options in our FAQs, which are available below.

CDAs returning to practice

There is an outline of the QA requirements for CDAs who are returning to practice after an extended period of time away.

The requirements for CDAs returning to practice are available here >>

Continuous Practice FAQ for Registrants

The three-year period refers to hours practised in the three years preceding the renewal year. For example, to renew your practising status in 2020/21, the timeframe for continuous practice hours is January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019.

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

Dental reception hours are not eligible for your continuous practice requirement. In order to fulfill the 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 and as a reference for the annual renewal process.

 You may submit documentation outlining what you propose to do to demonstrate competency. This might include successful completion of an exam, course, or other approved education and/or clinical mentorship. The appropriate committee will approve proposals on an individual basis. See instructions for dentists and CDAs below.

  • Dentists
    If you do not have the required continuous practice hours and wish to hold practising registration, please submit a letter to the Registration Committee outlining your specific circumstances, and requesting information on what options are available to you.
  • CDAs
    If you do not have the required continuous practice hours and wish to hold full certification, you must complete the CDA Continuous Practice Request Form (PDF) and submit a written proposal to the Registration Committee.

Your proposal may include: a guided mentorship in a dental practice with defined expectations; completion of the National Dental Assisting Examining Board two-part Written and Clinical Practice Evaluation; or completion of Vancouver Community College’s Certified Dental Assistant Refresher Course.

No. The requirement for continuous practice applies to all dentists, dental therapists, and CDAs regardless of their individual circumstances. The underlying principle behind the continuous practice requirement is safety of the public. For this reason, if you do not meet the requirement, you will be unable to renew your practicing registration/certification. Renewal as a non-practising dentist, dental therapist or CDA is available and may be held indefinitely.

The following table may be helpful in calculating the hours you have worked based on working an 8-hour day for 48 weeks per year.

Days worked per week1-year total3-year total
1384 hours1152 hours
2768 hours2304 hours
31152 hours3456 hours
41536 hours4608 hours
51920 hours5760 hours


Over a three-year period, the full continuous practice requirement works out to approximately:

• 25 hours of work per month for dentists
• 25 hours of work per month for dental therapists
• 17 hours of work per month for CDAs

Dentists or CDAs or dental therapists may hold non-practising registration/certification indefinitely. However, if you want to regain practising status, you will be required to meet the Quality Assurance requirements in place at that time.

Note:
 After an extended absence, educational credentials may not be recognized.

BCCOHP may grant temporary registration/certification to allow you to perform restricted activities as part of their accepted proposals (see the second question).