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CODA Communicator: Winter/Spring 2014

A Message From the Chair CODA Updates
Meeting Highlights Adopted Policy Revisions
Major Actions of Interest Actions of General Interest
Discipline Specific Updates Report Deadlines
Upcoming Hearings, Meetings and Events Call for Volunteers


The Commission continues its work to assure educational quality for the public's protection by monitoring the educational activities consistent with nationally established standards for 1,452 dental and dental-related education programs in the United States. The winter 2014 Commission meeting addressed many aspects of various accreditation processes, and I wish to highlight three areas: 1) international accreditation fees, 2) draft standards for dental therapy and 3) finances for the Commission. I am very appreciative of the dedicated Commission staff who manage a broad range of activities to support the Commission's work.

International Accreditation Fees: The Commission continues its work in the international arena and has established a formal financial structure to offset the costs associated with this expanding role for CODA. The fees are consistent with those of domestic predoctoral programs but reflect a higher site visit fee as the level of staff support required is more time intensive.

Draft Standards for Dental Therapy: December 1, 2013 was the deadline for the Commission to receive comments on the draft standards for dental therapy education programs. Over 1,500 pages of documentation were submitted and reviewed by the Task Force assigned to develop these standards. The Commission approved a re-draft of the standards and directed that the revised, proposed standards be re-circulated for further comment during 2014 based on a number of substantive changes, such as program director requirements and length of the educational program. Several Open Hearings will be conducted throughout this year, and individuals may contact the Commission directly to provide input on the proposed standards.

Commission Finances: The Commission's primary source of revenue is through program accreditation fees and other fees. The CODA Finance Committee has been reviewing the overall funding structure for the Commission and recommended an increase this year, with moderate annual fee increases for certain disciplines. Work will continue to assure adequate financial support for the growing demands of the Commission's accreditation program, but with closer attention to the financial impact on various programs.

More details on the winter 2014 meeting follow in the rest of this newsletter. As you will see there is much going on with the Commission. The Commission functions independently and autonomously in matters of developing and approving accreditation standards, making accreditation decisions on educational programs and developing and approving policies and procedures that are used in the accreditation process. It is an honor to serve as Chair of CODA, and share some of the ongoing work of the Commission with you.

Dr. John N. Williams 
Chair, Commission on Dental Accreditation (2013-2014)


You can always get the most up to date accreditation information on the Commission's website.

For the most current Accreditation Standards, please visit the website.


This year's Winter 2014 Meeting was held on January 29-30, 2014. Here are the highlights of the major actions taken by the Commission at the open session.

Major Actions of Interest to All Accredited Programs

The Commission reviewed accreditation reports and took 280 accreditation actions on dental, advanced dental and allied dental education programs. Accreditation status actions can be found here.

The Commission granted accreditation to a total of five (5) new programs:

Education Program
Advanced Education in General Dentistry
Dental Assisting
Dental Hygiene
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
Five (5) programs received a formal warning that accreditation will be withdrawn in July 2014 unless the requested information, demonstrating compliance with the accreditation standards, is submitted prior to that time:

Education Program
Dental Assisting
Dental Hygiene
Pediatric Dentistry

The Commission discontinued the accreditation of one (1) program:

Education Program 
General Practice Residency
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Adopted Policy Revisions

In association with the report of the Standing Committee on Documentation and Policy Review, the Commission took action to revise eight (8) existing policies and implement new policies. A summary of the actions regarding policy is included below for your review.

Policy on Conflict of Interest and the Policy on Consultants/Site Visitors
  • providing further clarification on the role of the Commission consultant/site visitor, Review Committee member, and Commissioner.
Policy and Procedure for Development and Revision of Accreditation Standards
  • providing further clarification on document preparation prior to circulation of proposed changes.
Policy on Site Visits
  • removing the policy on dental education programs for graduates of international schools, as this policy is no longer relevant.
Policy on Request for Transfer of Sponsorship of Accredited Programs
  • updating the language to clarify the type of information that should be provided in the request.
Policy on Requests for Contact Distribution Lists
  • clarifying language to define a commercial interest and changing the fee structure for this type of request.
Policy and Procedure Regarding Investigation of Complaints Against Educational Programs
  • enhancing the definition of an "anonymous comment/complaint" and the process for review of this type of complaint.
Policy Statement on Accreditation of Off-Campus Sites
  • incorporating exclusionary language for dental public health regarding reporting off-sites used for field experiences, and updating the potential actions that could be recommended by the Review Committee and taken by the Commission.
Policy on Review Committees
  • providing guidance for temporary appointment of an additional discipline-specific expert when an inadequate number of experts are available due to a recusal.
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Additional Commission Actions of General Interest

The Commission considered reports related to the development of Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs, the activities of the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning, and the Finance Committee. A summary of actions related to these activities is included below for your review. For more in-depth information on the revised policies, please review the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual.

Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs:
The Commission directed that the modified proposed standards be circulated to the communities of interest until December 1, 2014 for consideration by the Dental Therapy Standards Development Task Force and the Commission at the February 2015 CODA meeting. Open Hearings will be conducted at the American Dental Education Association, American Dental Hygienists' Association, American Dental Assistants Association, and American Dental Association Annual Meetings. See Open Hearing below.

Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning Committee:
The Commission directed staff to collect resources on Commission actions related to balancing discipline-specific and non-discipline-specific experts, an update to a 2008 study on the restructuring of the Commission, and an update to a 2010 benchmarking study on structure models and cost implications to the Commission, for review and development of a draft policy on initiation of new review committees and Commissioner positions, with a report to the Commission in Summer 2014.

Standing Committee on Finance:

The Commission directed that a fee structure be implemented for international predoctoral programs that apply for Commission accreditation, as follows: a) $50,000 application fee; b) international programs pay all site visit expenses (actual expenses) for all site visits during the application and regular site visit schedule; c) implement an administrative fee of 25% of the total site visit cost to the program for coordination of each site visit; and d) assess a $10,000 annual fee in 2015 for international predoctoral programs. All fees must be paid in U.S. Dollars.

The Commission directed inclusion of a new "Policy on CODA Research and Development Fund (R & D Fund)" in the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual, which outlines the operational guidelines for management and distribution of the R & D Fund.

The Commission approved accreditation fees for 2015 as follows: 2015 Annual Fees of $6480 for predoctoral programs, $1620 for dental assisting, dental hygiene and all advanced education programs, and $1,140 for dental laboratory technology programs. The Commission approved in 2015 a $35 administrative fee for the Research and Development Fund. Affirmed that during the year of a regular accreditation site visit, the annual fee will be doubled. Maintained the application fee of $50,000 for predoctoral programs and $15,000 for all other dental programs. Maintained additional 2015 fees as follows: $4,000 special focused site visit administrative fee; $1,000 penalty for non-compliance with CODA policy on HIPAA; $250-$500 Electronic Conversion of Paper Documents Fee; and $200 minimum Email/Contact Distribution List Fee.


The Commission considered the ADA House of Delegates Resolutions and directed the Predoctoral Dental Education Review Committee to study Resolution 57H-2013, urging the Commission to revise the Accreditation Standards for Predoctoral Dental Education Programs related to practice management to include instruction on personal debt management and financial planning, with a report for the Summer 2014 CODA meeting. The Commission will also consider proposed revisions to the Accreditation Standards submitted by Dr. Faiella, past president, ADA.

Additionally, the Predoctoral Review Committee of the Commission is in the process of developing guidelines for enrollment increase, as well as a draft policy or standard on monitoring private office practices for community based dental education. A report with further progress on these matters will be considered by the Commission later this year

Dental Assisting: In response to a Winter 2014 CODA directive, the Commission recently sponsored a webinar for dental assisting site visitors to provide updates on the revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Dental Assisting Education Programs, which were implemented January 1, 2014. Approximately 49 site visitors and Dental Assisting Review Committee members attended the webinar. The Commission plans to develop more webinars to support training initiatives for site visitors and volunteers.

Dental Hygiene: The Commission directed the formation of an ad hoc committee of Review Committee members to study interpretation and application of Dental Hygiene Standards 2-7 through 2-11, with a summary report to the Commission at the Summer 2014 Meeting.

At the Winter 2014 meeting, the Commission adopted revisions to the following accreditation standards for implementation July 1, 2014:

  • Accreditation Standards for Advanced Education Programs in General Dentistry
  • Accreditation Standards for Advanced Education Programs in General Practice Residency
  • Accreditation Standards for Advanced General Dentistry Education Programs in Oral Medicine

At the Winter 2014 meeting, the Commission adopted revisions to the following accreditation standards for implementation July 1, 2014:

  • Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Standards 2-1.3, 4-3 and 4-9 and proposed definitions of "month" and "Board Certified")

At the Winter 2014 meeting, the Commission directed the following proposed revisions to Accreditation Standards be circulated to the communities of interest for comment:

Comments Due December 1, 2014 (for consideration at the Winter 2015 CODA meeting):

  • Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Standard 1, Affiliations; revision to OMS Standard 4-8 Minimum Clinical Requirements Outpatient Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Experience; and deletion of OMS Standard 4-8.2) See Open Hearing below.
  • Accreditation Standards for Clinical Fellowship Training Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (New standards regarding microvascular reconstructive surgery and endoscopic maxillofacial surgery and a revision to Standard 6-4.3.2 related to Pediatric Advanced Life Support) See Open Hearing below.

Comments Due June 2, 2014 (for consideration at the Summer 2014 CODA meeting):

  • Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Prosthodontics (re-circulation of comprehensive revision)

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  Program Report
May 15, 2014
  Progress Reports Related to Site Visits
June 1, 2014
  Response to Site Visit Report
June 6, 2014
  Program Change, Request for Authorized Enrollment Report, Off-Campus Site Report, and other general reports for Commission review in Summer 2014

* Contact Commission staff with specific questions about reports and deadlines.

NOTE: Program reports and documentation must not include Patient Protected Health Information (PHI) or Personally Identifiable Information (PII). A $1,000 penalty fee will be assessed when programs submit documentation that does not comply with the policy. A resubmission that continues to contain PHI or PII will be assessed an additional $1,000 fee.


Open Hearings:

  • ADEA Annual Session, San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 11am – 12pm, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Room: HY-Republic B
  • ADHA Annual Session, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, June 21, 2014, from 2:30pm – 4:00pm, Room TBD
  • ADAA Annual Session, TBD
  • ADA Meeting, TBD

Documents for Comment:

  • Proposed Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs (comment due: December 1, 2014)
  • Revised Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (comment due: December 1, 2014)
  • Revised Accreditation Standards for Clinical Fellowship Training Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (comment due: December 1, 2014)
  • Revised Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Prosthodontics (comment due: June 2, 2014)

Upcoming Events:

ADEA Annual Session, San Antonio, Texas, March 15-18, 2014

  • Allied, Advanced, and Dental Site Visitor Updates
  • Allied, Advanced, and Dental Site Visit Orientation
  • Question and Answer Room

Check the final ADEA schedule for room assignments.

Summer 2014 Commission on Dental Accreditation Meetings:

  • Review Committee Meetings — July 7-11, 2014
  • Commission Meeting — July 31, 2014 (Closed Session) and August 1, 2014 (Open Session)


Review Committee Vacancies: The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) requests nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on review committees for the following roles:

  • Allied Educators
  • Dental Assisting Practitioners
  • Dental Hygiene Practitioners
  • General Dentist Educators
  • General Dentist Practitioners
  • Higher Education Administrators
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Specialty Dentist Educators
  • Specialty Dentist Practitioners
  • Public Members for Review Committee and Commission

More information about nominations can be found on CODA's website.

Site Visitor Volunteers: The Commission is requesting nominations for the role "Commission Consultant (Site Visitor) in the following disciplines:
  • Predoctoral National Licensure
  • Predoctoral Finance
  • Predoctoral Chair
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Please contact the appropriate CODA staff manager for the nomination criteria and to request a nomination form.
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The Commission staff is available to assist you.