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CODA Communicator: Winter/Spring 2015

A Message From the Chair
CODA Updates
Major Actions of Interest 
Actions of General Interest
Discipline Specific Updates 
What is the CODA
Meeting Highlights
Adopted Policy Revisions 
Upcoming Hearings and Events
Deadlines for Programs Reports

A Message From the Chair

The Commission has been very active since the previous CODA Communicator.  After reviewing accreditation reports during the winter meeting, the Commission took accreditation actions on 349 dental, advanced dental, and allied dental education programs.  I would like to draw attention to a few of the areas that are further discussed in this issue.

The Commission adopted the standards for Dental Therapy Education, but directed there will be no implementation of the standards until all criteria in the Principles and Criteria Eligibility of Allied Dental Programs for Accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation are fully satisfied.  Please access the link provided in this newsletter to view the standards and pay particular attention to the June 1st deadline for written comments and documentation that shows criteria #2 and #5 are fully satisfied.  Consideration of the criteria will take place at the August 2015 meeting.

The Commission approved a 4% increase in annual fees for all disciplines.  International fees were increased to insure that those accreditation activities would not cause a negative financial impact for CODA or a burden to US-based programs.  All other fees, with the exception of predoctoral application fees and electronic conversion fees, were maintained at last year’s levels.  The Finance Committee has been very sensitive to the financial impact that increases can have on programs, and continues to balance those concerns with the need to adequately fund the Commission so that it may fulfill its responsibilities.

CODA continues to have constructive dialogue with the American Dental Association (ADA) through the Workgroup on ADA/CODA Relationship.  Governance issues concerning proposed changes in CODA by-laws and standing rules have been examined with some modifications already enacted.  The financial relationship pertaining to shared expenses, the CODA Research and Development Fund, and international accreditation activities are some of the issues of continuing discussions.  CODA appreciates the ADA’s willingness and engagement in advancing this discourse.

Lastly, I would like to thank the extremely talented and dedicated CODA staff for their commitment to excellence in every aspect of CODA responsibilities.  And a special thank-you to our immediate past chair, Dr. John Williams, who truly defines the word  ”Gentleman”.   Dr. Williams’ professional and considerate demeanor was a leadership asset I will strive to emulate and continue as this year’s Chair.

Dr. Perry Tuneberg

Chair, Commission on Dental Accreditation (2014-2015)

What is the Commission on Dental Accreditation?

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) is the nationally recognized accrediting body for dental and dental-related professions and receives its authority through recognition by the United States Department of Education.  The Commission serves the oral health care needs of the public through the development and administration of standards that foster continuous quality improvement of dental and dental related educational programs.  The Commission functions independently and autonomously in matters of developing and approving accreditation standards, making accreditation decisions on educational programs and developing and approving procedures that are used in the accreditation process.  It is structured to include an appropriate representation of the communities of interest.  The CODA employs a collaborative peer review accreditation process to evaluate the quality of over 1,460 dental and dental-related education programs nationwide, including dental, advanced general dentistry, advanced specialty, clinical fellowship and allied dental programs.  Through its accreditation activities, the Commission attempts to foster educational excellence, supports programmatic self-improvement and assures the general public of the ongoing availability of quality dental care.

Get to Know CODA: In each issue, a commonly asked question will be addressed.

Question:  Are the final accreditation actions on accredited programs made public?

Answer:  Yes, following each meeting, final accreditation actions are disclosed to all appropriate agencies, including national, regional and specialized accrediting agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, state boards of dentistry, and the public.  This information is posted on the Commission’s accreditation notices website page.   

The current accreditation status of each accredited program is listed within the dental program search.  

If the Commission withdraws a program’s accreditation or denies accreditation to a new program, the action is noted in the Commission’s lists of accredited programs and the reasons for the adverse action are made public.  

CODA Updates Are Available On CODA's Website

Visit CODA for the most up to date accreditation information.

For the most current and revised accreditation standards, please visit the website.

Winter 2015 Commission Meeting Highlights

This year’s Winter 2015 Meeting was held on February 5-6, 2015. Find highlights of the major actions taken by the Commission at the open session here.

Major Actions of Interest to All Accredited Programs

The Commission reviewed accreditation reports and took 349 accreditation actions on dental, advanced dental and allied dental education programs. Click here to download copies of the accreditation status actions from recent meetings.

The Commission granted accreditation to a total of ten (10) new programs:

  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (1)
  • Periodontics (1)
  • Clinical Fellowship Training Program in Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontics (1)
  • General Practice Residency (3)
  • Advanced Education in General Dentistry (1)
  • Advanced General Dentistry Education Program in Orofacial Pain (1)
  • Dental Hygiene (1)
  • Dental Assisting (1)

Three (3) programs received a formal warning that accreditation will be withdrawn in August 2015 unless the requested information, demonstrating compliance with the accreditation standards, is submitted prior to that time:

  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics  (1)
  • Dental Assisting (2)

The Commission discontinued the accreditation of two (2) programs at the request of their sponsoring institutions:

  • Dental Assisting (1)
  • Dental Hygiene (1)

Adopted Policy Revisions

In association with the report of the Standing Committee on Documentation and Policy Review, the Commission adopted nine (9) revised policies. An explanation of each revision is found in the Unofficial Report of Major Actions

Revised Policies
  • Policy on Non-Enrollment of First Year Students
  • Program Fee Policy
  • Policy on Attendance at Open Portion of Review Committee Meetings and Policy on Attendance at Open Portion of Commission Meetings
  • Policy on Hearings on Accreditation Standards and Procedures for Hearings on Standards
  • Conflict of Interest Policy (portion on Commissioners, Review Committee Members and Members of the Appeal Board)
  • Policy on Reporting Program Changes in Accredited Program
  • Policy on Progress Reports
  • Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Review Committee and Review Committee Meetings
For more in-depth information on the revised policies, please review the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual

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Additional Commission Actions of General Interest

Dental Therapy Education Standards

The Commission adopted the Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs.  The Commission directed notification to the communities of interest that there will be no implementation date until further documentation has been provided which shows that criteria #2 and #5 of the Principles and Criteria Eligibility of Allied Dental Programs for Accreditation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation are fully satisfied.  The Commission will accept written documentation until June 1, 2015, which shows that criteria #2 and #5 are fully satisfied, for consideration at the August 2015 meeting of the Commission.  Access the Accreditation News and download the adopted Accreditation Standards and the Criteria.

Standards Revision to All Discipline Standards

Within all Accreditation Standards under the Commission’s purview, related to the standard on advanced standing, the Commission directed modification to delete, as necessary, references to “transfer” and replace it with “advanced standing.” The Commission also directed addition of an intent statement (below), with immediate implementation.  

Intent: Advanced standing refers to applicants that may be considered for admission to a training program  whose curriculum has  been  modified  after taking  into  account  the  applicant’s past experience. Examples include transfer from a similar program at another institution, completion of training at a non-CODA accredited program, or documented practice experience in the given discipline.  Acceptance of advanced standing students/residents will not result in an increase of the program’ s approved number  of  enrollees.  Applicants for advanced standing are expected to fulfill all of the admission requirements mandated for students/residents in the conventional program and be held to the same academic standards.  Advanced standing students/residents, to be certified for completion, are expected to demonstrate the same standards of competence as those in the conventional program.

CODA Finance Report

Every February, the Commission determines its budget and sets its accreditation fees for the upcoming year.  The majority of the Commission’s expenses are related to travel for site visits and full-time employee salary and benefits.  Annual accreditation fees help to offset these expenses.

Below are the actions taken by the Commission related to finance for the 2016 budget:
  • Directing that shared services (indirect expenses) be calculated based on actual expenses, on an annual basis, prospectively within the Commission’s budget beginning in 2015.
  • Adopting a $10,000 consultation fee for international consultation services, paid in U.S. dollars, effective immediately.
  • Approving 2016 Annual and Application Fees as follows:
    • Adopting a 4% increase in annual fees for all disciplines in 2016; $6,740 for predoctoral dental education programs, $1,685 for dental assisting, dental hygiene, and advanced dental education programs, and $1,186 for dental laboratory technology programs.
    • Affirming that during the year a program is due for a regular accreditation site visit, the annual fee will be doubled.
    • Increasing the application fees for predoctoral dental education programs to $60,000 and maintain the application fee of $15,000 for all other dental programs in 2016.
  • Approving 2016 International Fees as follows:
    • Adopting a 2016 international predoctoral dental education application fee of $65,000
    • Adopting a 2016 international predoctoral dental education annual accreditation fee of $15,000
    • Affirming that in 2016 international predoctoral dental education programs pay all site visit expenses (actual expenses) for all site visits during the application and regular site visit schedule.
    • Affirming that in 2016 international predoctoral dental education programs pay an administrative fee of 25% of the total site visit cost for coordination of each site visit.
    • Affirming that all international fees must be paid in U.S. Dollars.
  • Approving 2016 Other Accreditation Fees as follows:
    • Maintaining the Special Focused Site Visit Administrative Fee of $4000.
    • Maintaining the CODA Penalty for Non-Compliance with CODA Policy on HIPAA Fee of $1000.
    • Increasing the Electronic Conversion of Paper Documents Fee to $500
    • Maintaining the Email/Contact Distribution List Fee of a $200 minimum.
    • Maintaining the Research and Development Fund administrative fee to $35.
CODA Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning

The Commission reviewed the report of the Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning committee and took several actions, including directing development of a recruitment and retention plan to follow up with programs that approach CODA related to accreditation or drop accreditation in dental assisting and dental laboratory technology, informational brochure on the importance of CODA accreditation, and discussion with the AADB related to CODA presentations about the importance of CODA accreditation for dental assisting and dental laboratory technology education programs.

CODA Mega Issue Discussion

The Commission regularly conducts half-day strategic discussions called “mega-issue” discussions which are held in conjunction with regular Commission meetings.  Mega-issue topics are usually related to trends and changes in higher education, accreditation, and dental program curriculum.  At the upcoming Summer 2015 meeting, the topic will be off-campus sites.  In order to provide the Commission background information for this discussion, the Commission has directed a mandatory survey of all accredited programs to collect data on the use of off-campus sites, including but not limited to the number of programs with off-campus sites and the number of sites used by each program, the number of students rotating to off-campus sites, the location of the off-campus sites, and the purpose of the sites (optional enrichment/optional observational versus mandatory, and clinical versus didactic).  Accredited programs should expect to receive this electronic survey in Spring 2015.


Upcoming Hearings on Proposed Accreditation Standards:

2015 ADHA Annual Session (Dental Hygiene Standards, only)

  • Saturday, June 20, 2015
  • 2:30-3:30 pm
  • Room TBD
*Please verify the room location upon arrival

Proposed Standards Circulated for Public Comment:

Comments due June 1, 2015:
  • Proposed Accreditation Standards for Dental Education programs
    • specifically Standards 1-8, 4-6, and 4-7
  • Proposed Accreditation Standards for Dental Hygiene Education Programs
    • specifically Standard 2-18
  • Proposed Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Prosthodontics
Download the Open Hearing documents.

Summer 2015 Commission on Dental Accreditation Meetings:
  • Review Committee Meetings – July 13 – 17, 2015
  • Commission Meeting – August 6, 2015 (Closed Session) and August 7, 2015 (Open Session)

For a more comprehensive list of all upcoming Review Committee and CODA Meeting dates for 2015 – 2016, please download the document entitled CODA Meeting Dates.

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Predoctoral Dental Education

  • The Commission adopted revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Dental Education Programs, Standard 5-8, with immediate implementation.
    • The dental school must establish and enforce a mechanism to ensure adequate preclinical/clinical/laboratory asepsis, infection and biohazard control and disposal of hazardous waste, consistent with accepted dental practice.
  • The Commission directed that one (1) additional predoctoral educator be added to the Predoctoral Dental Education Review Committee, effective October 2015.

Allied Dental Education

  • The Commission adopted revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Dental Hygiene Education Programs, Standard 2-1 and Definition of Terms, with implementation January 1, 2016, and Standard 3-6 and 3-7b with immediate implementation.
  • The Review Committee on Dental Hygiene will welcome  its “Commissioner Trainee”, Dr. Susan Barnard, at the Summer 2015 meetings.

Postdoctoral General Dentistry Education

  • The Commission adopted revisions to the Accreditation Standards for all Postdoctoral General Dentistry Education Programs (Advanced Education in General Dentistry, General Practice Dentistry, and Advanced General Dentistry Education Programs in Oral Medicine, Dental Anesthesiology and Orofacial Pain), Standard 1-1, with immediate implementation.
  • The Commission will be conducting a Validity and Reliability Study for Advanced General Dentistry Education Programs in Orofacial Pain.  Results of the study will be reviewed at the Summer 2015 meeting.
  • This fall all advanced education programs were sent a survey regarding preceptor/fellowship programs and the impact they might have on CODA-accredited programs.  Generally, the survey results indicated that most programs do not offer a preceptor program. Therefore, the Commission believed that monitoring of these types of programs is not warranted at this time.
Advanced Specialty Education

  • The Commission adopted revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, including revision to Standard 1, Affiliations, which is common to all specialties, and OMS Standard 4-8, Minimum Clinical Requirements Outpatient Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Experience and delete Standard 4-8.2, with an implementation date of July1, 2015. The commission also adopted revisions to the Accreditation Standards for Clinical Fellowship Training Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, including the new standards regarding microvascular reconstructive surgery and endoscopic maxillofacial surgery and revision to Standard 6-4.3.2 related to the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) requirement, with an implementation date of July 1, 2015.
  • The Commission adopted revisions to the Accreditation Standards for all Advanced Specialty Education Programs (Advanced Specialty Education in Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics; and Clinical Fellowship Training Programs in Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontics and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery), Standard 1, with immediate implementation.

Deadlines for Program Reports*

April 1, 2015

Application deadline for programs pursuing CODA accreditation

May 15, 2015

Deadline for Progress Reports related to Site Visits

June 1, 2015

Deadline for Initial Response to Site Visit Report

June 12, 2015

Deadline for Program Change Report,
Request for Authorized Enrollment Report,
Off-Campus Site Report, and
General reports for Commission review in Summer 2015.

* The Commission expects programs to adhere to published deadlines. 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 if a program submits documentation that does not comply with the CODA policy.  A resubmission that continues to contain PHI or PII will be assessed an additional $1,000 fee.

Staff Contact Information

Commission staff are available to assist you.