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CODA Communicator: Winter/Spring 2016

An Introduction from the Chair Winter 2016 Meeting Highlights
Major Actions of Interest Adopted Policy Revisions
Actions of General Interest Upcoming Hearings and Events
Discipline-Specific Updates Deadlines for Program Reports


An Introduction from the Chair

I am pleased to announce that, at its Winter 2016 meeting, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) considered and took action on a number of important topics.  Highlights include actions on the future development of CODA’s 2017-2021 strategic plan, establishment of the 2017 annual accreditation fees and other fees, further implementation of CODA’s accreditation process for dental therapy education programs, and directing hearings on several proposed standards revisions. I encourage you to review the Commission’s Unofficial Report of Major Actions (PDF) for more information on these topics.

I also recommend reading the Commission’s White Paper: Transition to an Operational Structure for Independent Authority (PDF). It provides background on the history, role and responsibilities of the Commission, as well as its relationship to the American Dental Association (ADA).

The white paper will familiarize you with CODA’s strategic initiatives, and is a good introduction to the Commission’s long-range plan toward greater self-governance. Over the next few months, CODA staff will work with the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning to identify a strategic planning facilitator and initiate the Commission’s strategic planning process. More to come this Summer.

I thank the Commission, staff, and all volunteers for the hard work they did to prepare for and execute these actions, all serving CODA’s mission to serve 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.

Dr. Karen West
Chair, Commission on Dental Accreditation (2015–2016)

Winter 2016 Commission Meeting Highlights

This year’s Winter 2016 Meeting was held on February 4 – 5, 2016. The Unofficial Report of Major Actions (PDF) provides a summative review of the major activities during this meeting.

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Major Actions of Interest to All Accredited Programs

The Commission reviewed accreditation reports and took 399 accreditation actions on dental, advanced dental and allied dental education programs. Accreditation Status Actions can be found on the Commission’s website.

The Commission granted accreditation to a total of five (5) new programs.  Nine (9) programs received a formal warning that accreditation will be withdrawn in August 2016 unless the requested information, demonstrating compliance with the accreditation standards, is submitted prior to that time.  The Commission discontinued the accreditation of four (4) programs at the request of their respective sponsoring institutions.

Adopted Policy Revisions

In association with the report of the Standing Committee on Documentation and Policy Review, the Commission took several actions, including directing each review committee to review its discipline-specific accreditation standards and ensure they have, or develop, standards to address the following: 1) written/affiliation agreements with sites where educational activity occurs; 2) faculty calibration at sites where educational activity occurs; and 3) appropriate staffing and student/resident oversight at sites where educational activity occurs for consideration at the Summer 2016 CODA meeting. This action was taken as a result of CODA’s discussion on the use of off-campus sites where educational activity occurs. CODA also revised its policy and procedure for approval of sites where educational activities occur. The Commission also made several revisions to the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual (EOPP). A summary of the actions regarding policy is included in the Unofficial Report of Major Actions (PDF).  

For more in-depth information on the revised policies, including a tracked changes version of the revised policies, please review the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual itself.

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Additional Commission Actions of General Interest

Accreditation Process for Dental Therapy Education Programs

At its Winter 2016 meeting, the Commission on Dental Accreditation directed implementation of the accreditation process for Dental Therapy Education programs. Dental therapy accreditation applications and related accreditation materials are now available.  Because it is important that programs seeking accreditation discuss the process with the Commission staff, application materials must be requested from the Commission office. The Commission has also announced a formal call to fill a new review committee member role and a formal call for dental therapy site visitor nominations. More information on the Commission’s actions can be found in Accreditation News.  Questions regarding the Commission’s actions, the nomination process, or the application and accreditation process may be directed to Dr. Sherin Tooks, CODA Director or contact by phone at 312-440-4653.

Sites Where Educational Activity Occurs

The Commission directed action to replace the Policy Statement on Accreditation of Off-Campus Sites with the new Policy Statement on Reporting and Approval of Sites Where Educational Activity Occurs. The Commission created the new policy on sites where educational activity occurs in response to information gathered from its Review Committees on the use of training sites in dental education. The new policy categorizes off-campus sites where educational activity occurs as “major,” “minor” and “supplemental” and includes specific reporting requirements for each type of site.

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.

For complete information on actions taken by the Commission related to finance for the 2017 budget, refer to the Unofficial Report of Major Actions. You may also access the Commission’s Fee Schedule (PDF).

CODA Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning

You are invited to read the Commission’s White Paper: Transition to an Operational Structure for Independent Authority (PDF) as a primer to understand CODA’s strategic vision. In 2015, the Commission achieved significant milestones in its organizational development when the ADA House of Delegates adopted resolutions related to CODA’s Rules and the ADA Bylaws. CODA is in the final year of its 2012-2016 strategic plan; therefore, during 2016, CODA will engage a strategic planning facilitator and consider continued steps toward greater self-governance while developing its 2017-2021 strategic plan. CODA staff will keep you informed of the Commission’s strategic plan activities.

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Proposed Standards Circulated for Public Comment are due June 1 and December 1, 2016. Read Hearings on Standards/Comments Due for the list of standards open for comments and their respective due dates.

Summer 2016 Commission on Dental Accreditation Meetings:

  • Review Committee Meetings – July 11-15, 2016
  • Commission Meeting – August 3, 2016 (Closed Strategic Planning Session), August 4, 2016 (Closed Session) and August 5, 2016 (Open Session)

For a more comprehensive list of all upcoming meeting dates, download the Review Committee and CODA Meeting Dates 2016-2017 (PDF).


Advanced Specialty Education

Deadlines for Program Reports

*Deadlines for many Program Change Reports are now June 1 and December 1. Please refer to the Program Changes and Other Report Guidelines Web page for details. The Commission expects programs to adhere to published deadlines. These deadlines allow sufficient time for the appropriate Review Committees and the Commission to review the report and determine whether the change could impact the program’s potential ability to comply with the accreditation standards. You may also contact Commission staff with specific questions about reports and deadlines.


Applications for programs pursuing CODA accreditation; The first opportunity for the Commission to consider the program, provided that the application is in order, could be approximately 12 to 18 months following the application submission date.

May 15, 2016*

Deadline for Progress Reports related to Site Visits. *Because May 15 falls on a Sunday, the deadline will be extended to May 16, 2016.

June 1, 2016

Deadline for Initial Response to Site Visit Report

June 1, 2016

Deadline for Program Change Report
Request for Authorized Enrollment Report
Sites Where Educational Activity Occurs Report
General reports for Commission review in Summer 2016


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 on privacy and data security.  A resubmission that continues to contain PHI or PII will be assessed an additional $1,000 fee.

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Staff Contact Information

Commission staff are available to assist you.