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Before Your DDS/DMD Site Visit

Prior to the Comprehensive Site Visit


12–22 months prior to site visit

Invitation to Commission’s Site Visit Orientation Session held at the annual session of ADEA.

2 years prior to site visit

There are 2 mailings

Proposed site visit dates provided to the institution; Information provided to the institution via email or web posting:

First mailing to CEO:

Site visit confirmation form and Institutional Officer’s, Program and Program Directors Data Form

Second mailing when Confirmation of Site Visit dates has been returned and is sent to CAO

1 year prior to site visit

  • Instructions for materials to be available on-site
  • Electronic Submission Guidelines
  • Educational Activity Sites Form
  • Screening Lists
  • Student notification letter
  • Third Party Comments and Complaints Policies

If requested by the institution, a letter of invitation to participate is sent to a generalist (regional accrediting agency).

3-4 months prior to site visit

Information provided to the institution via email:

  • Final communication with site visit team roster
  • Distribution of Material to be Submitted by Institution prior to the site visit
  • Electronic Submission Guidelines
  • Data Profile

Approximately 2 months prior to site visit

Completed self-study materials forwarded by institution to each site visitor and the Commission.

Approximately 1 month prior to site visit

Information communicated to institution:

  • Commission review of the self-study materials indicating completeness or need for additional information (including requests to Commission from site visitors)
  • Finalize site visit schedules and coordinate on-site logistics with Predoctoral manager 

Site visit is conducted

2 Years prior to the site visit:

Institutional Officer's Program and Program Directors Data Form for Accreditation Site Visit: The dean is asked to complete and return this form to the Commission identifying the personnel who should receive correspondence at various points prior to the site visit.

The Commission has moved to an electronic document storage system. It is now required that all self-studies and related materials submitted to program reviewers and to the Commission be provided both as paper copies and electronically. Please refer to the Electronic Submission Guidelines (PDF).

Accreditation Standards: The standards are updated and/or revised periodically; therefore it is the responsibility of the institution/program to make sure they are using the most recent version of the standards when completing the self-study document.

Site Visitor Evaluation Reports (SVERs): The SVER is the actual form that the site visitors use to evaluate the program while on-site. 

Frequency of Citings: The frequency of citings report for each discipline/program is included to provide the dean, program administrators and faculty with information related to the frequent areas of non-compliance with current Standards cited by visiting committees of the Commission.

You may download Accreditation Standards, Site Visitor Evaluation Reports (SVERs), Self Study Guides and Frequency of Citings for each discipline here: Predoc, Advanced Dental Education, and Allied Dental Education programs as applicable.

Evaluation & Operational Policies and Procedures (EOPP) is a compilation of the Commission's current policies and procedures. Because policies and procedures are revised periodically, the institution/program must download the most current version after each Commission meeting throughout the site visit process.

Silent Observer Opportunity: In response to concerns expressed by varied communities, the Commission permits silent observers to attend and observe predoctoral accreditation site visits. This opportunity was established in 1992 and is intended to assist dental schools with the Commission’s site visit process in preparing more effectively for their own site visits. Observers must be approved by the institution being visited and are required to sign the Commission’s "Agreement of Confidentiality." In the first mailing, the Dean will be afforded the opportunity to request that a representative from the dental school serve as a silent observer. Requests for silent observer opportunities must be made in writing by the Dean and requested at least one (1) year prior to the site visit.

Transportation and Hotel Information: The Dean is asked to provide the Commission with information regarding the nearest airport and the names of (3), three-star hotels in close proximity to the dental school that have internet access and a restaurant in the hotel.

State Board Participation: The Commission notifies the state board of dentistry when an accreditation visit is to be conducted in its jurisdiction. The dental school will be provided with the Commission's policy and a description of the representative's role and responsibilities and asked if the Commission should extend an invitation to the state board of dentistry to participate in the site visit. Whether the state board representative participates is at the discretion of the dental school.

Site Visit Schedule: Templates for suggested schedules for each program being site visited are provided. The Dean is asked to return the completed schedule(s) approximately 48 months prior to the scheduled site visit. The Commission finalizes the schedule(s) and provides an electronic copy to the school. The dental school is responsible for distributing the schedule(s) to the appropriate administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The Commission forwards the finalized schedule(s) to the site visitors.

Generalist: The generalist is a representative of the sponsoring institution's regional accrediting agency. Should the administration wish to have a generalist participate in the site visit, the Dean is asked to notify the Commission.

1 Year prior to the site visit:

Site Visitor Screening Lists: The Dean and Program Directors are asked to indicate conflicts of interest by crossing site visitors off the Screening Lists. These lists, the Commission's Policy on Conflict of Interest, and the Policy on the Visiting Committee are forwarded to the Dean. The dental school is allowed to screen site visitors in accord with the two (2) policies. The site visit team will be chosen from the remaining consultants who have not been eliminated from the Screening Lists.

Affiliated Sites Where Educational Activity Occurs: The Commission may conduct site visits to the off-campus locations where a significant portion of each student's/resident's educational experience is provided, based on the specifics of the program, the accreditation standards, and Commission policies and procedures, or if other cause exists for such a visit. The dental school is asked to identify all disciplines/programs being site visited that have affiliated sites off-campus and provide information on educational experiences at those sites so that the visiting committee can determine if a visit is needed.

Letter addressed to students/residents: The dental school is asked to distribute the open letter to the students/residents advising each class of the opportunity to meet with the visiting committee during the site visit.

Third Party Comment Policy: In accordance with the United States Department of Education requirements, the Commission has adopted a statement regarding the receipt of third party comments about accredited educational programs. In compliance with this policy, the Commission announces the date of upcoming accreditation site visits in an issue of its newsletter, CODA Communicator. The policy further requires the institution to announce to students, faculty, patients and the public the date of the upcoming site visit and that there is opportunity to provide third party comments to the Commission. The Dean is requested to provide the information required in the policy to the appropriate audiences. As a suggestion, a sample policy statement, which could be posted in one or more prominent sites within the institution, is provided below.

Complaint Policy: The dental school is reminded of the Commission’s policy on "Complaints." The policy requires that the Commission-accredited programs inform students, at least annually, of their opportunity to submit a complaint to the Commission. The policy further requires each accredited program to maintain a record of student complaints received since the Commission’s last comprehensive review of the program(s).

2-3 months prior to the site visit:

The institution/program works with the Manager of Predoctoral Dental Education on the following:

Information regarding meal arrangements: The Commission asks that the dental school arrange to have a light breakfast on each day of the visit and a light lunch (continental breakfast and box lunches, sandwiches, salads) provided in the conference room(s) on days one and two of the visit to enable the committee to conduct its work. Commission staff is available to discuss the details of meal arrangements prior to the site visit. Arrangements can be made to reimburse the dental school for the cost incurred, if necessary.

Transportation and computer support: Approximately four weeks prior to the site visit, Commission staff will contact the institution’s site visit coordinator to discuss transportation arrangements for the team from the hotel to the institution. Additionally, it will be very helpful if, at least, one Windows-based computer running Microsoft Windows with Microsoft Word and a printer are available in each of the two main conference rooms (predoctoral and advanced/allied).

Mailing of Self-Study Reports: Sixty (60) days prior to the visit, the Dean is requested to transmit the Self-Study materials to the Commission and the visiting committee. Approximately 10-12 weeks prior to the visit, the Dean will be provided with a list of the visiting committee members. The dental school will also be reminded that the Commission would like, in addition to paper copies, all Self-Study Guides and related materials submitted electronically. Please see the Electronic Submission Guidelines (PDF).