Ongoing Site Visitor Training

After completing initial training, all site visitors must stay up to date through ongoing training.

About Ongoing Site Visitor Training

After initial training is complete, ongoing (annual) training and communications are provided via several methods. Site Visitor Update sessions are offered through CODA presentations. Updates are also provided through the Commission's electronic newsletter, website, and special email announcements. Webinars and special training programs may be provided periodically.

Current Site Visitor Update presentations for dental, advanced dental, and allied dental site visitors are provided below.

Dental Education Site Visitor Update (PDF)

Advanced Dental Site Visitor Update (PDF)

Allied Dental Site Visitor Update (PDF)

Annual Mandatory Site Visitor Training

At its Summer 2018 meeting, the Commission directed that all active site visitors complete an annual, mandatory web-based training program. All active site visitors are required to review their respective discipline PDF and pass the online quiz, with a 70% score, in order to continue service as a site visitor.

Please review the Site Visitor Update Slides above and complete the mandatory training quiz via the link below. Audio will not be required. All active site visitors will receive an email regarding this mandatory training. The quiz must be completed with a passing score by the prescribed deadline.

2023 Annual Mandatory Site Visitor Training Quiz

Alternative Site Visit Methods

As a result of the continued impact of COVID-19 on travel, the Commission on Dental Accreditation has determined temporary use of alternative site visit (i.e., virtual or hybrid site visit) methods may be necessary to fulfill the Commission’s obligation to conduct accreditation site visits to programs that are currently accredited by, or apply for accreditation by, the Commission. Site Visitors may access the Alternative Site Visit Program Agreement and Program Manual by clicking the link below. Also below are links to the Portal Access manuals for Site Visitors and for Application Reviewers.

Site Visitor Manual for Alternative Site Visit Methods (PDF)

Site Visitor Manual for CODA Portal Access (PDF)

Application Reviewer Manual for CODA Portal Access (PDF)

Alternative Site Visit Methods Orientation for Site Visitors

All active site visitors must complete an annual training quiz with a passing score.
See details and tips on writing site visit reports, with examples.
Review the CODA policy for volunteer travel and expense reimbursement.

Ongoing site visitor training FAQs

Does the team recommend an accreditation status?

No. It is not within the purview of the site visit team to recommend an accreditation status. If recommendations are made and remain after the response to the site visit, the discipline-specific review committee would recommend to the Commission that the accreditation status be "Approval with reporting requirements." If there are no recommendations remaining after the response to the site visit report, the discipline-specific review committee would recommend to the Commission the accreditation status of "Approval without reporting requirements. Only the Commission grants accreditation statuses.

Will you tell us at the end of the visit what your recommendation will be for the program's accreditation?

No, that is not within the purview of the site visit team. However, we will inform you of any recommendations that will be included in the site visit report.

When will the Commission consider this report?

Site visits conducted between May 1 and October 31 will be reviewed at the Winter (January) review committee and Commission meetings. Site visits between November 1 and April 30 will reviewed at the Summer (July) meetings.

Who writes the report?

Site visitors draft sections of the preliminary draft site visit report and submit it to Commission staff. Commission staff then consolidates the draft report and sends it to site visitors for review, comment and approval.

When will we get the draft report? How long will we have to respond to the draft report?

Institutions should receive the draft report within four to six weeks of the site visit. Institutions have 30 days to respond to factual inaccuracies. Your program may wish to report additional progress in implementing recommendations contained in the preliminary report after the 30 day deadline or may wish to submit other information for review by the Commission. Supplemental information will be accepted no later than June 1 for the Summer review committee and Commission meetings and December 1 for the Winter review committee and Commission meetings.

Who are the members of the Commission?

Commission members are selected by a broad community of interest. Each participating organization has the responsibility for appointing a Commissioner within criteria established by the Commission.

What committees will review the site visit report? Who are the review committee members?

The review committee for the specific discipline reviews site visit reports.  Review committees are composed of representatives of discipline-specific communities of interest, general dentists and public members. The specific composition of each review committee is found in the Commission's Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures manual.

How soon after the Commission meeting will we hear from the Commission?

The Commission has 30 days to transmit its accreditation decisions to the sponsoring institutions. Accreditation decisions regarding adverse actions (denial or withdrawal of accreditation) are transmitted to the sponsoring institution within 14 days following the Commission meeting.

Can we take you to dinner?

No. Site visitors are prohibited from accepting social invitations. You can, however, recommend places for dinner.

What's the difference between recommendations and suggestions ?

A recommendation is made when a program does not comply with a specific Standard. A suggestion is made when a program complies with the standard minimally, but could be enhanced for increased effectiveness. The program must respond to recommendations; the program is not obligated to respond to suggestions.

Can we lose our accreditation as a result of this visit?

No. Accreditation will not automatically be withdrawn. Programs which have been granted "Approval with reporting requirements" will have a limited time period to demonstrate complete compliance. If the program is less than two years in length, the program has 18 months to demonstrate complete compliance. If the program is at least two years in length, the program has two years to demonstrate compliance with all recommendations. Due notice will be given if the accreditation is to be withdrawn. Six months prior to the accreditation being withdrawn, the program will be informed of the "intent to withdraw."

How do we rank with other programs

The Commission on Dental Accreditation does not rank programs.

Who attends the final conference with the program director?

The program director can ask anyone from the institution to attend.

To whom does the Commission send the preliminary draft report? To whom does the Commission send the final formal report?

The preliminary draft report is sent to the president/CEO of the institution, the chief administrative officer (dean, chief), and the program director. The same is true of the final report. We ask these administrative officers to forward a copy to any other faculty/staff they desire.

How do people become Commission site visitors?

Commission site visitors are nominated by the representing organizations, self-nominated or nominated by other individuals. Site visitors must be willing to complete the Site Visitor Training, attend update sessions, and conduct one or more site visits per year. The discipline-specific review committee recommends site visitor appointments to the Commission for final approval.

Who assigns site visitors to visiting committees?

The Chairman of the Commission assigns the visiting team after the institution has had the opportunity to "screen" the site visitor list and remove the names of those who have a potential conflict of interest.

Can we tape record the final conference?

No. You are encouraged to take notes.

Do we have to take you to the airport when the visit is over? May we take you to the airport when the visit is over?

No. Generally, the visiting team members are responsible for their transportation to and from the airport. They may take you to the airport.