Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Partnerships and Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share

File a Complaint

A “formal” complaint is defined as a complaint filed in written (or electronic) form and signed by the complainant. This complaint should outline the specific policy, procedure or standard in question and rationale for the complaint including specific documentation or examples.  Complainants who submit complaints verbally will receive direction to submit a formal complaint to the Commission in written, signed form following guidelines in the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures manual.

An “anonymous comment/complaint” is defined as an unsigned comment/complaint submitted to the Commission.  Anonymous comments/complaints may be received at any time and will be added to the respective program’s file for evaluation during the program’s next scheduled accreditation site visit.  At the time of the site visit, the program and site visit team will be informed of the anonymous comment/complaint.  The program will have an opportunity to respond to the anonymous comment/complaint; the response will be considered during the site visit evaluation.  Anonymous comments/complaints will be assessed to determine trends in compliance with Commission standards, policies, and procedures.  The assessment of findings related to the anonymous comments/complaint will be documented in the site visit report.

The Commission will consider only formal, written, signed complaints; unsigned complaints will be considered “anonymous complaints” and addressed as set forth above; oral complaints will not be considered.  
Students, faculty, constituent dental societies, state boards of dentistry, patients, and other interested parties may submit an appropriate, signed, formal complaint to the Commission on Dental Accreditation regarding any Commission accredited dental, allied dental or advanced dental education program, or a program that has an application for initial accreditation pending.  An appropriate complaint is one that directly addresses a program’s compliance with the Commission’s standards, policies and procedures.
The Commission is interested in the continued improvement and sustained quality of dental and dental related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

In accord with its responsibilities to determine compliance with accreditation standards, policies, and procedures, the Commission does not intervene in complaints as a mediator but maintains, at all times, an investigative role.  This investigative approach to complaints does not require that the complainant be identified to the program.  The Commission, upon request, will take every reasonable precaution to prevent the identity of the complainant from being revealed to the program; however, the Commission cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the complainant.

The Commission strongly encourages attempts at informal or formal resolution through the program's or sponsoring institution's internal processes prior to initiating a formal complaint with the Commission.

Review the documents available for download: