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After Your DDS/DMD Site Visit

After the Comprehensive Site Visit

Approximate length of time after site visit


2–3 weeks

Preliminary Draft Site Visit Report developed from site visitor findings and forwarded to the visiting committee for comment/approval prior to submission of the report to the CEO & Dean for institutional review

4–6 weeks

Preliminary Draft Site Visit Report submitted to CEO of University and copied to Dean of the dental school for 30-day review and comment

30 days

Response to the Preliminary Draft Site Visit Report submitted to the Commission office (under the Dean’s signature)
Dean and Program Directors will receive a prompt from the ADA Survey Center to complete the Post Site Visit Survey online

(upon CODA receipt of response)

Preliminary Draft Site Visit Report and Dean’s Response forwarded together to the applicable Commission Review Committee(s)

Commission meets at the end of January and July; (transmittal letter is usually sent within 1-2 weeks—but Commission policy allows up to thirty (30) days)

Commission takes final action and sends letter of transmittal accompanying the Commission-approved formal site visit report to the President of the University, chief administrative officers, as applicable, and dental school Dean.

The responsibilities of the site visit committee are complete with the conclusion of the final conference of the site visit. Should the programs have questions regarding the site visit or any recommendations made, the appropriate Commission staff should be contacted.

Post-Site Visit Evaluation

Both program personnel and site visitors are given the opportunity to comment on the accreditation process. Approximately one month after the site visit, each person will receive a prompt via email from the ADA Survey Center inviting him/her to complete an online questionnaire. The results are confidential. Comments are used to establish any needed changes in accreditation processes and site visitor training.

The Preliminary Site Visit Report

The written site visit report embodies a review of the quality of the program. It serves as the basis for accreditation decisions. It also guides officials and administrators of educational institutions in determining the degree of their compliance with the Accreditation Standards. The report clearly delineates any observed deficiencies in compliance with Standards on which the Commission will take action.

In the report, the Commission evaluates educational programs based on Accreditation Standards and provides constructive recommendations which relate to the Accreditation Standards, suggestions which relate to program enhancement and commendations noting area in which the programs' excel.

The preliminary draft of the site visit report is prepared by the site visitors, consolidated by staff into a single document and approved by the visiting committee. The approved draft report is then transmitted to the institutional administrator for factual review and comment prior to its review by the Commission.

The preliminary site visit report reflects the program as it exists at the time of the site visit. Any improvements or changes made subsequent to a site visit may be described and documented in the program’s response to the preliminary draft report, which becomes part of the Commission’s formal record of the program’s evaluation. Such improvements or changes represent progress made by the institution and are considered by the Commission in determining accreditation status, although the site visit report is not revised to reflect these changes.

Response to the Preliminary Site Visit Report

The institution has a maximum of 30 days in which to comment and respond to factual inaccuracies noted in the preliminary site visit report. The Commission has developed the document Guidelines for Preparation of Reports (PDF) to assist the programs in preparing the site visit report response. The program receives this document along with the preliminary site visit report. In addition, programs may wish to report 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. While submission of multiple reports is not encouraged, the Commission will accept supplemental information no later than June 1 for consideration at the July Commission meeting or December 1 for consideration at the January meeting. The visiting committee’s approved draft report, the institution’s response to it, and reports of progress are considered by the Commission in taking the accreditation action.

Commission members and visiting committee members are not authorized, under any circumstances, to disclose any information obtained during site visits or Commission meetings. The extent to which publicity is given to site visit reports is determined by the chief administrator of the educational institution. Decisions to publicize reports, in part or in full, are at the discretion of the educational institution officials, rather than the Commission. However, if the institution elects to release sections of the report to the public, the Commission reserves the right to make the entire site visit report public.

Commission Review of Site Visit Reports

The Commission and its review committees meet twice each year to consider site visit reports, progress reports, applications for initial accreditation, etc., and policies related to accreditation. These meetings occur in late January and July. Reports from site visits conducted less than 90 days prior to a Commission meeting are usually deferred and considered at the next Commission meeting.

Formal Site Visit Report and Notification of Accreditation Action

An institution will receive the formal site visit report, including the accreditation status, within 30 days following the official meeting of the Commission. The Commission’s definitions of accreditation classifications are published in its Accreditation Standards documents and EPP: Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures.

Following assignment of accreditation status, the final site visit report is prepared and transmitted to the institution. The Commission expects the chief administrators of the institutions and the deans of the dental schools to make copies of the Commission site visit reports available to program administrators, faculty members and others directly concerned with program quality so that they may work toward meeting the recommendations contained in the report.

Additional information regarding the procedures followed during the site visit is contained in the Commission’s publication, Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures (PDF). The Commission uses the appropriate Accreditation Standards as the basis for its evaluation of dental and dental-related programs; therefore, it is essential that institutions/programs be thoroughly familiar with these documents.


As noted earlier, the information provided here is intended to assist dental schools, and all of its programs being site visited. become familiar with the frequency ad type of communication that will occur during the 24 months prior to the scheduled site visit. Periodically, Commission Standards, policies and procedures are revised. The Commission makes every effort to keep programs apprised of changes, but please feel free to contact Commission staff at any