ADA American Dental Association  
CODA Communicator


The Commission continues to move forward with its mission to foster quality assurance of dental and allied dental education programs for public benefit. The U.S. Department of Education has accepted the petition for early review of CODA’s final documentation, and a favorable outcome is expected with the comprehensive renewal of the Commission’s recognition as an accrediting agency. Congratulations to the incredible effort of the new Director, Dr. Sherin Tooks, and staff, who continue to effectively support the Commission’s integrity.

A number of important issues were addressed at the Winter 2013 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. As examples, several allied dental and advanced dental education programs have newly approved standards, and additional proposed standard are under consideration. Strategic planning is ongoing and includes budget analysis to help the Commission effectively meet its mission in the future. Draft standards were developed for possible future accreditation of Dental Therapy education programs and have been shared with the communities of interest for comment. Implementation of those standards would not be considered until all necessary allied dental requirements are met.

With thoughtful planning by the Commission and ongoing efforts of staff and experienced consultants across all areas of dentistry, CODA continues to be recognized as a world leader in dental accreditation. Success lies in the focused enthusiasm and attention to detail of all who support the Commission’s activities. I am appreciative of the honor to serve as Chair of this organization, which has such broad reaching impact on oral health care.


This year’s Winter 2013 Meeting was held on January 31, 2013 and February 1, 2013. Here are the highlights of the major actions taken by the Commission at the open session.

Adopted Revisions to Accreditation Standards

Below is a list of Standards recently adopted by the Commission. It should be noted that programs, including those with upcoming site visits, will be held to the revised Standards based on the implementation date noted below.

Implementation January 1, 2014:

  • Dental Assisting Education Programs
  • Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Dental Public Health
  • Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Endodontics
  • Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Periodontics

Implementation July 1, 2015:

  • Advanced General Dentistry Education Programs in Dental Anesthesiology

Implementation July 1, 2013:

  • Inclusion of a Standard for faculty training in educational methodology for all disciplines that do not currently have a standard in this area.

Implementation as advanced education Standards are revised:

  • Standard 5, Eligibility and Selection, of the Common Standards for the Dental Specialty Education Programs

For the most current standards and revision information, please visit the website at

Proposed Revisions to Accreditation Standards

For circulation to communities of interest until December 1, 2013:

  • Advanced Education in General Dentistry
  • Advanced Education in General Practice Residency
  • Advanced Specialty Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Education

The above standards will be considered at the January 2014 Commission meeting. For more information and a full listing of all standards currently out for comment, please visit the website at Hearing.

2014 Annual Accreditation Fees

The Commission’s Standing Committee on Finance reviewed CODA’s budget and determined that fees should be adjusted to ensure greater fiscal accountability within the Commission. As such, the Commission approved an increase of 2014 annual accreditation fees, a policy to be implemented in 2014 to double annual fees in the year in which a program’s regular accreditation site visit is scheduled, an increase in application fees, and an increased administrative fee for special focused site visits that is effective immediately. The table below reflects these decisions and the fees.

2014 Fees
Predoctoral(DDS/DMD) Programs
Dental Public Health Programs
Endodontic Programs
Oral Pathology Program
Oral & Max. Radiology Programs
Oral & Max. Surgery Programs
OMS Clinical Fellowships
Orthodontic Programs
Pediatric Dentistry Programs
Periodontic Programs
Prosthodontic Programs
Gen. Practice Residency Programs
Adv. General Dentistry Programs
Oral Medicine Programs
Dental Anesthesiology Programs
Oral Facial Pain Programs
Dental Hygiene Programs
Dental Assisting Programs
Dental Lab Tech Programs
Application Fee (Predoctoral programs)
Application Fee (all other programs)
Administrative Fee - Special Focused Site Visits

* effective immediately

Adopted Policy Revisions

  • Policy on Visiting Committee Members
  • Policy on Simultaneous Service
  • Policy on Silent Observers on Site Visits
  • Policy on Review Committee Structure
  • Policy on Required Record of Complaints
  • Policy on Selection Criteria for Appeal Board Members
  • Policy on Off-Campus Sites

For more in-depth information on the revised policies, please review the Evaluation and Operational Policies and Procedures Manual at

Proposed Standards for Dental Therapy Education

After receiving a report from the Task Force on Development of Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs, the Commission directed that the proposed Accreditation Standards be circulated to communities of interest until December 1, 2013. Comments will be collected at open hearings at the ADEA, ADHA, ADAA and ADA annual sessions. These standards will be considered at the January 2014 Commission meeting. The Commission is also soliciting comments from the communities of interest related to the program track for dental therapy. The proposed standards are presented as a non-dental hygiene track, but the standards could be modified to support a dental hygiene program track.

For more information on these proposed standards, please visit the website at

International Accreditation

Upon receipt of a report from the Joint Advisory Committee on International Accreditation (JACIA), the Commission directed that one international program be allowed to pursue accreditation by the Commission. The appropriate committees have been directed to make recommendations on the number of site visits for international programs in their initial application process.

Further Strategic Planning

The Commission directed that the Commission Director work with the Finance Committee and Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning Committee to develop a prospective operational budget plan for consideration at the next Commission meeting.


Progress Report Due Date

May 15, 2013

Site Visit Report Response Due Date

June 1, 2013

Application Due Date

April 1, 2013 / October 1, 2013

Review Committee Meetings

July 8–12, 2013

Summer Commission Meeting

August 8–9, 2013


CODA is seeking nominations for several different positions to begin in October 2013. CODA is always looking for Public members to serve on the Commission and Review Committees.

The Commission is happy to accept nominations from individuals (self-nominations are accepted) or organizations for the following positions:

  • Two (2) Predoctoral Educators involved in a predoctoral education program, for the Predoctoral Review Committee, beginning October 2013
    • one should be a general dentist
  • General Dentist Advanced Education (General Dentistry/General Practice Residency Graduate), for the Postdoctoral Review Committee, beginning October 2013
  • Dental Assisting Educator, for the Dental Assisting Review Committee, beginning October 2013
  • Public Member, for the Periodontics Review Committee, beginning October 2013
  • Public Member, for the Dental Laboratory Technology Review Committee (DLT RC) , beginning October 2013
  • Dental Laboratory Technology Educator, for the DLT RC, beginning October 2013
  • Two (2) public member nominees, for upcoming vacancies on the Commission on Dental Accreditation Board, beginning October 2014, following a one-year training period.

If you are interested in applying for the above positions, please send an email to Ms. Alyson Ackerman at to obtain the application materials.


The CODA website of accreditation statuses has been updated since the 2013 Winter meeting. You will also find new Commission documents posted. These include the meeting minutes from the previous Commission meetings, the accreditation actions, and Unofficial Actions of the recent Winter 2013 Commission meeting. You can always get the most up to date accreditation information at:


Policy on Requests for Email Distribution Lists

Periodically, the Commission receives requests for email distribution lists from the communities of interest. The nature and scope of a request will determine whether the Commission will be able to comply with the request. For all types of requests, an “Email Distribution List Form” must be submitted to the Director of the Commission, who will consult with CODA staff regarding the potential for supplying the requested lists based on staff workload capacity. This form is available upon request from the Commission office. Examples of potential requesting parties include member and non-member dentists; other dental professionals; deans, dental faculty and affiliates of dental education programs; non-profit dental organizations; researchers; and government officials (Federal and state). Email distribution lists will not be supplied to commercial interests. Granting the request is at the sole discretion of the Commission.

Additional requirements:

  • Requests will be granted only in the following output formats used by the Commission: Word or Excel.
  • Fees are charged based on a time estimate to complete the request, with a minimum fee of $200.00. The Commission office should be contacted for current fees and rates.
  • A formal agreement specifying the permitted use of the data is required before the Commission will act on the request.

Please contact the Director’s Office by emailing Paul Dohearty at to obtain application materials to make an official request.

CODA Security Reminders

The Commission directs all programs NOT to include protected health information (“PHI”) as defined by HIPAA or sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) in any documentation transmitted to the Commission office or to site visit consultants. Site visit consults review PHI on-site only.

Sensitive personally identifiable information generally includes Social Security numbers, driver’s license or government ID numbers, credit and debit card numbers and account numbers.

For example, before submitting any biosketch to CODA one must:

  • Review the biosketch for Social Security number, or other sensitive personally identifiable information.
  • Redact any sensitive personally identifiable information.
  • Make sure the redacted information is unreadable in hard copy and electronic form.

Protected health information generally includes any information about an individual’s health condition, treatment, or payment for health care that identifies the individual or that could be used to identify the individual. Any PHI must be thoroughly de-identified before it is transmitted to the Commission office or to site visit consultants.

To de-identify protected health information, the following identifiers of the individual or of relatives, household members, and employers must be removed:

  1. Names
  2. Address (including street address, city, zip code, county, precinct)
  3. Dates: - Dates (except year) for information such as birth date, admission date, date of death - All ages over 89 (or information that would indicate a date over 89, including year)
  4. Telephone numbers
  5. Fax numbers
  6. E-mail addresses
  7. Social Security numbers
  8. Medical record numbers
  9. Health plan beneficiary numbers
  10. Account numbers
  11. Certificate/license numbers
  12. Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers
  13. Device identifiers and serial numbers
  14. Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs)
  15. Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers
  16. Biometric identifiers (e.g., finger and voice prints)
  17. Full face photographic images and comparable images
  18. Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code (unless the key is not disclosed or discernible).

In addition, the covered entity cannot have actual knowledge that the information could be used alone or in combination with other information to identify the individual.

If these identifiers are redacted, make sure the redacted information is unreadable in hard copy and electronic form.


The Commission staff is available to assist you.

CODA Contact Addresses
Dr. Sherin Tooks
Predoc/DMD/Dental Schools
Dr. Catherine Horan
GPR/AEGD/Oral Med/Dent Anes/Orofacial Pain
Ms. Peggy Soeldner
Ms. Catherine Baumann
Ms. Jennifer Snow
Ms. Patrice Renfrow
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