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Proposal to create new ADA agency to oversee CERP moves to House of Delegates

August 04, 2014

By Kimber Solana

Image of the ADA CERP logo
In an effort to remove potential conflicts of interest and enhance the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program, the Council on Dental Education and Licensure submitted a proposal to the 2014 House of Delegates to establish a new commission to oversee CERP.

Resolution 6-2014 outlines amendments to the ADA Bylaws and draft rules for the proposed creation of the ADA Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition. A two-thirds majority vote of the House is required to amend the Bylaws.

"ADA CERP approval reflects the ADA's commitment to the highest standards for scientifically sound and unbiased clinical continuing education," said Dr. Teresa Dolan, CDEL chair. "The creation of the ADA Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition would further ensure that the ADA remains free of any potential conflict of interest because it functions as both a CE provider and an approver of CE providers. This approach also reflects best practices in the continuing education arena."
Photo of Dr. Dolan
Dr. Dolan
Photo of Dr. Boyle
Dr. Boyle
CDEL emphasizes that the proposal represents a shift in governance from one ADA agency to another to enhance the program while maintaining the ADA's role.

The council's decision to explore a new model was made after a review of the organizational structures of other continuing education accrediting agencies and analyzing CERP's current structure and CE environment.

"It is interesting to note that agencies that approve providers of continuing medical, pharmacy and nursing education operate as independent entities or as independent subsidiaries of membership organizations," Dr. Dolan said.

Currently, CDEL's CERP Committee manages the program. In addition, CDEL also oversees the ADA's CE programming.

The new agency would help ensure that CERP meets the standard of impartiality required of agencies that approve providers of continuing education and minimize internal conflicts of interest, said Dr. James Boyle, CERP committee chair.

"Nothing will change on how CERP goes about its business, except it will be under a stand-alone commission," Dr. Boyle said. "This will help us ensure that the CE programs offered and approved are bias-free, impartial and remain the gold standard in continuing education."

Under the proposal, the new commission's rules and annual operating budget would be subject to approval by the ADA House of Delegates and CERP would continue to operate under ADA bylaws. The board of commissioners would be composed of representatives from the American Association of Dental Boards, American Dental Education Association, American Society of Constituent Dental Executives, the sponsoring organization of the ADA recognized dental specialties, and the ADA — all organizations currently
represented on the CERP Committee. The commission would have the authority to approve CE providers, adopt standards and policies and manage administration of the program.

CERP promotes continuous quality improvement of CE and provides dental regulatory agencies with a sound basis for uniform acceptance of CE credits that are mandated by 49 licensing jurisdictions for maintenance of licensure. Today, 441 providers of CE are approved by ADA CERP.

The full proposal can be found in CDEL's 2014 annual report. To view the report, click Annual Reports.

ADA CERP | Continuing Education Recognition Program

The American Dental Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, not does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at