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House of Delegates approves new agency to oversee CERP

November 03, 2014

By Kimber Solana

San Antonio — The 2014 House of Delegates voted to establish a new commission to oversee the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program in an effort to remove potential conflicts of interest and enhance the governance of CERP.

Resolution 6H-2014 amended the ADA Bylaws and created the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition. The resolution received the two-thirds majority vote it needed, as required to amend the Bylaws.

"The whole idea was to make sure that the ADA stands by its best-in-practice gold standard mantra," said Dr. James Boyle, Council on Dental Education and Licensure chair. "By having CERP removed from any internal conflicts of interest as much as possible, we have accomplished that."

CDEL emphasizes that the creation of the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition represents a shift in governance from one ADA agency to another to enhance CERP while maintaining the ADA's role in setting standards for continuing dental education.

Photo of CERP member
CDEL chair: Dr. James Boyle, CDEL chair, speaks in support of Resolution 6H-2014 during the Reference Committee (Dental Education, Science and Related Matters) hearing at the House of Delegates.
The decision to explore a new model was made after a review of the organizational structures of other continuing education accrediting agencies and an analysis of CERP's current structure and CE environment. Other agencies that approve providers of continuing medical, pharmacy and nursing education operate as independent entities or as independent subsidiaries of membership organizations.

Previously, CDEL's CERP Committee managed CERP. Meanwhile, CDEL also oversees the ADA's CE programming.

The new agency will help ensure that CERP maintains as much objectivity and meets the standard of impartiality required of agencies that approve providers of continuing education, said Dr. Boyle, adding that nothing will change on how CERP goes about its business.

"CERP will continue to operate as CERP," he said. CE providers approved through the program will continue to be designated as ADA CERP Recognized Providers. The commission does not approve courses or speakers. It has the authority to approve CE providers, adopt standards and policies and manage administration of the program.

"The ADA CERP recognition process ensures that a CE provider is able to provide CE courses to the high standards defined by the CERP guidelines," Dr. Boyle said. "That is a unique and valuable benefit to the ADA members and the profession."

The ADA House of Delegates will approve the new commission's rules and annual operating budget, and CERP will continue to operate under ADA Bylaws. The board of commissioners will 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 represented on the CERP Committee.

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 50 licensing jurisdictions for maintenance of licensure. Members dissatisfied with a specific CE course should fill out and submit a complain form. To do so, visit and click on "CERP Complaints Policy." Today, over 450 providers of CE are approved by CERP.