I HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
In 1951 the Canadian Dental Association encouraged the ten Provincial Dental Regulatory Authorities (DRA) to meet in an attempt to develop a satisfactory plan for a National Examining Board. Its purpose was to provide a facility by which members of the profession could become eligible, on a national basis, to apply for practice privileges in the province of their choice. This meeting resulted in the incorporation of The National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) in 1952 by an Act of Parliament of Canada. The Act was supported by all ten DRAs and by the CDA and this support continues today.
According to the Act of Parliament, the NDEB is responsible for the establishment of qualifying conditions for a national standard of dental competence for general practitioners, for establishing and maintaining an examination facility to test for this national standard of dental competence and for issuing certificates to dentists who successfully meet this national standard.
The National Dental Examining Board of Canada is composed of twelve members. Each DRA appoints one member and two members are appointed by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada.
In 1994, the Board designated representatives from the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, the Canadian Dental Association and the CDA Committee on Student Affairs as official observers. In 2004, the Board designated a representative from the Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation (CDRAF) as an official observer and appointed a Public Representative.
The Executive Committee of the Board, consisting of the President, President-Elect, Past-President and two other members, meets two or three times a year. The full Board meets annually. The NDEB also has standing committees dealing with examinations, appeals, finances and by-laws.
The NDEB appoints a Chief Examiner for each examination and assessment. Examiners are appointed by the Board from lists submitted by the DRA's and lists submitted by the Deans of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry.
The NDEB is a non-profit organization supported financially by fees charged to individuals taking examinations or assessments.
IV COMPETENCIES FOR A BEGINNING PRACTITIONER IN CANADA
In 1993, the NDEB in cooperation with the ACFD, CDA and CDAC conducted a process to establish competencies for Beginning Dental Practitioners in Canada. These competencies, which were the first national accepted competencies, were used to establish examination blueprints, guide educational programs, and were included in accreditation standards. They have also been used as a reference for many national and international processes in dentistry and other professions.
In 2004, the NDEB initiated a process that resulted in the revision of the competency document. This revised document has been endorsed by all stakeholders.
V RELATIONSHIPS WITH RELATED ORGANIZATIONS
The NDEB closely integrates its personnel and activities with a number of other dental organizations. These inter-relationships are conducive to good interprofessional communications and they greatly assist the NDEB in fulfilling its mandate.
1. PROVINCIAL DENTAL REGULATORY AUTHORITIES
The NDEB is in reality an extension of the ten DRAs - each appointing one member to the NDEB. Every major policy decision that is made by the NDEB must carry the approval of the DRAs. The NDEB is autonomous only by virtue of the fact that it possesses an Act of the Parliament of Canada.
2. COMMISSION ON DENTAL ACCREDITATION OF CANADA
The Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada appoints two members to the NDEB and the NDEB appoints two members to the Commission.
3. THE AMERICAN DENTAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF DENTAL BOARD, AUSTRALIAN DENTAL COUNCIL AND DENTAL COUNCIL OF HONG KONG
As a result of many overlapping areas of interest, formal and informal invitational relationships exist between the NDEB the ADEA, the AADE, ADC and DCHK.
4. ADA COMMISSION ON DENTAL ACCREDITATION
Through its relationship with the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, which has a formal relationship with the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation, the NDEB is informed regarding accreditation issues in the U.S. and cooperates with the CDAC to arrange suitable appointments to ADA Commission Committees and site visit teams.
5. ADA JOINT COMMISSION ON DENTAL EXAMINATION
The NDEB and the ADA Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations invite staff observers to attend annual meetings. Staff of both organizations share information of interest.
6. ROYAL COLLEGE OF DENTISTS OF CANADA
Discussions between the NDEB and RCDC, concerning the possibility of a portability certificate for dental specialists in Canada, began in 1971. In 1973 the NDEB Act was amended, establishing the RCDC as the national examining facility for specialists and the NDEB as the national certifying authority.
7. AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION
The NDEB enjoys a cooperative arrangement with the American Dental Association's Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations and its working committees. Accreditation programs, licensure qualifications, examination methods and techniques have problems and interests common to both sides of the border. Sharing the problems and experiences has been beneficial. Staff are invited to attend each others annual meetings.
8. CANADIAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION
The NDEB and the CDA have a reciprocal annual reporting relationship.
9. CANADIAN DENTAL REGULATORY AUTHORITIES FEDERATION (CDRAF)
The Executive Director/Registrar and the President are official observers at meetings of the CDRAF. The CDRAF normally meets twice a year. The NDEB reports regularly to the CDRAF.
10. ASSOCIATION OF CANADIAN FACULTIES OF DENTISTRY
The NDEB maintains close links with the ACFD Board, various ACFD Committees, and with individual Faculties of Dentistry.
VI ASSISTANCE TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
In addition to the services provided through the formal agreements with ACFD and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), the NDEB provides consultation and existing examination related material to the DRAs on request. The NDEB has provided assistance to the Western Regional Examining Board, the American Board of Prosthodontics, the American Association of Dental Examiners, the Dental Council of Hong Kong and the Australian Dental Council.
VII RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION
The NDEB consistently supports research and the dissemination of scholarly information. The following is a list of publications supported by the NDEB.
- Concurrent Validity of Written and OSCE Components of the Canadian Dental Certification Examinations
- Use of Discriminant and Regression Analyses to Modify a Clinical Certification Board Examination
- Competencies for a Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada
- Modifications To the National Dental Examining Board of Canada's Certification Process
- Competencies for Dental Licensure in Canada
- Manual for Developing and Formatting Competency Statements
- An Analysis of the Contribution of a Patient-Based Component to a Clinical Licensure Examination
- A Validity Survey of Competencies for the Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada
- Review and Revision of the Competencies for a Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada
The NDEB is conscious of its responsibility to certify only candidates who meet the national standard for the purpose of public protection. In order to carry out its responsibility, the NDEB has followed a series of Strategic Plans.
Each year, the NDEB assesses its procedures and the feedback from participants and candidates, making adjustments where indicated to improve the validity and reliability of the examination. The Examination Committee annually reviews the standards and procedures of the respective assessments and examinations and makes recommendations to the Board.
In addition to this ongoing internal review, the NDEB has initiated several external evaluation procedures over the years:
- A Report by the Commissioner of Examinations. Malcolm G. Taylor, Ph.D.-1966
- A Study of the Accreditation Mechanism - 1983
- Workshop on Preclinical and Clinical Examinations - 1985
- 1989/90 Certification Review Committee (CRC) to explore whether the granting of a certificate on the basis of accreditation alone continues to be acceptable
- A Report of NDEB by-laws and policies by the Honourable W.D. Parker - 1990
- A psychometric analysis of examination evaluation methods by Dr. A. Rothman - 1991
- Symposium - 1992
- A Workshop on Clinical Competencies - 1993
- A Consensus Conference on Certification of Graduates of Dental Programs accredited by the ADA Commission of Dental Accreditation - 1995
- Conference on Competency in Oral Health Care, Education & Practice – 2000
- NDEB Program Evaluation – André Boulais – 2001
- Strategic Plan for 2008 – 2010
- Review and Validation of Statistical Procedures – Mr. Thomas Maguire – 2004
- CDA/DCF Teaching Conference: Review of Competencies for a Beginning Dental Practitioner in Canada. – 2004
- Standard setting for NDEB and ACFD Examinations- Buros Institute, University of Nebraska 2007-2008.