C.E. waiver extension granted for California dentists, RDHs, RDAs

Dental professionals also receive license exam waiver

California-licensed dental professionals whose licenses expire in July and August were given through Dec. 1 to complete their required C.E. according to a waiver issued July 1 by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The DCA on Aug. 27 issued a new waiver that rescinds the July 1 waiver and extends the deadline to complete required C.E. and testing to Feb. 27, 2021.

In late March, following CDA’s advocacy efforts, the California Department of Consumer Affairs temporarily waived the license-renewal continuing education requirements for dental professionals whose licenses expire between March 31 and June 30, giving them until Sept. 30 to satisfy any waived C.E. requirements. That waiver was also rescinded by the Aug. 27 waiver and those licensees also now have until Feb. 27, 2021, to complete the waived C.E. requirements.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March 4 state-of-emergency order granted the Department of Consumer Affairs the authority to waive statutory or regulatory professional licensing requirements as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CDA advocated for the C.E. waiver knowing that licensees would have difficulties completing C.E. due to the cancellation of in-person courses forced by the statewide stay-at-home mandate and social distancing requirements intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The first waiver was a relief for individuals facing immediate re-licensure, but with in-person education likely restricted for months, CDA has continued to underscore the need for an additional waiver. 

Licensees are still required to renew and pay for their licenses by the normal expiration date. The waivers only grant an extension to complete the required C.E.

Licensure exam waiver

Dental professionals who are applying for licensure in California but whose clinical examinations or graduation from RDH and RDA programs have been delayed as a result of COVID-19 now have additional time to complete the required licensing examinations.

The Department of Consumer Affairs last week approved a waiver for applicants whose applications are deemed abandoned between March 31 and July 1 due to the applicant’s failure to take the examinations. The waiver is subject to the condition that applicants take the licensing examination within two years and six months after the date the Dental Board of California received the application.

Although the waiver applies to dentists, as a result of CDA’s advocacy efforts that began in March, dental school graduates in California may use passing scores on the WREB and ADEX manikin-based examinations this summer to apply for licensure in the state.

Options for continuing education

C.E. courses are available to dentists and their teams through CDA’s online learning platform, Brightbox, including self-study courses and recordings of webinars on a range of topics. CDA members can access courses by logging in to their accounts. (Each dental staff member will need an individual account login to enroll.)

Additionally, CDA is already at work developing more innovative learning opportunities for dentists and their teams, including a virtual C.E. event to be held this fall, and will announce more details soon.