ADA CERP Standards

Review the standards, policies and procedures governing the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program.

ADA CERP is a program for reviewing providers of continuing dental education and recognizing those that demonstrate that they routinely meet certain basic standards of educational quality.

The ADA CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures are the basis for evaluating CE providers’ practices for planning, implementing and evaluating continuing dental education.

This review and recognition process helps dental professionals select CE courses offered by providers that meet these standards.

CCEPR Standards
CERP Recognition Standards

Review the standards and criteria providers must meet to achieve ADA CERP recognition.

See the eligibility requirements and application process.
Review the information packet and provide your feedback.

ADA CERP policies and procedures

These policies supplement the CERP Recognition Standards and define the CERP recognition process.

ADA CERP Definition of Continuing Dental Education

Continuing education consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a dentist uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The objective is to enhance and update the knowledge base of dentists, strengthen critical thinking skills and support an evidence-based, ethical practice of dentistry. The content of continuing dental education is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical and dental sciences, the discipline of clinical dentistry, and the provision of oral healthcare to the public.

Examples:
Examples of non-clinical topics that are included in the ADA CERP definition of continuing dental education content include but are not limited to:

  • Practice management, for managing offices related to the dental profession.
  • Educational methodology, for dentists teaching in academic dental programs.
  • Coding and reimbursement in a dental office.
  • Research advances in basic and clinical sciences.

Continuing education activities that are not directly related to a dentist’s professional work do not fall within the ADA CERP definition of continuing dental education. Although these activities may be worthwhile, continuing dental education activities related to a dentist's nonprofessional educational needs or interests—such as personal financial planning or physical fitness—are not considered continuing dental education by ADA CERP.

 
Content Validity

Recognized providers are responsible for ensuring that their education is fair and balanced and that any clinical content presented supports safe, effective patient care.

  1. All recommendations for patient care in recognized continuing education must be based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning, while giving a fair and balanced view of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in recognized education in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  3. Although recognized continuing education is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, these areas need to be clearly identified as such within the program and individual presentations. It is the responsibility of recognized providers to facilitate engagement with these topics without advocating for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning.
  4. Organizations cannot be recognized if they advocate for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or if their education promotes recommendations, treatment, or manners of practicing healthcare that are determined to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients.
 
Objectives of CERP recognition

Specific objectives of the recognition program are:

  1. To improve the educational quality of continuing dental education programs through self-evaluation conducted by the CE program provider in relation to the ADA CERP standards and criteria for recognition, and/or through counsel and recommendations to CE providers from the Commission.
  2. To assure participants that recognized continuing education program providers have the organizational structure and resources necessary to provide CE activities of acceptable educational quality, i.e., activities that should assist the participant in providing an enhanced level of care to patients.
  3. To promote uniform standards for continuing dental education that can be accepted nationally by the dental profession.
  4. To assist regulatory agencies and/or other organizations responsible for granting credit in identifying those continuing dental education providers whose activities are acceptable for credit toward licensure or membership requirements or voluntary recognition programs.


Recognition policy

ADA CERP recognition is based on a provider’s demonstration of compliance with ADA CERP standards and criteria. Providers wishing to apply for ADA CERP recognition must first complete a pre-application related to the ADA CERP eligibility criteria. If the Commission determines that a provider meets the eligibility criteria, the provider will be invited to apply for recognition. To apply for recognition, the provider must complete the ADA CERP Application for Recognition, a form that relates to each of the ADA CERP standards and criteria. The application, together with any required documentation or pertinent data, is submitted to the Commission for evaluation.

Providers approved by the Commission shall be designated "ADA CERP recognized providers" for the length of their period of recognition which shall be two, three or four years. New applicants (providers that are not currently ADA CERP recognized) may be eligible for an Initial Recognition period of two years. For all other providers, the Commission will determine the appropriate term of recognition based on the level of compliance and complaint history of the provider.

If the Commission determines that more information is required to make a decision regarding recognition status, or that the provider only minimally meets the standards and criteria, the Commission may (1) postpone for a specified period of time, action to determine recognition status pending submission of additional information or a new application, or, (2) grant recognition contingent upon the provider's submission of a progress report within six months to one year. The Commission will identify and transmit to the provider recommendations for improvement or concerns noted during the review.

Recognition of a provider does not imply recognition or approval of that provider's satellite or parent organizations, parent company, subsidiaries, cooperating agencies or divisions.

The ADA CERP Standards and Criteria are subject to review and modification from time to time by the Commission at its discretion. To retain recognition, providers must comply with ADA CERP standards and criteria as modified.

CCEPR does not approve lecturers, individual courses or credit hours. Providers must inform participants on how comments or complaints about an ADA CERP recognized provider may be filed with the Commission.

Continued Recognition of Previously Recognized Providers

The re-recognition process begins about twelve months prior to the designated recognition expiration date. The Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (CCEPR) notifies recognized providers and sends them information about the re-recognition procedures, including a specific schedule. Application deadlines shall be regularized and published, and shall fall approximately two months prior to meetings of the Commission.

Recognized providers must complete and submit an ADA CERP Application for Recognition by the specified deadline prior to the date when the provider's recognition will expire. In addition to the Application form, the provider must submit any other specifically identified materials documenting its continued compliance with the CERP standards and criteria for recognition, as well as improvements in any previously-identified areas of deficiency or weakness. Recommendations for improvements shall be evaluated under the ADA CERP standards and criteria in effect at the time of the evaluation.

Confidentiality

The Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (CCEPR) will keep confidential to the extent permitted by law the name of any continuing dental education provider that has:

  1. Initiated contact with the Commission concerning application for recognition;
  2. Applied for recognition but has not yet been apprised of a decision;
  3. Applied for and been denied recognition.

Further, in response to general inquiries, the Commission will not confirm that a provider has not applied for recognition, nor provide details regarding any weaknesses of a recognized provider. All inquiries as to the recognition status of a specific provider will be answered by referral to the published, official list of ADA CERP recognized providers.

Regulations governing recognition process
  1. All providers interested in obtaining ADA CERP recognition must first complete a pre-application form. Providers in the United States and Canada must complete the ADA CERP Pre-application: Determination of Eligibility form. International providers, defined by ADA CERP as providers based outside the United States or Canada, must complete the Pre-application Process for International Providers (PPIP). The pre-application forms include questions related to the ADA CERP eligibility criteria. Pre-applications may be submitted at any time. The Commission will notify providers in writing, usually within eight weeks, of receipt of the pre-application and fee, regarding the provider’s eligibility to continue with the application process. Providers that are deemed eligible to continue will be invited to apply and will be sent application materials and instructions. 
  2. Eligible providers will be requested to complete an ADA CERP Application for Recognition within a specified time frame, usually within 18 months of notification of eligibility, and in accordance with published application deadlines. The Commission will inform eligible providers of the date(s) by which an initial application may be submitted. Eligible providers that do not submit an application for the Commission’s consideration by the final date specified by the Commission will be required to submit a new pre-application form and pay the applicable fee. Published application deadlines shall fall approximately two months prior to meetings of the Commission.
  3. After receipt of the ADA CERP Application for Recognition, the application will be reviewed to determine completeness of information submitted. If problems are identified, Commission staff will notify the provider of any issues related to the application, including any required information or documents, which must be addressed before the application may be submitted to the Commission for consideration.
  4. The application will be considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission. If the Commission determines that the application does not provide adequate information on which to base a recommendation for recognition, the Commission may seek additional information from the provider or from alternative sources.

    The CCEPR reserves the right to seek additional information from the provider, including but not limited to course evaluation forms completed by participants and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all course participants. The Commission also has the right to seek information from alternative sources including, but not limited to, surveys of program participants, on-site visits, observation of the provider’s CE activities, review of the providers’ web site, or other means considered necessary to determine whether the provider is in compliance with the standards and criteria.
  5. New applicants (providers that are not currently ADA CERP recognized) may be eligible for an Initial Recognition period of two years. After the Initial Recognition period, providers may be eligible for continued recognition.

    Recognition terms of two, three or four years will be awarded based on the provider’s level of compliance with the Recognition Standards and the complaint history of the provider. Recognition is effective the first day of the month of May or November after action is taken by the CCEPR. In no case will recognition be granted retroactively or prior to action taken by the Commission. The length of recognition, i.e., two (2), three (3) or four (4) years, will be clearly stated in the letter that transmits the Commission’s action to the provider.

    Recognition is effective the first day of the month of May or November after action is taken by the CCEPR. In no case will recognition be granted retroactively or prior to action taken by the Commission. The length of recognition, i.e., two (2), three (3) or four (4) years, will be clearly stated in the letter that transmits the Commission’s action to the provider.

    If recognition is granted, the provider will be supplied with the following information:

    1. The effective dates and length of the recognition term
    2. A statement that must be used to announce or publicize ADA CERP recognition
    3. Responsibilities and procedures for documenting participation in CE activities
    4. Procedures regarding expiration of recognition and reapplication
    5. Requirements and recommendations for improvements in the provider's CE program

    Recognition may be contingent on the submission of one or more progress reports at specified intervals. The Commission reserves the right to reevaluate a provider at any time; for example, by surveying participants in the provider's CE activities, by reviewing activities in person, or by requiring additional information concerning the provider and/or its activities.

    Recognized providers have an obligation to ensure that major changes or additions to the program such as a change of ownership, implementing courses in which treatment is provided to human subjects or adding a new educational method must conform with ADA CERP standards and criteria. Major changes must be reported in keeping with the ADA CERP Policy on Substantive Changes.
  6. Recognized providers must use the following statements regarding recognition status, credit designation and notice of opportunity to file complaints on materials related to their continuing education activities.

    1. Publicity materials:

      The following authorized recognition and credit designation statements must be used on publicity materials related to the provider’s continuing education courses:

      <<Name of provider>> 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, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Name of provider designates this activity for number of credit hours continuing education credits.
    2. Course materials and verification of participation forms

      The following authorized recognition statement and notice of opportunity to file complaints must be published by recognized providers in course materials available to participants during the activity, such as program guides, evaluation forms, instructions for self-study activities, etc., and on all verification of participation documents issued by the provider for continuing dental education activities:

      <<Name of provider>> 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, nor 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 the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at CCEPR.ADA.org.
  7. All  recognized providers must submit an annual report to CCEPR containing current contact information and information about the providers’ CE activities in the preceding year. Contact information must include the provider’s name, address, phone, fax, Web address, and the names and contact information for the chief administrative authority and the person with primary day-to-day responsibility for administration of the provider’s continuing dental education program.
  8. Use of the ADA CERP logo (or name) in connection with advertisements and written course materials associated with continuing education activities by a recognized provider must conform to the following criteria:

    1. It shall not be used to imply that any CE activities or CE credit hours have been approved or endorsed by ADA CERP, the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition, or the American Dental Association
    2. It shall not be used on letterheads or in any fashion that would imply that the organization is affiliated with ADA CERP, the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition, or the American Dental Association, other than as a recognized provider
    3. It may not be displayed in a type size larger than the provider organization’s name, or given greater prominence than the provider organization’s name
    4. It shall not be published in conjunction with any statement or material that, in the Commission’s or the ADA’s judgment, may be harmful to the ADA’s or the Commission’s good will or may tend to undermine the Commission’s or the ADA’s credibility
    5. It shall only be used in conjunction with the authorized statement that the organization is a recognized provider
  9. Recognition will be denied or withdrawn if there is non-compliance with the ADA CERP standards and criteria for recognition. If recognition is denied or withdrawn, the provider will be provided with the following:

    1. Identification of the specific standards and criteria with which the Commission found noncompliance
    2. Requirements and recommendations for alterations and/or improvements in the provider's continuing dental education program
    3. Rules and mechanisms governing resubmission of an application
    4. Procedures for reconsideration
  10. Recognition may be withdrawn by the Commission for any of the following reasons:

    1. A voluntary request is received from the recognized provider.
    2. A finding of noncompliance with the ADA CERP standards and criteria for recognition. Specific reasons for the action will be identified.
    3. The provider submits false and/or misleading information.
    4. The provider fails to submit documentation requested in writing in a timely manner.
    5. CE activities have not been offered to dentists for a period of two years or more.
    6. Required fees have not been paid.
    7. The provider fails to sign and comply with terms of the ADA CERP License Agreement.
    8. The provider fails to submit an annual report.
  11. The ADA CERP standards and criteria are subject to review and modification from time to time by the CCEPR at its discretion. To retain recognition, continuing dental education providers must comply with ADA CERP standards and criteria as modified. CCEPR will notify recognized providers of any program updates and changes to the ADA CERP standards and criteria. Notifications will be sent via email and announcements posted online at CCEPR.ADA.org. The most current version of the ADA CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures is always available at CCEPR.ADA.org. If, as a result of any modification, a recognized provider is no longer in compliance with the ADA CERP standards and criteria, then by the date of the provider’s next regularly scheduled review, or the date specified by the Commission, whichever is earlier, the provider must either bring its continuing dental education program into compliance with the new ADA CERP standards and criteria or it must voluntarily request to withdraw from the ADA CERP program.
Policy on Extensions
If a recognized provider is unable to meet its reapplication deadline, the provider may request a one-time extension of its recognition term. In order to do so, the provider must notify Commission staff of its intent to extend and submit payment of the appropriate extension fee (see Fee Schedule). If the Commission grants the extension, the provider’s recognition term will be extended six months, pending submission and approval of a reapplication to be reviewed during the next application cycle. If an extension is granted and the provider submits an application for continued recognition during the next application cycle and the Commission approves the provider for another term of recognition, the new recognition term will begin at the end of the extended recognition term.
Compliance with privacy laws

Every provider submitting materials to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (CCEPR) as part of the recognition process must attest to the following:

“The materials we submit to CCEPR as part of an application, activity file, progress report, report of substantive change, or other reports to ADA CERP will not include protected health information, as defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended, unless we have obtained any necessary authorization, consent or release, or any other personally identifiable information that may be protected by federal, state or local laws.”

ADA CERP Policy on Compliance with Privacy Laws

Reporting substantive change

A substantive change to a provider’s continuing education (CE) program is one that may impact the degree to which the recognized provider complies with the ADA CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures. The Commission must be made aware of substantive changes as soon as possible. Substantive changes may include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in ownership, legal status or form of control.
  • Introducing a new educational method beyond the scope described in the application, e.g., adding patient treatment courses or self-study activities.
  • Changes in the CE program’s source(s) of financial support, especially if funding is from an external commercial source.
  • Changes in the CE provider's contact information.

When an ADA CERP recognized provider undergoes certain substantive changes, resulting, for instance, from a merger or acquisition, the Commission may need to work through the transition with the organization. 

When a recognized provider undergoes certain substantive changes, for example, becoming owned by a commercial interest, ADA CERP may consider the provider to be significantly different than the organization that was recognized. ADA CERP may require the provider to cease providing CE as an ADA CERP recognized provider.

ADA CERP may withdraw a provider’s recognition if the provider is dissolved or ceases to exist as a result of a merger, acquisition or dissolution.

When substantive changes occur, the primary concern of the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (the Commission) is that the provider continues to meet the ADA CERP standards and criteria. Recognized providers must be able to demonstrate that any substantive change(s) to their CE program will not adversely affect the ability of the organization to comply with established standards. If the Commission determines that the program changes represent a sufficient departure from practices in place at the time of application, the Commission may elect to re-evaluate the provider before the next formal reapplication is due.

Contact Information Changes: To protect the best interest of all parties, ADA CERP generally limits communications to authorized contact persons identified by the provider. It is very important to ensure that your organization’s contact information is current and accurate. ADA CERP uses the following contact categories:

  1. CERP contact: the person with whom CERP regularly communicates, frequently via email
  2. Chief Executive Officer: the person in a leadership role who is ultimately responsible for the organization's ADA CERP recognized CE provider

A provider may review and make necessary changes to their organization’s contact information by contacting ADA CERP staff at cerp@ada.org. ADA CERP considers the names and contact information for providers recognized by ADA CERP to be public information, and provides lists of these names to the public, accordingly.

Reporting Substantive Changes

All recognized providers are expected to report substantive changes in writing to the Commission within 30 days of the change. If a provider is uncertain whether a change is substantive, the provider should contact CCEPR staff for clarification and guidance. The following procedures shall apply to substantive changes:

  1. ADA CERP recognized providers must report any substantive change(s) to their CE program within 30 days of the change.
  2. The provider must submit to the Commission a description and/or documentation describing the change(s) and explaining how the CE program will continue to comply with ADA CERP’s standards and criteria.
  3. Providers will receive written notification from the Commission that:
    1. The information is acceptable and will be kept on file for review at the time of the provider’s next scheduled reapplication, or
    2. Additional documentation is required for re-evaluation prior to the next scheduled reapplication, usually at the time of Commission’s next scheduled meeting..
  4. The Commission may exercise its right to re-evaluate a recognized provider at any time.
  5. When a provider has received written notification to provide additional documentation, failure to submit the requested documentation shall be considered grounds for withdrawal of ADA CERP recognition status at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission.
  6. Submission of false or misleading information shall be grounds for withdrawal of ADA CERP Recognition status.
Joint providership

Joint providership is when an ADA CERP recognized provider shares responsibility with another provider of continuing dental education for implementing, evaluating, and keeping records for a continuing dental education activity. ADA CERP recognized providers may jointly plan and administer CE activities with another ADA CERP recognized provider or with a CE provider that is not recognized.

Responsibility for continuing education activities must rest with the ADA CERP recognized provider whenever the provider acts in cooperation with providers that are not recognized. When two or more ADA CERP recognized providers act in cooperation to plan and implement an activity, one must take responsibility for ensuring compliance with CERP Standards. Letters of agreement between the joint providers must be developed to outline each party’s responsibilities for the CE activity. Letters of agreement must be signed by all parties.

Effective July 1, 2023, a commercial interest may not be a joint provider.

Requirements for joint providership are described in the ADA CERP Joint Providership Policy (PDF) and in Standard IX.13-14 of the CERP Recognition Standards. CERP recognized providers must inform potential participants of the joint providership arrangement through the use of the joint providership statement on publicity materials for any jointly provided CE activities, as specified in the CERP Regulations Governing the Recognition Process:

This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) through joint efforts between <<Name of CERP recognized provider>> and <<Name of joint provider>>.

Procedures for an adverse action

An adverse action is defined as withdrawal or denial of recognition.

Receiving Notice of an Adverse Action

The following procedure is used when an adverse action (to deny or withdraw recognition) is initiated by the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (Commission):
  1. The Commission sends notice that it is initiating an adverse action in a transmittal letter to the provider no later than fourteen (14) days after the Commission’s meeting in which it determined to take this action. The transmittal letter is sent by tracked electronic communication and includes a copy of the Decision Report.
         a. For a new applicant denied recognition, the Decision Report will outline the ADA CERP Recognition Standards, Policies and Procedures (ADA CERP Standards) which the Commission  determined the provider did not meet.
         b. For a recognized provider, the Decision Report will outline the ADA CERP Standards which the Commission determined the provider did not meet, and will communicate the Commission’s intent to withdraw recognition and the date on which this action will be taken (generally at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission).
  2. The transmittal letter will advise the provider of its option to request reconsideration and to provide additional information and documentation for the Commission to consider prior to taking the proposed action.

Reconsideration of an Initiated Adverse Action

  1.  If a provider wishes to request that the Commission reconsider an adverse action that has been initiated, the provider must notify the Commission in writing within thirty (30) days of notification of the Commission’s intent to withdraw or deny recognition. The recognition status of the provider shall remain unchanged during the reconsideration process.
  2. If a provider properly notifies the Commission that it wishes to request reconsideration, it will be asked to submit a report or revised application, describing and documenting its compliance with the ADA CERP Standards cited in writing the Commission’s Decision Report, and include any reasons why the provider believes the withdrawal or denial is unjustified. The report and documentation are due by the date specified by the Commission (generally the next published ADA CERP application due date). The provider also has the option to address the Commission at the meeting during which the Commission will consider the provider’s request for reconsideration.
  3. After considering the information supplied by the provider in its request for reconsideration, the Commission will notify the provider of its decision in writing. If, following reconsideration, the Commission determines that approval should be withdrawn as scheduled, or the decision to deny recognition upheld, the provider will be notified of its right to appeal this decision.
  4. If the provider does not communicate its intent to request reconsideration by the thirty (30) day deadline specified, the decision of the Commission will automatically be final. 

Appeal of an Adverse Action

If, after considering a provider’s request for reconsideration and supporting documentation, the Commission takes action to withdraw or deny recognition, the provider may appeal to the Commission’s Appeal Board. The purpose of an appeal is to determine if, based on the information and documentation previously submitted to the Commission, the decision to deny or withdraw recognition was in accordance with ADA CERP Standards. An appellant may not present to the Appeal Board any information that had not previously been presented to the Commission, such as information regarding corrections to deficiencies cited by the Commission. It is not proper for the Appeal Board to either receive or consider facts not previously presented to the Commission since it does not sit as an initial reviewing body. Similarly, it is not the function of the Hearing Panel to determine whether the facts, singularly or cumulatively, justify the decision of the Commission unless it can be shown that the Commission’s decision was clearly against the manifest weight of the evidence. Further, the Hearing Panel will not hear testimony relative to the reasonableness of previously determined requirements for recognition since this is outside the scope of authority of this reviewing body. An appeal may not be based on the length of the recognition period or disagreement with the ADA CERP Standards. Appeals are conducted in accord with the following procedures.
 

Appeal Board and Hearing Panel

The appellate body of the ADA’s Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP) shall be the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition Appeal Board which shall have the authority to hear and decide appeals filed by continuing dental education providers from decisions rendered by the Commission denying or withdrawing recognition.

The Appeal Board consists of one representative selected by each of the organizations represented on the Board of Commissioners, and shall include one member each from: the national organizations of the recognized dental specialties, the American Dental Education Association, the American Society of Constituent Dental Executives, and the American Dental Association. Members of the Appeal Board must have previously served on the Board of Commissioners or its predecessor, the ADA CERP Committee. The term of office of members on the Appeal Board shall be one four (4) year term. When an appeal of an adverse action is initiated by a provider, the director of the Commission shall select a Hearing Panel consisting of three (3) members of the Appeal Board to hear and decide the appeal. Members of the Hearing Panel may not have previously reviewed an application or progress report submitted by the provider as part of the recognition process.

The Hearing Panel shall meet at the call of the director of the Commission provided at least ten (10) days’ notice is given to each member of the Hearing Panel in advance of the meeting. Such meetings shall be called by the director only when an appeal to the appellate body has been duly filed by a continuing education provider following the procedures for filing an appeal.
 
The Hearing Panel shall elect one member of the panel to chair the hearing. A majority of the voting members of the Hearing Panel shall constitute a quorum. 

Procedures for an Appeal

  1.  If the Commission denies or withdraws recognition, the Commission will send notice of its decision in a written transmittal to the provider no later than fourteen (14) days following the Commission meeting. The transmittal will be sent by tracked electronic communication. If the provider wishes to appeal the adverse action, the provider must file a written request for an appeal with the director of the Commission within twenty-one (21) days of notification of the Commission’s decision. In the absence of receipt of a request for an appeal as prescribed above, the decision of the Commission will automatically be final.
  2. If a request for an appeal is received, the Commission shall acknowledge notification of such intent and indicate the deadline for submission of documentation.
  3. The provider must submit a non-refundable Appeal Administrative Fee with its request for the appeal, in accordance with the fee schedule published from time to time at CCEPR.ADA.org.
  4. The director of the Commission shall provide the names of the three members of the Hearing Panel to the appellant within thirty (30) days of receipt of the appeal. In the event that the appellant believes that a member of the Hearing Panel has a conflict of interest that may preclude a balanced hearing, the appellant may request that panelist be replaced. The appellant may request replacement of up to two members of the Hearing Panel. A request for appointment of a new panelist must be submitted to the Appeal Board within ten (10) days of receipt of the original slate of Hearing Panel members. New members of the Hearing Panel will be selected by the director of the Commission.
  5. The provider must submit four copies of evidence or argument in writing to refute the decision of the Commission. The appellant’s written evidence or argument must be submitted at least fourteen (14) days prior to the hearing date.
  6. A hearing date will be scheduled by the director of the Commission within 60 days of receipt of the appeal. The Hearing Panel shall meet virtually unless the appellant requests to meet with the Hearing Panel in person. In the event that the appellant requests an in person meeting, such meeting shall take place in Chicago, at a location determined by the Commission. The appellant shall be responsible for its representatives’ travel expenses and its legal expenses. In addition, the appellant will be responsible for the travel expenses of the three members of the Hearing Panel, in accordance with the published fee schedule. The appellant must submit payment of travel expenses at least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing date.
  7. Representatives of the provider may make an appearance before the Hearing Panel via teleconference or in person. If desired, the provider’s legal counsel may accompany the provider and observe the appearance. Legal counsel for the Appeal Board may be present for the appearance(s) and the Hearing Panel’s closed session(s) thereafter. No recording of the appearance(s) is permitted. The provider will be given the opportunity to offer evidence and argument to refute the adverse action. The Hearing Panel will only review information and documentation that was previously available to the Commission at the time the Commission made its decision take the adverse action.
  8. No change in the recognition status of the provider will occur pending disposition of the appeal.

Mechanism for the Conduct of an Appearance before the Hearing Panel

  1. A representative of the Commission may make a brief opening statement for the purpose of establishing the Commission’s findings and reasons therefore. The Commission’s representative’s presentation shall not exceed thirty (30) minutes.
  2. The provider will then present its argument to the Hearing Panel. The appellant’s presentation shall not exceed thirty (30) minutes.
  3. Hearing Panel members may ask questions of the Commissioner’s and the provider's representatives to clarify information presented.
  4. After hearing the evidence, the Hearing Panel shall meet in closed session to discuss the appeal and make its decision, which shall be final. The Hearing Panel’s decision may be to uphold or overturn the adverse action. The decision shall be based on a majority vote of the Hearing Panel members present and voting.
  5. The Appeal Board Hearing Panel’s decision will be sent to the provider within ten (10) days following the hearing. If the decision is to uphold the Commission’s action to withdraw or deny recognition, the decision will be effective upon notification of the decision. The Appeal Board’s action shall be final.
  6. The Commission reserves the right to modify or change these procedures.
Complaints

The Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (CCEPR) will consider written, signed complaints about recognized CE providers if the complaint documents substantial noncompliance with the ADA CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures (PDF). Complaints may be forwarded to the Commission by course participants, course faculty, other ADA CERP approved CE providers, state dental societies, state boards of dentistry and other interested parties. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission will initiate a review of the provider’s recognition status in accordance with the ADA CERP Complaints Policy (below), in a manner that considers due process. 

A recognized provider may also be reevaluated at any time if information is received from the provider or another source that indicates the provider has undergone changes in program administration or scope, or may no longer be in compliance with the ADA CERP Standards. 

CERP Complaints Policy

The Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition will only consider written, signed complaints that present evidence and documentation in support of the complaint. The complaint must identify the specific ADA CERP Standards with which the recognized provider may not be in compliance. Unsigned comments/complaints or oral complaints will not be considered.

The Commission is interested in the continued improvement and sustained quality of continuing dental education programs. The Commission only investigates and takes action in matters related to ADA CERP Standards. If a complaint includes matters that are currently the subject of, or directly related to, litigation, the Commission will not proceed with consideration of the complaint until the litigation is concluded. In accordance with its responsibilities to determine compliance with the ADA CERP Standards, the Commission does not act as a mediator, does not intervene on the behalf of any organizations and/or individuals, nor act as an arbitrator between disputing parties.

The Commission will evaluate potential complaints to ascertain that they pertain to ADA CERP Standards. A potential complainant will be asked to provide complete information and documentation about the alleged lack of compliance with the ADA CERP Standards.

The Commission will consider appropriate complaints against ADA CERP recognized providers from third parties. The Commission may also initiate a complaint or inquiry about an ADA CERP recognized provider. In this regard, an appropriate complaint is defined as one alleging that there exists a practice, condition or situation within the program of an ADA CERP recognized provider which indicates potential non-compliance with ADA CERP Standards. The Commission will review documentation and determine the disposition of such complaints.

Any attempt at resolution between the complainant and the provider prior to initiating a formal complaint should be documented. The Commission will consider the complaint at the earliest feasible opportunity, usually at the next scheduled semi-annual meeting of the Commission. When setting this date, the Commission will protect the due process interests of both the provider and the complainant to the degree possible.

The following procedures have been established to review appropriate complaints: 
  1. The complaint will become a formally lodged complaint only when the complainant has submitted a written, signed statement of the program's non-compliance with a specific standard and/or recognition policy; the statement must be accompanied by documentation of the non-compliance whenever possible. If the Commission determines that a complaint does not relate to a provider’s compliance with ADA CERP Standards, then the matter will be closed and the Commission will notify the complainant that it will not consider the complaint. If the Commission determines that the complaint does not contain the proper evidence/documentation, the complaint will be returned with a request to submit the requested documentation. The complainant will have fourteen (14) days from such notification to resubmit the complaint. If the requested documentation is not submitted within fourteen (14) days, the complaint will be closed. The Commission will complete this initial screening within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint and all necessary evidence/documentation. The Commission will take steps to protect the identity of the complainant, except as may be required by legal process.
  2. If the Commission determines that a complaint merits further review, the Commission will notify the continuing dental education provider in writing that the Commission has received a formal complaint indicating that compliance with a specific ADA CERP Standard has been questioned. The Commission will also notify the complainant in writing that the Commission has opened an inquiry into the complaint. The Commission will not communicate further with the complainant concerning the status or results of the inquiry other than to inform the complainant at such time as the matter has been resolved.
  3. The provider will be required to provide documentation supporting its compliance with the ADA CERP Standards in question by a specific date (usually within 30 days). The Commission reserves the right to seek additional information from the provider, including but not limited to course evaluation forms completed by participants and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all course participants. If the Commission requests further information, the provider shall provide such information within fourteen (14) days of delivery of such further request. The Commission may also seek information from alternate sources including, but not limited to: surveys of program participants, on-site visits, observation of the provider's CE activities, or other means considered necessary to determine whether the CE provider is in compliance with the ADA CERP Standards. 

    As part of a complaint related to ADA CERP requirements that CE activities be based on sound science, the provider will be required to submit to the Commission, or provide access to, an unaltered set of all CE materials (e.g., audio/video recordings, slides or other content outlines, program book or other handouts) related to the CE activity at issue. If, upon receipt of the materials, the Commission determines that an objective content review of the activity is necessary to determine compliance, the Commission may seek independent content reviews by at least two (2) independent reviewers. The provider will pay any costs related to the review of the activity in excess of an amount which the Commission will establish and post from time to time on its website. The provider has the option to submit its own independent content review to the Commission within thirty (30) days of being notified of the complaint.  

    Refusal or failure to provide all requested information or to cooperate with the Commission’s information-gathering efforts may be considered cause for withdrawal of the provider's ADA CERP recognition status.
  4. The Commission will consider the provider's report and documentation as well as any additional information obtained from other sources, generally at or before the Commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting.
  5. Following consideration, the Commission will take action, as follows
    a. If the Commission finds the provider to be in compliance with ADA CERP Standards, the provider will be notified accordingly and the matter will be closed.
    b. If the Commission determines there is sufficient evidence of noncompliance with the ADA CERP Standards, the Commission may either request additional information or initiate action to withdraw recognition. The Commission may:
        i. postpone action until the next meeting pending the receipt of additional information such as:
           o a comprehensive re-evaluation of the provider; 
           o a written report by the provider documenting progress in meeting the relevant ADA CERP Standards prior to the next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Commission;
           o personal appearances before the Commission by the complainant and/or the provider or their representatives to present oral testimony in support of the written documentation provided. The complainant and the provider may be represented by legal counsel. The costs to the complainant and the provider of such personal appearances and/or legal representation shall be borne by the complainant and the provider, respectively; or
       ii. notify the provider of the Commission’s intent to withdraw the provider's recognition, in accordance with the ADA CERP Procedures for an Adverse Action Against a Provider.
  6. The provider will receive written notice of the Commission’s action on the complaint within thirty (30) days following the Commission meeting. The complainant will also be notified that the matter has been resolved, without indicating the nature of the resolution, in keeping with the CERP Confidentiality Policy.
  7. The records/files related to such complaints shall remain the property of the Commission for five years and shall be kept confidential to the extent feasible. After five years, these records will be destroyed.