Resources for dental CE providers

Learn how to maintain ADA CERP recognition, stay on top of current requirements and get guidance on preparing progress reports.

About ADA CERP recognition

Established in 1993, the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) provides ADA members and the dental community a mechanism to select quality continuing dental education (CE) with confidence and promotes the continuous improvement of continuing dental education both nationally and globally. ADA CERP also provides dental regulatory agencies with a sound basis for uniform acceptance of CE credits that are mandated by licensing jurisdictions in the United States for maintenance of dental licensure.

All of the U.S. licensing jurisdictions that have currently implemented CE requirements for licensure renewal of dentists and allied staff accept the credits offered by ADA CERP recognized providers toward these requirements. However, each licensing jurisdiction may have additional criteria that must be met.

ADA CERP is managed by the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition. Through an application and review process, the Commission evaluates and recognizes institutions and organizations that provide continuing dental education.

Once approved, providers are held accountable for maintaining those same high standards through periodic reevaluation. Below you will find resources that can help you maintain CERP certification.

See the eligibility requirements and application process.
Review current standards and procedures for CERP recognition.
See the official definitions for terms associated with CERP recognition.
US Map
Licensure information map

View general licensure and CE requirements for your state, along with detailed requirements for specific dental credentials.

Examples and guidance

CE Educator’s Toolkit Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

2022 CE Educator’s Toolkit: Evidence-based design and implementation strategies for effective continuing education.

Guidance on online CE activities

The following information summarizes ADA CERP requirements for CE activities delivered online, whether live or recorded.

Providers should review the CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures, with particular attention to Standard VI.8-9.

Common requirement for all online CE activities

CERP Standard VI.9 outlines requirements for any CE activity offered online (“electronically mediated”), whether a live webinar, a recording, or a text-based program. All online CE activities must provide:

  • A mechanism for participant interaction with instructors—for example, through a chat function or email
  • Participant access to technical assistance for the webinar or streaming platform throughout the activity
  • No “commercial breaks” or embedded advertising within the CE activities; however, any commercial support must be acknowledged at the beginning of an activity (see Standard V)

Providers must also ensure that general CERP requirements for all CE activities are met. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Published educational objectives
  • Published information about instructors, their qualifications and disclosures of relevant financial relationships
  • A method for participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the activity and mastery of the material
  • A method for verifying who participated in the activity
  • CE credits issued based on the actual hours of instruction in which the learner participated
  • A verification of participation document issued to learners, including the course title, the method of delivery, the number of CE credits earned and the full ADA CERP recognition statement

Live, online CE activities

These include webinars, live-streamed activities or other synchronous activities delivered in real time, with opportunities for interaction with instructors. Providers offering these activities must meet the criteria described in the preceding section.

Online, self-study activities, including recordings of live events

CE activities which a learner completes independently, or “asynchronously,” are considered self-study, or self-instructional. This includes recordings of live CE activities that are made available for credit to those who were not able to participate in the live broadcast or event. Recorded activities are considered as separate and distinct from the live event. Podcasts, journal articles, or other written activities delivered online are also considered online self-study activities.

In addition to meeting the criteria listed above for online activities, self-study CE activities must meet requirements outlined in Standard VI.8, including:

  • Opportunities for learners to interact with subject matter experts, such as through chat, email or discussion groups
  • A content-oriented evaluation mechanism for assessing learners’ mastery of the material
  • Audiovisual activities must be supplemented with references for further study and other written materials, such as copies of presentation slides, transcripts, or summaries
  • Self-study activities must be reviewed by the CE provider at least every three years to ensure that content is current and accurate
  • Self-study activities must include the publication or release date and an expiration date (a maximum of three years from the original release date)

Contact CCEPR staff for more information about providing CE online.

Guidelines for preparing a progress report

A Progress Report is the mechanism by which providers communicate to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition (CCEPR) information on the steps the provider has taken to address findings of non-compliance noted in a transmittal letter or Decision Report from the Commission. If a Progress Report is required, it is usually due at a specified time before the provider’s next application for continued recognition.

GENERAL GUIDELINES: Progress Reports are reviewed by members of the CCEPR. The reviewers look for a clear, detailed report, supported by documentation that demonstrates the improvements or changes a provider has made to its CE program.

A well-written and effective report both describes and documents information related to the ADA CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures that were found to be in non-compliance. Documentation of what has already been accomplished will be considered with greater precedence than plans for what will be done.

Guidelines for preparing a progress report (PDF)

Instructions for submitting PDFs (PDF)

Guidelines for length of CE activities

CERP Standard XIV.3 requires that CE activities be at least 15 minutes in length. CE credits may be awarded in increments of 0.25 hours. Review Standard XIV requirements for calculating credits in the CERP Recognition Standards (PDF).

The 15-minute minimum length for CE activities is designed to offer providers flexibility in developing shorter courses when appropriate, and to designate credits that accurately correspond to the length of the learning activity.

CE activities designated for 0.25 credits must be at least 15 minutes in duration. Credit may not be offered for CE activities that are shorter than 15 minutes. Credits for activities longer than 15 minutes may be rounded to the nearest increment of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 or 1.0. In instances where established regulation states that activities of 50-60 minutes shall be counted as one hour, then the provider should designate one hour.

Providers may continue to issue credits in increments of one hour for CE activities that are of corresponding length. However, if a CE activity is 75 minutes, for example, then the activity must be designated for 1.25 hours.

Providers developing courses for an audience in a particular jurisdiction which specifies CE reporting increments may wish to assist participants by offering CE activities that meet the requirements. This could include designing activities that conform to the specified duration, or bundling shorter CE segments into a package that meets the required minimum.

All activities designated for CE credit, whether 15 minutes or longer, must meet all applicable CERP criteria, including formal learning objectives and learning assessment/evaluation mechanisms, qualified instructors, etc.


Download frequently asked questions about ADA CERP requirements:

Examples of policies and forms

Download provider toolkit for managing commercial conflicts of interest (PDF) including examples:

  • CE provider policy for commercial support and conflict of interest
  • Letter of agreement for commercial support of a CE activity
  • Steps to identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest
  • Letter to planners and instructors regarding relevant financial relationships
  • Disclosure form for planners and instructors
  • Examples of published disclosures

Download examples of verification of participation forms (PDF)

Use of the CERP logo and authorized recognition statements

ADA CERP recognized providers are required to indicate their recognition status in publicity materials, course materials and in verification of participation documents. Provisions for referencing ADA CERP recognition are contained in the ADA CERP Recognition Standards and Procedures, available at, and in the ADA CERP License Agreement, which recognized providers are required to sign. These provisions are summarized below to assist your organization in complying with the terms and conditions.

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.

Publicity materials

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

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

Joint Providership

When an ADA CERP recognized provider jointly provides a CDE activity with one or more other CE providers, the CERP recognized provider must inform participants of the joint providership arrangement using the following statement:

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 <> and <>.

This statement must be used in addition to the authorized recognition statements described above. (See also ADA CERP Joint Providership Policy and the ADA CERP Glossary.)

Use of the ADA CERP logo

The ADA CERP logo may not be used without the authorized recognition statements above. (However, the recognition statements may be used alone.)

The logo may not be given greater prominence than the name of the CE provider or the provider’s logo. Policies governing the use of the ADA CERP logo are listed below:

  • It shall not be used to imply that any CE activities or CE credit hours have been approved or endorsed by ADA CERP or the ADA
  • It shall not be used on letterheads or in any fashion that would imply that the organization is affiliated with ADA CERP or the ADA, other than as a recognized provider
  • 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
  • It shall not be published in conjunction with any statement or material that, in the ADA’s judgment, may be harmful to the ADA’s goodwill or may tend to undermine the ADA’s credibility
  • It shall only be used in conjunction with the authorized statement that the organization is a recognized provider
  • CERP standards and application process

    Understanding the Revised ADA CERP Eligibility Criteria Webinar Slides

    Eligibility Criteria Webinar cover