Sunset Review Spotlight: Continuing Education

Molly PereiraFeatured News

September 30, 2014

The rulemaking process for the implementation of the 2014 Dental Sunset Review Bill has just begun. As rulemaking progresses, the CDA will provide in-depth information on key topics to help answer commonly asked questions from CDA members. A common area of interest related to the Sunset Review Bill is the new continuing education (CE) requirement for dentists and dental hygienists.

The 2014 Sunset Review Bill required:

  • 30 hours of CE for dentists and dental hygienists each 2-year license renewal cycle.
  • For dentists holding an anesthesia or sedation permit, 17 hours of CE specific to anesthesia or sedation administration during the 5-year permit renewal cycle was required. Any CE taken to fulfill the anesthesia requirements can also be counted toward fulfilling the above 30-hour CE requirement.

The amount of CE required by the Sunset Review Bill is consistent with the current CE requirement for CDA members.

Many CDA member questions have arisen about the new CE requirements, including how this requirement will be phased in during the first renewal cycle, documentation and reporting requirements, and whether there will be exemptions for certain license types. The State Board Sunset Review committees have just begun meeting and, at this point, all information provided is preliminary.  However, key highlights from committee discussions to date include:

  • Half of the required CE would need to be clinical (15 hours for those in clinical practice). Courses in your area of practice (i.e. specialty, concentration) would need to be taken.
  • Half of the CE credit hours would need to be taken in person; the other half could be achieved through online courses.
  • The Board would not approve courses, but would instead defer to third-party groups for quality certification (such as CERP, PACE, AMA Category I, etc.). Acceptable certifications for dental hygiene courses may need additional discussion and review.
  • Inactive licenses would be exempt from CE requirements. Retired licensees who provide charitable care may be required to take at least some CE (but perhaps with a reduced hour requirement).
  • The Board would randomly audit 5% of licenses for CE compliance each year. The audits would likely be conducted apart from license renewals, and not in connection to complaints (given a concern that attaining CE documentation could slow down the complaint processing).
  • The Board would implement the CE requirement starting with the next license renewal (March 1, 2016) instead of prorating the requirement over this license renewal cycle.

Please note that the State Board Sunset Review committee discussions are still underway, and the above recommendations may be modified moving forward. The State Board’s CE committee will meet a second time in late September to finalize recommendations, as publicized to CDA members via the CDA Website here. In addition, the State Board must conduct formal rulemaking hearings before recommendations will be finalized. The first State Board Sunset Review rulemaking hearing will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 29th at 1:00 p.m. at 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202, Conference Room 110D. Additional rulemaking hearings are anticipated at the Jan. 22 and April 29, 2015 State Board meetings.