News for Dental Assistants in California about Practical Exam

Suspension of the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) Practical Examination

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On April 6, 2017, the Dental Board of California (Board) voted to suspend the Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) practical examination as a result of the findings of the review of the practical examination conducted by the Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES) of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 1752.1, the Board may vote to suspend the practical examination if the review conducted by the OPES concludes that the practical examination is unnecessary or does not accurately measure the competency of RDAs.

A public copy of the OPES Review of the Registered Dental Assistant Practical Examination is available on the Board's web site at www.dbc.ca.gov.

The suspension of the RDA practical examination commences on April 6, 2017 and shall remain suspended until July 1, 2017, at which time the practical examination shall be reinstated.

On February 10, 2016 the Legislative Counsel Bureau opined that if the Board suspends the RDA practical examination, the Board may, during that suspension, license an applicant who has not taken the practical examination, so long as that applicant meets all other requirements for licensure. A copy of this opinion may be found on the Board's web site at www.dbc.ca.gov.

The Board will be contacting all current applicants for RDA licensure in the coming weeks regarding the outcome of this meeting and what next steps are necessary on their pathway to RDA licensure.

The Board will license applicants who have not taken, or have not successfully passed, the practical examination, if the applicant meets all other requirements of licensure, including successful completion of the RDA Written Examination and the RDA Law & Ethics Examination, until July 1, 2017.

As a result of the suspension of the RDA practical examination, the Board anticipates an increase in the number of phone, email, and mail inquires relating to RDA licensure. Please note that such inquiries may take 4-5 business days for response.
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