The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) is proud to be recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) as the national credentialing agency for dental assistants. To maintain this national recognition, DANB submits an annual report on the state of the business of the DANB organization to the Council on Dental Education and Licensure (CDEL), the agency within the ADA responsible for approving national certifying boards for special areas of dental practice and for dental auxiliaries.
In addition to ADA recognition of DANB as an organization, DANB’s national exams are also independently accredited by the National Organization for Competency Assurance’s (NOCA’s) National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA accreditation indicates that DANB’s certification examination programs meet NCCA standards, thus helping to ensure validity, reliability, and objectivity in the testing process.
An accounting of the number of candidates who challenged DANB’s national Certification and Certificate of Competency exams in fiscal year 2005 (9/1/04 through 8/31/05) is included in DANB’s report to the CDEL, in addition to the pass rates for each exam. The following summary is offered as an opportunity for DANB stakeholders and other communities of interest to view the statistical results that support the reliability and validity of a national DANB Certification.
In addition to providing the only ADA-recognized Certification exams for the dental assisting profession, DANB develops and administers state-specific exams for several state dental boards. In FY ‘05, DANB tested 15,605 individuals, with approximately 20% of those taking state-specific DANB exams.
Since dental assistants can earn their Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) credentials by a "stepladder" approach (one component at a time, as long as all three [CDA] or two [COA] components are passed within a five-year period), scores for the individuals who have passed the Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), General Chairside (GC), and Infection Control (ICE) exams but who are not yet DANB Certified are included below.
The FY ‘05 pass rates for each DANB national exam are as follows:
Overall, the number of candidates who tested for DANB national Certification exams in FY ‘05 remained nearly the same as in FY ‘04. Candidates who sat for the entire CDA exam numbered 2,234 (1.63% fewer than last year). However, the number of candidates who took the GC, RHS, and ICE component exams separately increased by approximately 4% overall in FY ‘05.
DANB includes any planned change in practices or operations, such as the 2006 exam fee increase, in its report to the CDEL. Examination pathways are evaluated if changes are made and any alterations to exam content or fees are presented. This year’s report contains information on many exciting projects, including the following:
While the DANB Board of Directors is the direct overseer of DANB operations and DANB is held accountable by NCCA, the ADA recognition holds value because the ADA is the primary membership organization and voice for the dentists, the largest employer of DANB Certificants.
DANB looks forward to another successful year of working with its valued stakeholders to provide the highest quality of testing and credentialing services for dental assistants.
For a complete listing of the results from the national DANB Certification and component exams for FY ‘05 and FY ‘04, see the Winter 2006 issue of Certified Press (available for download at www.danb.org).