How to Offer Continuing Education (CE) to Dental ProvidersFeb 21, 2023
So you have this great idea you want to share with fellow dental providers, but you have no idea where to start when it comes to offering CE that state dental boards will recognize. You are in the right place. Offering continuing education take a lot of work. The last thing you want to do after spending months gathering references, creating your slide deck, and practicing your presentation is to now spend 9 months applying to become an Academy of General Dentistry Program Approval for Continuing Education (AGD/PACE) provider.
Today we are going to clear up some common misconceptions about the requirements of approval, and share an easy way to get started offering CE for your course without all the headache.
MISCONCEPTION 1: INDIVIDUAL SPEAKERS ARE AGD/PACE APPROVED
AGD/PACE does not approve individual speakers. They approve organizations or entities that complete their rigorous application process. Those entities then are able to offer AGD/PACE approved CE that they create and host themselves, or that a third-party creates and hosts.
MISCONCEPTION 2: YOU MUST BE AN AGD/PACE APPROVED ENTITY TO OFFER AGD/PACE CE
There are actually two ways to offer AGD/PACE approved CE:
- Apply to become an AGD/PACE approved provider, and offer CE directly for a course you create.
- Find an AGD/PACE approved provider willing to sign a Joint Provider Agreement with you or your organization. You create the course, they offer CE to your attendees.
MISCONCEPTION 3: GETTING APPROVED TO BE AN AGD/PACE APPROVED ENTITY IS FAST AND EASY
An AGD/PACE-approved provider has gone through a rigorous application process to assure quality in dental continuing education. The process is difficult, lengthy, and can take up to a year to complete. Once approved, they must regularly show compliance through this application process to remain approved. Their role is to review continuing education courses and determine that they meet guidelines to be of high quality and without bias. Once a course is approved, the education can be delivered, a certificate with CE info presented to attendees, and extensive recordkeeping is managed. It is a lot of up front work, guidelines and rules to know and manage.
As you can see, a Joint Provider Agreement is the faster, easier approach if you are new to offering continuing education. Here is an example of what one may look like:
Joint Provider Agreement Example
A Joint Provider Agreement allows an organization that is not an AGD/PACE approved provider to partner with one that is to offer high-quality continuing education without the headache, record keeping, or wait period.
For instance, National Network of Healthcare Hygienists (NNHH) offers certificate programs for registered dental hygienists with a focus on medical integration. Since they are such high-quality, science-based programs, they can offer CE to their students. They are a new organization, so they don't have the staff to undertake such a rigorous AGD/PACE approval process.
To make offering their students CE easy, they have a Joint Provider Agreement with UpScale Education LLC, an approved provider through AGD/PACE. See their designation HERE.
UpScale Education looked at NNHHs Oral Systemic Educator Certificate Program and their Oncology Certificate Program for RDHs and set the number of CE, and the topic codes for them. They also create, manage and send the CE certificates to the students. Since NNHHs programs are fully online and self-paced, a final assessment ensures that the student completed the course work. Since a Capstone Project is also required to receive a Certificate of Completion in the program, NNHH manages those certificates. It's nice to delegate and split duties when a program is so comprehensive.
Now that you are armed with knowledge, you can get your valuable presentation out to dental providers fast AND offer them high-quality CE.
*Upscale Education LLC was founded by two Registered Dental Hygienists who are passionate about innovation and excellence in education, Sarah Eller and Erika Spring. You can reach out to them by emailing [email protected] They are happy to learn more about your course and CE needs.