The CDAA has brought forth a petition to cease in-office training of DAs.  After it came to light that in-office training was being encouraged through an article in NS Dentist - Please see background story below petition link.

The bilingual petition is live at the following link:  Should they wish to sign, we would ask that your members do so prior to September 30, 2020.

In early 2020, the NSDAA brought forward an article that appeared in the NS Dentist January publication.  In the NS Dentist article, the author championed the use of modules created by the BCDA to allow for the in-office training of individuals by dentists or office staff to act as dental assistants.  These modules provide instruction on: dental assisting duties; introducing the DA and delegating do’s and don’ts; training basics for the dental assistant; privacy and confidentiality; dental recordkeeping; infection prevention and control; competency assessment of the DA; greeting and seating patients; dental instruments and materials – the basics, and assisting the dental team.   This in-office training was referenced in the article to be used to train individuals to act as dental assistants in order to address the shortage of dental assistants. The author of the article noted that these in-office training modules were “a must-see for those members (dentists) struggling to find the assistants and assistance they need.”  CDAA was also aware that these same modules are being promoted in the province of BC.

Working together with the NSDAA to address the issue at both the provincial and national levels, the CDAA reached out to CDA.  CDAA wrote two letters to CDA asking that they cease the promotion and practice of in-office training of individuals by a dentist or other designated staff to serve in the place of formally educated/licensed/RDA/CDA/DA in the dental office and that both professions work collaboratively to address the employment issues facing dental assistants that were brought forward in both the Healthy & Respectful Workplace and Factors, Realities & Experiences of Employment as a Dental Assistant in Canada (FREEDAC) studies.  Our second letter to CDA remains unanswered at this time, likely due to shifting resources and priorities all associations are facing as they work to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beyond our letters, however, the CDAA felt it important that the voices of individual dental assistants are heard on this important issue.  It is our intent to advise our industry counterparts, both at the regulatory and association levels, on the number of dental assistants that wish to uphold formal education of dental assistants across Canada and who oppose in-office training of clinical personnel being done independently by a dentist or other designated staff member without connecting that training to an accredited dental assistant training program.  This is not only a matter of public protection but a matter of respect for the credentials and expertise of dental assisting program faculty and of certified and licensed dental assistants.  For this reason, we developed a petition in both official languages.  We encourage you to share this petition with your membership.  The bilingual petition is live at the following link:  Should they wish to sign, we would ask that your members do so prior to September 30, 2020.


Over the coming months, CDAA will monitor the number of signed petitions and bring this information forward.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me

Best regards,

Stephanie Mullen-Kavanagh

Executive Director - Directrice générale
Canadian Dental Assistants Association/ Association canadienne des assistant(e)s dentaires