The College of Dental Technologists of Ontario (CDTO), like all Ontario health regulatory colleges, is required to have a Quality Assurance (QA) Program. The QA Program helps the College fulfil its mandate to protect the public by ensuring its members meet the standards of practice set by the College and continually develop their knowledge, skills and judgement to ensure professional excellence.
QA Program Overview
Ontario Regulation 604/98 of the Dental Technology Act states that the QA program shall include the following components:
- Continuing education or professional development designed to,
- Promote continuing competence and continuing quality improvement among the members,
- Address changes in practice environments, and
- Incorporate standards of practice, advances in technology, changes made to entry to practice competencies and other relevant issues in the discretion of the Council.
The QA Program is designed to be supportive and educational in nature by providing all Registered Dental Technologists (RDTs) with a framework for professional development, and peer to peer encouragement, learning and collaboration.
The QA Program is overseen by the QA Committee, a statutory committee of the CDTO. With operational support from staff, the Committee monitors Member compliance with the program, reviews and takes action on assessment reports as required, and makes determinations regarding practice enhancement and remediation.
More about the QA Committee
Participating in the QA Program
All Members holding a General Certificate of Registration must participate in the program annually.
The QA Program has three (3) components:
- Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD)
- Peer and Practice Assessment*
*Participation in Peer and Practice Assessment is required only if the Member is selected and notified to do so.
The College monitors participation in the program by requiring regular submission of information and documents by Members. A QA declaration is completed each year by every General Certificate Member at the time of their annual renewal of registration. Members confirm they have participated in CEPD activities in the form and manner specified by the Council and they have conducted the annual self-assessment using the self-assessment tool approved by the QA Committee.
Failure to participate in any component of the QA Program may be considered an act of professional misconduct.
Self-Assessment is a tool for Members to reflect on their practice. Reflecting on their practice assists the Member to identify their priorities for continuous improvement of their professional knowledge, skills and judgement as they relate to the College’s Standards of Practice and code of ethics and assists them in identifying their learning goals and appropriate CEPD activities for the year ahead.
Learning goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). A well-written goal contains an action or outcome that will assist in determining when the goal has been achieved.
All General Certificate Members must participate in this mandatory component of the QA Program on an annual basis and retain completed self-assessment records for six (6) years from the date of the most recent activity described in the profile.
Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD)
All Members are required to participate in CEPD activities to ensure their knowledge, skills and judgement remain current and responsive to changes in practice environments and advances in technology, and continue to meet the Standards set by the College.
Completed CEPD activities should be documented, including the following information:
- Title of Course/Seminar/Journal
- Name of Presenter or Resource
- Activity Type
- Length of Activity (hours)
- Continuing Quality Improvement Credits (CQI)
- How activity addressed the Goal
Members are required to obtain a minimum of ninety (90) CQI credits every three (3) years and must document their participation in professional development activities in their Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). CQI credits are earned through participation in a variety of learning activities, giving Members the flexibility to choose the learning approach and activities that best meet their learning goals.
Members must maintain records in their PDP of their professional development activities and, if requested, submit these to the College. Completed PDPs, including certificates of attendance must be retained for six (6) years from the date of the most recent activity described in the portfolio.
At the end of their three (3) year cycle, Members must submit a Summary Professional Development Portfolio (SPDP) to the College for review by August 31st. Eligible Members are notified and reminded of this requirement by email and can mail, fax or email their completed and signed SPDP to the College.
Additionally, each year, a percentage (between 2% and 5%) of the membership is randomly selected to submit their full PDP to the College for review. Failure to submit the summary PDP or full PDP to the College as requested may result in referral of the Member to the QA Committee.
Peer and Practice Assessment
Through Peer and Practice Assessment, the College determines (by means of an on-site visit) how well an RDT is applying the Standards of Practice in their everyday practice. It is also an opportunity for RDTs to learn from and engage with a Peer Assessor, who is a volunteer of the College, so that they may further develop their professional knowledge, skills and judgement.
Each year, a percentage (between 2%-5%) of the College’s membership is randomly selected to take part in a Peer and Practice Assessment. Other members may also be required to undergo an Assessment if they have been referred because of deficiencies in their PDP.
The Assessment includes:
- A start-up meeting
- A tour of the laboratory
- Review of records (i.e. prescriptions, procedure manuals, invoices, maintenance records)
- Observation and interviews to assess performance against the College’s Standards of Practice and guidelines
- A summary meeting to discuss findings, review assessment documentation
All those required to take part in a Peer and Practice Assessment will be notified in writing by the College. Members are required to participate in the QA program each year and to co-operate with the QA Committee, College staff and Peer Assessors.