Frequently Asked Questions

Continuing Education Policy


1: Who is subject to CE requirements?

All members entered on the Roll of the Order are subject to the CE obligation, except for those who are entered as retired members or who have been granted an exemption.

2: What are the CE requirements?

Members must fulfill three obligations:

  1. Accumulate a minimum of 90 units over a three-year reference period, of which at least 60 units must be from CE activity providers recognized by the Order.
  2. Earn at least 15 CE units a year.
  3. Declare the CE activities completed or any exemptions obtained, as the case may be, as provided in the policy.

In addition, under article 7 of the policy, the Order may impose CE activities on all or some of its members because of a change or shortcoming affecting the exercise of the profession of dentistry.

For example, after an amendment to legislation or regulations that directly affects all members, such as a change to the Code of ethics of dentists, the Order may require that all members take part in a specific CE activity.

It is important to note that the hours spent on a CE activity imposed by the Order are recognized as counting towards the CE units required under the policy. Also, because an imposed CE activity is mandatory, all members are subject to it, even those who have already accumulated the minimum number of units required for the current period.

3: What is a CE unit and how is it calculated?

A CE unit is a quantitative measure assigned to a CE activity related to the practice of dentistry. One hour of CE earns one unit. One hour of a practical workshop earns two CE units. A practical workshop is a hands-on activity calling for the member’s direct and active participation.

Take note that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training is no longer considered a practical workshop. Therefore, a three-hour CPR recertification will now count for three CE units.

The new continuing education policy does not allow units to be “rounded up.” For example, a CE activity that lasts two and a half hours counts for two and a half CE units (not three).

4: On what date does the three-year period start to run? Do units accumulated since July 1, 2017, count towards the requirements under the CE policy?


The first period runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.

Because one year of the three-year cycle starting on July 1, 2017, is already complete, the units accumulated by June 30, 2018, will be recognized, with no specific regard as to whether any are from recognized providers. For the other two years of the cycle, however, a minimum of 40 units must be accumulated from recognized providers.

In short, for calculation purposes, the units accumulated from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, are noted in the member’s file and counted toward the minimum 90 units to be accumulated during the three-year reference period (July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020), regardless of the provider or any new policy rules.

For example, in the new policy, teaching theory or clinical classes at a faculty of dentistry is recognized as a way of accumulating continuing education units. A member who acted as a clinician at a faculty of dentistry in Quebec one day a week in the fall of 2017 cannot obtain five CE units for part-time clinical teaching under the new policy (article 6, paragraph 6) because the activity does not accumulate CE units under the former policy. However, if the member also teaches in the fall of 2018, the CE units accumulated from that activity can be counted in that member’s annual declaration.

As a further example, a member who attended a three-hour training offered by the faculty of dentistry at Université de Montréal in September 2017 cannot count it toward the 40 mandatory units from a recognized provider; however, these CE units will count toward the 90 units to be accumulated during the three-year reference period, since accumulated units are counted retroactively.

5: How many units does a dentist have to accumulate during the reference period already underway (July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020)?

As mentioned above, except for retired members or those exempted under Section V of the policy, members must accumulate a minimum of 90 units during the three-year reference period including – exceptionally for this first three-year cycle – a minimum of 40 units from CE activity providers recognized by the Order.

At the beginning of the next three-year cycle, the policy will apply in its entirety and the minimum number of CE units to be accumulated from recognized providers will be 60.


6: Can a member who obtained a recording of a lecture at the May 2018 JDIQ declare the online viewing of this lecture for CE purposes? If so, how many units does it represent?

Members who view lectures given at the JDIQ can declare CE units. However, as in 2017, a maximum of 10 units is granted for viewing lectures (even if the time devoted to this activity is greater than 10 hours).

Moreover, units for viewing recordings made during the May 2018 conference are counted towards the CE year ending on June 30, 2018, even if they are viewed after that date. In addition, members must declare the units for viewing these recordings themselves, in their annual declaration. Units not entered in the 2017-2018 declaration can be included in the next CE declaration.

7: Now that the annual assessment will be paid on March 31, does the Order intend to change the CE reference period to coincide with the assessment period?

No. The annual CE declaration was submitted with the notice of assessment for practical reasons. Although the deadline for paying the annual assessment is now March 31, the next annual CE declaration must be submitted by the end of June 2019. The Order’s board of directors nevertheless reserves the right to reassess the situation.

8: How can members make corrections to their CE record?

Members who find an error in the units automatically noted in their CE record must contact the provider responsible for the CE activity directly and make the required verifications. The provider is responsible for sending the Order a request for modification or adjustment, as needed.

However, if the error in the annual declaration is made by the member, he or she must contact the person in charge of CE at the Order (formation@odq.qc.ca or 514-875-8511, ext. 2290)


9: Who are recognized CE activity providers?

For the purposes of the policy, the following CE activity providers are recognized by the Order:

  1. Recognized faculties of dentistry in and outside of Québec* and their affiliated teaching hospitals (e.g., Sainte-Justine Hospital) (e.g., CHU Sainte-Justine)
  2. Canadian dental and medical regulatory authorities (e.g., Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Collège des médecins du Québec)
  3. National and international dental and medical associations (e.g., Canadian Dental Association, American Dental Association, Canadian Medical Association)
  4. National and international dental specialist associations (e.g., Association internationale des orthodontistes francophones)
  5. Journées dentaires internationales du Québec
  6. Quebec dental societies
  7. Federation of Dental Societies of Greater Montreal
  8. Quebec associations of dental specialists
  9. Federation of Dental Specialists of Quebec
  10. Association des chirurgiens dentistes du Québec
  11. Québec Interprofessional Council
  12. Recognized organizations providing training in basic life support for healthcare providers or advanced cardiovascular life support or the equivalent (e.g., Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Red Cross).

    * The faculties of dentistry recognized for the purposes of this policy are those whose diplomas are recognized as equivalent by the Order, and French faculties as defined in the Règlement sur la délivrance d’un permis de l’Ordre des dentistes du Québec pour donner effet à l’arrangement conclu par l’Ordre en vertu de l’Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles (c. D-3, r. 7.1).

10: Which faculties of dentistry outside Quebec that provide CE activities are recognized by the Order?

The faculties of dentistry recognized by the Order are those that are certified by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada and the American Commission on Dental Accreditation. Training in dentistry given at faculties with programs accredited by the Australian Dental Council, the New Zealand Dental Council or the Dental Council of Ireland are also recognized by the Order.

For more information, see the websites of the following organizations:

The following French faculties are identified in the Règlement sur la délivrance d’un permis de l’Ordre des dentistes du Québec pour donner effet à l’arrangement conclu par l’Ordre en vertu de l’Entente entre le Québec et la France en matière de reconnaissance mutuelle des qualifications professionnelles:

  • Université Victor Segalen, Bordeaux
  • Université de Nice – Sophia Antipolis, Nice
  • Université Aix-Marseille II, Marseille
  • Faculté d’odontologie de Montpellier, Montpellier
  • Université Paul-Sabatier, Toulouse
  • Université Claude Bernard, Lyon
  • Université d’Auvergne Clermont-Ferrand I, Clermont-Ferrand
  • Université de Bretagne occidentale, Brest
  • Université de Rennes, Rennes
  • Université de Nantes, Nantes
  • Université Strasbourg I Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg
  • Université de Nancy I, Nancy
  • Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims
  • Université de Lille II, Lille
  • Faculté de chirurgie dentaire Paris V
  • Université Paris VII, Paris

Members are not required to have any training provided by these faculties pre-approved by the Order or to submit supporting documents for the units to be counted. They need only verify the status of the CE activity provider recognized by the Order and, after completing the training, obtain a certificate of attendance from the organization in charge of the activity containing all of the information listed in article 11(1) of the policy and include the activity in the annual CE declaration.

11: How does an activity provider become recognized?

The Order has set out an exhaustive list of recognized providers in the policy. The policy does not provide for any procedure to recognize new providers.

An individual, company or organization that wishes to offer a CE activity through activity providers recognized by the Order must contact these providers directly.

12: Can an individual, company or organization offer a CE activity that can be counted toward the 90 required units if it is not a CE activity provider recognized by the Order?

Yes. Members must accumulate a minimum number of units from CE activity providers recognized by the Order, but they are free to take part in other CE activities of their choosing to complete the rest of the required units, provided that these activities appear in the list of permitted activities in article 6 and that they are related to the practice of dentistry. In short, any training related to the practice of dentistry is recognized for the purpose of CE units.

13: Are individuals, companies or organizations that the Order does not recognize as CE activity providers required to submit their scientific activity programs for approval?

No. As article 9 of the policy states, only recognized providers with head offices in Quebec must submit their scientific activity program to the Order for approval and publication. Individuals, companies or organizations that are not recognized activity providers are not subject to this requirement.

14: Which CE activities can be counted toward the 90 required units?

Only the following CE activities can be counted towards the 90 required units:

  1. Taking or attending courses, online training, practical or theory workshops and demonstrations, seminars, symposia or lectures.

    It is important to note that webinars – i.e., online seminars – constitute online training.

    A “theory workshop” is a structured group of members who are personally involved in professional CE activities and have the common goal of exchanging and improving their knowledge of dentistry. Study groups recognized by the Order until March 2016 are considered theory workshops.

    However, the following are not theory workshops:

    • Meetings of members of the same clinic;
    • Exchanges among members on social media
    • Online discussion forums

  2. Acting as trainer for one of the activities listed in paragraph 1 (three hours of preparation per hour of training). This activity may be counted only once, even if it is repeated.

    The following are not recognized as trainers:


    • Internship supervisors
    • “Facilitators” in the room with participants whose task is to spark interest during the training session by asking relevant questions about the subject
    • Members preparing a training activity but not providing it
    • Training activity organizers
    • Moderators
    • Facilitators and honorary presidents of a training activity.

  3. Participating in a research project approved by a duly constituted research ethics committee that meets current standards (maximum of 20 units per reference period).

  4. Revising, drafting and publishing papers or articles related to the exercise of dentistry in peer-reviewed journals (maximum of 10 units per reference period).

  5. Personal reading (maximum of 10 units per reference period).

    Members must record their independent learning activities in a personal diary.
     
  6. Teaching theory or clinical classes part-time or full-time at a recognized faculty of dentistry or affiliated teaching hospital. The policy provides that members may accumulate a maximum of 10 units per year for full-time teaching and five units per year for part-time teaching).

    Members who accumulate several part-time functions are limited to a maximum of 10 units per year entered in their CE records.

    It should be noted that teaching for other organizations (such as cegeps) does not accumulate CE units under the policy.
     
  7. Any other type of CE activity determined by the Order.

15: Are internships considered CE activities that can be counted toward the 90 required units?

No. Performing an internship or a professional development course with another member, whether required by the Order or not, or acting as internship supervisor does not constitute recognized activity under article 6. Rather, it is considered upgrade to correct shortcomings in skills.

16: Can a CE activity be recognized if it is not listed in article 6 of the policy?

No. There is no procedure to recognize an activity that is not listed in article 6. However, the Order reserves the right to add any other type of CE activity that it may determine (article 6, paragraph 7). When this occurs, members are informed by memo.

17: If a dentist accumulates more than 90 units over a three-year period, can the excess number of units be carried over to the following years?

No. At the end of the three-year period, the dentist must begin a new cycle. The accumulation of 90 units over a three-year reference period is a minimum requirement.

18: What happens when a dentist does not take part in any activity related to dentistry during a given period?

A dentist who does not take part in any activity related to dentistry because of illness or pregnancy, for example, must make a request pursuant to article 14 of the Continuing Education Policy if he or she wishes to be exempted. The exemption will be calculated pro rata to the number of complete months remaining in the current period of reference.


19: Is it necessary to ask the Order for an exemption from the requirement?

Yes. Dentists must make a request in writing by filling out the relevant form on the Order’s website (www.odq.qc.ca). They must state the reason(s) for the exemption as well as the duration, and attach the relevant justifying documentation.

Only retired dentists are exempt from the CE requirement. Members may obtain a partial or total exemption from the requirement if they can demonstrate that it is impossible for them to take part in CE activities for one of the following reasons:

  • They were entered on the Roll more than six months after the start of a reference period.
  • They are enrolled in a full-time graduate-level university program in a recognized faculty of dentistry or fulltime in a program of study at an affiliated teaching hospital that is related to the practice of dentistry.
  • They are on parental leave.
  • They are unable to complete any CE activities because of a serious and prolonged illness or other exceptional circumstances.

    Examples of exceptional circumstances include prolonged support as a caregiver to a child or parent.

    The following do not justify an exemption:

  • An intense period of work that does not allow time to accumulate the required CE hours within the imposed period
  • A precarious financial situation
  • A sabbatical year, unpaid leave or vacation.

20: Does a retired member have to request an exemption?

No. A retired member who is entered as such is exempted from the CE obligation. This is the only member category that is automatically exempted and who does not have to apply for an exemption.


21: Is it necessary to inform the Order of a change to the situation justifying a CE exemption?

Yes. Under article 16 of the Policy, members must inform the Order without delay. A form for this purpose is available on the Order’s website (www.odq.qc.ca).


22: How should the minimum number of CE hours to complete upon first entry on the Roll of the Order be counted?

It all depends on the date of first entry on the Roll. For members who enter the Roll of the Order six months after the start of a given reference period, paragraph 1 of article 13 of the Policy applies, and members who so request are exempted from accumulating units pro rata to the number of full months remaining in the current reference period.

For example, during the 2017-2020 reference period, if a member is entered on the Roll of the Order for the first time on or around July 30, 2019, there are still 11 months before the end of the reference period (June 30, 2020), representing 2.5 CE units per months on the Roll. Therefore, the number of units pro rata to the number of complete months remaining before the end of the reference period is 27.5 units (11 months X 2.5 units = 27.5 units). Therefore, members must complete training for an equivalent of 27.5 units, and a minimum of 18 of these units must be from activity providers recognized by the Order.

In addition, if the member enters the Roll of the Order for the first time on September 1, 2020, because the entry on the roll took place less than six months after the start of a reference period (reference period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023), no CE exemptions are granted.


23: Is a member who has been provisionally struck or suspended granted an exemption?

No. A provisional striking from the Roll or a suspension or restriction of the right to practise practice dentistry does not constitute a justification of impossibility to complete a CE activity (article 14 of the Policy).


24: What are the CE requirements of a member who re-enters the Roll of the Order?

Members who re-enter their names on the Roll of the Order must accumulate the total number of CE units required for the current reference period.

For example, during the reference period between 2020 and 2023, a member who re-enters the Roll of the Order on January 1, 2022, must accumulate at least 90 CE units, including a minimum of 60 units from CE activity providers recognized by the Order, even though there are only 18 complete months remaining before the end of the reference period (June 30, 2023).


25: Which CE activities are automatically noted in members’ records?

The CE activities offered by CE activity providers who are recognized by the Order, who have head offices in Quebec and whose scientific program has been approved by the Order will be automatically noted in the members’ records, along with the corresponding units. Only these activities are recorded in a register made accessible on the Order’s website.

In the coming years, the Order intends to implement a CE portal, to be managed by the members themselves. Until this project comes to fruition, digital readers provided by the Order and attendance reports in Excel format will continue to be used by recognized activity providers.

26: Are members required to provide the Order with details of activities that are not noted in their record every time they take part in such activities?

No. Members should preserve details of CE activities that have not been automatically noted. They have to declare them when they fill out their annual declaration and save proof of their participation in these activities, which they might be asked to submit to a duly authorized representative of the Order. As article 11 of the Policy provides, except for activities where attendance is automatically recorded in members’ CE files, members who complete CE activities must obtain, record and save written proof of the CE activities they have completed.