College of Alberta Dental Assistants

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Registration with CADA is mandatory for all individuals who meet the requirements for registration as a regulated member, and intend to provide one or more of the following in Alberta:

(i) professional services directly to the public;

(ii) the manufacture of dental appliances or conducting of laboratory tests that are used by other regulated members to provide professional services directly to the public;

(iii) food and nutrition professional services that are used by other regulated members and individuals to provide services directly to the public;

(iv) the teaching of the practice of a regulated profession to regulated members or students of the regulated profession;

(v) the supervision of regulated members who provide professional services to the public.

Regulated members of CADA must meet annual Continuing Competence and renewal requirements to maintain their registration.

CADA is the regulatory body that sets the requirements for registration. CADA also has responsibility for development, monitoring and evaluation of professional standards. This includes such areas as practice requirements, discipline, continuing competence and quality assurance. Completion of the registration process allows the dental assistant to use the titles "registered dental assistant" and "dental assistant" and the initials "RDA" and "DA." Current registration of individual Dental Assistants may be verified at Dental Assistant Registry.

Regulated members (registered dental assistants and provisional dental assistants) are issued a Practice Permit which must be displayed, or available for inspection, at their place of employment, as well as an annual registration card which confirms the skills they are not legally able to perform. Dental assistants registered under the Health Professions Act (HPA) must adhere to the dental assistants' Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and only perform those duties and Restricted Activities in which they are competent after proper education, training and experience.

Registered dental assistants and provisional dental assistants must meet annual renewal requirements which include mandatory practice hours and pursuing learning opportunities to maintain competence.

The HPA is umbrella legislation affecting over 30 regulated health professions in Alberta. There are certain parts of the legislation that are common to all of these health professions including the requirement for a Continuing Competence Program that ensures all regulated members of any of the health professions are participating in a process of assessing and maintaining their competence in a manner that is monitored by the regulatory body – for dental assistants the College of Alberta Dental Assistants is the regulatory body.

Competence is defined in the legislation as the knowledge, skills, behaviours and critical judgments inherent in providing professional services. Competence includes being proficient in performing the tasks as well as demonstrating appropriate knowledge, capabilities, skills, attitudes, judgments and values. It seeks to ensure a high level of expertise and appropriate ethics.