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Introducing the NDECC™: The Modified Skills Examination

In February 2021, the NDEB® announced its vision for a modified Equivalency Process for graduates of non-accredited dental programs.

The multi-stage plan included changes to each examination in the Equivalency Process, with significant changes to the existing Assessment of Clinical Skills™ (ACS™).

The ACS™, in its current format, will be administered for the last time in December 2021 after which it will be replaced by the National Dental Examination of Clinical Competence™ (NDECC™).

The NDECC™, will become the third examination in the Equivalency Process. It has been designed to assess the clinical competence of dentists trained in non-accredited dental programs through a series of clinical and situational judgment requirements.

The clinical requirements on simulated patients will assess clinical skills and techniques relevant to current Canadian standards while a series of situational judgement scenarios will assess judgement required to solve problems in work-related situations. These scenarios will focus on patient-centered care, professionalism, communication and collaboration, practice and information management, and health promotion.

The NDEB® is expecting to administer the first NDECC™ in June 2022 at their in-house Test Centre located in Ottawa, ON.

“It has been a difficult two years for examinees who are eligible to take the ACS™”, stated Executive Director Marie Dagenais. “The pandemic and associated lockdowns and capacity restrictions have had a significant impact on our ability to run the ACS™. With our own test centre, we expect to be able to offer the NDECC™ multiple times a week throughout the year. Creating ample opportunity for examinees to test.”

As well as being accessible throughout the year, examinees will also be able to take the NDECC™ an unlimited number of times in a 60-month period. This is a significant change from the current regulation that allows examinees to take the ACS™ a maximum of three times.

In October 2021, the NDEB Board approved the NDECC™ blueprint (exam content areas) which is now available on the NDEB website.

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