The NDEB is continually monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) and implementing strategies to protect examinees and staff. This section has been designed to answer questions you may have regarding NDEB activities impacted by the pandemic. We will continue to update this section as new information is made available.


Will the June 2021 ACS run?

The NDEB has now confirmed four centres for the June 2021 ACS. These centres are being offered at a reduced capacity to comply with physical distancing requirements. Those who will able to register for the examination will be contacted directly by the NDEB.

Will the December 2021 ACS run?

At this time, we cannot confirm if the December 2021 ACS will run as scheduled. We will work closely with the Faculties of Dentistry to determine if they can accommodate our examination and will provide updates as they become available.

Is the August AFK running?

The NDEB has confirmed that it will run the AFK on August 6, 2021. The AFK will be administered both electronically and on paper.

Why is the format of the OSCE different this year?

The format of the OSCE has been modified form a bell ringer examination to a booklet format to eliminate the use of shared examination artifacts and reduce examinee movement in the examination room.

What is the NDEB doing to accommodate the backlog of examinees resulting from multiple exam cancellations?

In order to accommodate any many examinees as possible, the AFK will be administered in both electronic and booklet format beginning in August 2021. This is expected to double our capacity from 2020. For the ACS, the NDEB will be building an in-house testing facility in Ottawa to administer the ACS. The ACS will be held year-round, offering examinees flexibility and more opportunities to take the examination. 

Does the NDEB have any regulations regarding quarantine or self isolation?

There is currently a requirement for all individuals entering Canada to quarantine for 14 days. Some provinces and territories may also have a 14 day quarantine period for those arriving from other parts of Canada. While exemptions to mandatory quarantine requirements may be available under certain circumstances, the NDEB will not accept any exemption and  individuals who have not completed the 14 day quarantine will not be permitted to take an NDEB examination.

You may be asked to present evidence that you have completed the 14 day quarantine when you register for the examination. Evidence can be:

  1. a boarding pass or itinerary for travel by plane or train.
  2. hotel booking confirmation or receipt for individuals who travelled by car.
  3. a letter from a member of the household in which you are staying confirming your date of arrival, address, and contact information

Will I have to wear a mask when taking an NDEB examination?

All examinees will be required to wear a mask when taking an NDEB examinations. The Public Health Agency of Canada and Ontario Public Health have developed resources regarding the proper use of masks and other PPE. You can find links to this information under Reference Material and Resources.

What if the COVID-19 situation changes in Canada? 

The NDEB will take the necessary steps to administer its examinations as scheduled; however, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic across the country may result in the need to cancel or reschedule examinations. 

Will I get a refund of fees if my examination is cancelled?

If the NDEB needs to cancel an examination, you will not be charged the examination fee.

Will you offer exams in other centres for those unable to travel to Canada or across borders?

With the potential for travel restrictions to remain in place for several months, the NDEB is considering all possibilities to administer examinations while adhering to public health regulations and considering the health and safety of examinees and staff.

Will people who were registered for exams that are cancelled receive priority registration for new sessions?

NDEB registration has always been on a first come first served basis; however, this is an unprecedent situation. When the NDEB is able to resume regular operations, it will examine all possible options for registration and make the most appropriate decisions based on operational requirements and with the needs of the examinees in mind.

Who makes the decision about running the exams?

The NDEB will take the necessary steps to administer its examinations; however, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic across the country may result in the need to change and/or cancel examinations. All decisions regarding the administration of the examinations will be made by the NDEB following the requirements for physical distancing and other rules and guidelines established public health authorities and governments.

Why has the NDEB continued to run other examinations but not the ACS?

The format of the ACS, a skills examination on simulated patients, requires the use of the Canadian Faculties of Dentistry dental clinics to administer. At this time, these are the only locations were the ACS can be held and there are only 10 of these facilities in Canada. It has become evident to the NDEB that the availability of space, physical distancing, travel restrictions and staff availability will prevent it from administering the ACS in December. Unlike other NDEB examinations, the ACS cannot be transitioned to electronic delivery, or spread out at other locations.

What do I do if my University can’t send the required documents because they are closed?

If your educational institution is closed, you will be required to wait until it can send the necessary documents for approval. This situation does not allow you to use the alternative document submission process, and the NDEB will not process applications without the required documents.

How long will it take to have my documents reviewed?

The document review process has multiple stages. When all your documents are received by the NDEB, an initial screening of the basic criteria is done. If, during this process, it is determined something is missing or submitted in incorrectly, the applicant receives an email. The documents then go in queue for a comprehensive review. This is done in two stages. After the second review you will receive an email indicating your application is approved, or that it cannot yet be approved and outline the steps you need to take to complete the application. The length of time it takes for an application to be approved varies and can depend on many factors including if it is considered a precedent file (new school, program, or official, or documentation that differs from what is typically received) and if documents were submitted according to the criteria outlined in the Required Documents.