News and Information: RDA Examination and Licensure

Updated: 8/8/17

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, signed AB 1707 (Low, D-Silicon Valley) into law, which authorizes the Dental Board of California to resume issuing new RDA licenses and to extend the suspension of the RDA practical examination through 2020. AB 1707 contains an urgency clause, which makes the legislation effective immediately, rather than in 2018.

Our foundation, the Foundation for Allied Dental Education (FADE), as a dedicated stakeholder in dental assisting advocacy and public policy, is pleased with how quickly this legislation passed to keep the delay on issuing RDA licenses to a minimum.

Being that the Dental Board is holding a public meeting this week, we anticipate hearing a report from their staff as to how the licensure issuance process will proceed.

Updated: 7/19/17

The Dental Board of California met April 6, 2017 and accepted a report recommendation from the Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES) to suspend the RDA practical examination. The report cited several areas where the examination did not meet critical psychometric standards including inconsistencies in different test-site locations and poor calibration of examiners.

Current law only allowed the Dental Board to suspend the practical examination until July 1, 2017. The Dental Board is working with the Legislature to extend the suspension timeline to July 1, 2020. However, beginning July 1, 2017, and until the Bill is signed into law, no new RDA licenses may be issued.

The Dental Board does not expect this pause on RDA licensure to last long, and will be able to begin issuing licenses once AB 1707 is signed into law to RDAs who meet all other requirements of licensure, including successful completion of the RDA written examination and law and ethics examination.