Will the credential assessment required by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the purpose of migrating to Canada be recognized by the Canadian provincial dental regulators?

No. Historically speaking dentistry has performed credential verification to weed out fraud not for credential assessments. CIC must take a broad approach to assessing the eligibility of potential immigrants. Candidates for immigration represent many skills, trades, professions, both regulated and unregulated. The government uses processes that produce the broadest benefits.

All provincial dental regulators, including RCDSO and NDEB, do not believe it is possible to determine competence based on a paper review. The fact that a program may have been of identical length does not address the most important facets of what was taught, how it was taught, what were the expected outcomes and how were they verified. This is why RCDSO supports the system of accreditation and competency assessment protocols.

Reviews of transcripts, program descriptions and similar material do not obtain the kind of information that the accreditation system can discover. A paper review does not reveal the minimum admission requirements, the number of full-time faculty with dental degrees or the faculty’s qualifications, or the number of hours of treating patients, if any, in a university-based clinic with proper university oversight and affiliation. For example, sometimes clinical experience is a form of apprenticeship at a local dentist office or less and there may be no legitimate assessment or oversight.

In addition, there is the issue of differences in educational levels between countries. There are examples of high school graduates moving directly into Ph.D. programs without a bachelor degree or completion of any formal dental program. Or there may be no record of what the training outcomes should be or an official process for measuring whether those outcomes were achieved.

It is not possible for a credential evaluation to determine an individual’s clinical competence. In dentistry a paper review provides no relationship to equivalency relative to standards. It simply produces a conclusion based on a comparison of years of study.