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What is 'DANB approval'? An overview for CDE course providers and DANB certificants

Sept. 18, 2009
Continuing dental education (CDE) is essential to lifelong learning, and it is also part of DANB’s recertification requirements for DANB certified assistants. Dental assistants and DANB certified assistants may come across some CDE courses that are listed as “DANB approved,” but what does this mean exactly?

Continuing dental education (CDE) is essential to lifelong learning. It is also part of DANB’s recertification requirements for DANB certified assistants. Dental assistants and DANB certified assistants may come across some CDE courses that are listed as “DANB approved,” but what does this mean exactly?

In order to assist course providers, DANB offers pre-approval for CDE hours on a course-by-course basis. DANB approval of CDE is a means to ensure that the courses:

  • Are related to the practice of dental assisting/dentistry
  • Are taught/presented by qualified instructors/speakers
  • Are held to standards accepted by the dental profession as a whole
  • Meet DANB recertification guidelines
  • Elevate the esteem in which DANB certificants are held
  • Promote quality CDE opportunities for DANB certificants
Providers seeking DANB approval of individual CDE courses can view the guidelines at for CDE course providersThere are certain guidelines that course providers must follow in order to identify a course as “DANB approved.”In order to protect the meaning and value of DANB certification and related products and services, DANB has registered a number of trademarks, service marks, and certification marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): DANB, the DANB logo, DENTAL ASSISTING NATIONAL BOARD, INC., and MEASURING DENTAL ASSISTING EXCELLENCE are registered trademarks of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. CDA, COA, CDPMA, and COMSA are registered certification marks of DANB. RHS and ICE are registered service marks of DANB. Use of these marks is strictly prohibited unless express written permission is granted by DANB.DANB’s registered trademarks, certification marks, and service marks are recognized and valued nationwide as indicators of excellence in the field of dental assistant credentialing. DANB has worked very hard to develop and maintain that recognition and value over the course of many years. DANB has an obligation to its stakeholders to see that its trademarks are used properly and only with authorization.Recently, it has come to DANB’s attention that some CDE course providers are using DANB trademarks, certification marks, and/or service marks without authorization. Using DANB trademarks improperly or without authorization is not only prohibited, but also can be a source of confusion for DANB certificants looking to earn CDE credits for recertification.DANB reviews and approves individual CDE courses on a course-by-course basis. DANB approval of a course indicates that the course content appears to meet DANB’s recertification requirements. However, DANB cannot allow course providers to use the DANB name or logo in promoting or marketing its course(s), because this use inaccurately implies either that DANB developed or was involved in the development of the course, or that DANB has closely reviewed and therefore endorses the content of the course. To assist course providers in identifying the courses that address DANB-approved content topics, DANB has developed an approved credit course logo to be used in its entirety and placed by each course listing or near other approval logos, such as AGD PACE and ADA CERP designations. The DANB approval logo is provided upon request to all CDE course providers approved by DANB. To receive the approval logo, contact Vickie Spears, assistant director of recertification at 1-800-FOR-DANB x445 or [email protected].
The DANB approved credit course logo can be used in addition to, or in place of, the DANB disclaimer copy. DANB disclaimer copy must be published when a course provider makes any reference to “DANB approval.” DANB’s disclaimer copy states: “’DANB Approval’ indicates that a continuing education course appears to meet certain specifications as described in the DANB Recertification Requirements. DANB does not, however, endorse or recommend any particular continuing education course and is not responsible for the quality of any course content.”Additionally, the course provider cannot use any registered DANB marks in the title of the course or include any statements in course descriptions or promotional materials that imply that this is a DANB program or has been endorsed by DANB. To do so would be to violate DANB’s trademarks. For example, the course cannot be titled ‘DANB Review Course,’ or ‘RHS Review Course,’ or ‘CDA Exam Preparation Course,’ etc. The course description can indicate that ‘this course was prepared to assist you in reviewing for the DANB CDA exam.’ However, the course sponsor would also have to include the disclaimer language noted in the prior paragraph. What ‘DANB approval’ means to DANB certified assistantsAlthough CDE course providers may opt to submit individual courses for DANB review and approval, DANB certificants do not need to take only those courses that have been pre-approved by DANB in order to be accepted as meeting DANB recertification requirements. DANB approval of courses for CDE credit simply means that a DANB certificant can rely on the course to meet DANB’s recertification requirements. Call DANB prior to participation in education if you have questions about whether course content is likely to meet DANB’s recertification requirements or whether the course is DANB-approved. Visit for DANB’s complete recertification requirements.By DANB enforcing its trademarks, DANB protects the value of your certification and the integrity of its recertification requirements. If you notice misuse of a DANB trademark or you have any questions about developing a course and how to title or describe it, please inform DANB by contacting Katherine Landsberg at [email protected]. If DANB trademark misuse is suspected, it would be most helpful if you provide a copy of the suspected misuse or a link to a Web site with the suspected misuse.