The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) takes great pride in upholding the highest standards in all of its endeavors, including relationships with stakeholders. By following through on these responsibilities, trust, respect, and professionalism can flourish. These responsibilities are also the foundation of DANB’s commitment to promoting dental assisting excellence.
DANB exam candidates are one of DANB’s primary stakeholder groups. DANB's Board of Directors and staff believe that a relationship of trust between DANB and its exam candidates is of the utmost importance. Therefore, DANB has outlined its responsibilities to its exam candidates, as well as the exam candidates’ responsibilities to DANB.
What are DANB’s responsibilities to DANB exam candidates?
The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly NOCA) defines a candidate as “an individual who has met the eligibility qualifications for, but has not yet earned, a credential awarded through a certification program.” When DANB receives a completed exam application (with candidate signature, date, appropriate fee, and required documentation), a contract is formed between the candidate and DANB. From the moment that application is approved, DANB makes a promise to the candidate. It agrees to provide the services as specified in the Candidate Guide. DANB is responsible for communicating the procedures and regulations that govern DANB exams to the exam candidate in a clear and timely manner.
DANB is responsible for upholding its mission. The DANB mission is to promote the public good by providing credentialing services to the dental community. DANB accomplishes and measures the success of this mission through the creation of valid dental assisting exams, recertification requirement integrity, and valuable, visible, and accessible DANB exams, certificates, and certifications. By upholding its mission, DANB exam candidates can be certain they are applying for an exam that meets the highest standards, and that is backed by an integrity-driven organization.
DANB is responsible for protecting the credibility of all DANB exams and Certification programs. DANB Certification programs and their component exams meet the high standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting branch of The Institute for Credentialing Excellence. NCCA evaluates professional certification programs in these areas:
- Purpose, governance, and resources
- Responsibilities to stakeholders
- Assessment instruments
- Maintaining accreditation
NCCA accreditation helps to ensure the validity, reliability, and objectivity in DANB’s testing process. Maintaining and protecting the accreditation of DANB’s Certification programs is of paramount importance to DANB and its stakeholders. NCCA accreditation is one reason why DANB exams are the standard for Measuring Dental Assisting Excellence™.
DANB is responsible for complying with federal laws, including nondiscrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act. DANB exams are designed to provide all exam candidates with equal opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and ability. To meet the terms of the Americans With Disabilities Act, DANB makes every reasonable effort to offer the exams in an accessible manner to persons with disabilities. Please see DANB's Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) Candidate Guides for complete information on testing candidates with disabilities. Also, DANB does not discriminate in application, examination, or certification activities on the basis of age, sex, gender identity, marital status, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
DANB is responsible for acting in accordance with its guiding principles. DANB’s guiding principles, which apply to all stakeholder groups including exam candidates, commit to:
- Trust – DANB is committed to quality, ethics, and best practices in the development of DANB testing and credentialing related services, including meeting all national exam development and credentialing standards.
- Communication – Providing information to DANB stakeholders is a priority. DANB seeks to provide full attention as active listeners and proactive problem solvers while providing accurate and timely information in an accessible format.
- Respect – DANB is committed to valuing each stakeholder with equal consideration of his or her needs or position, no matter how big or small.
- Initiative – DANB is committed to continuously promoting the dental assisting profession by developing new solutions, services, and resources for the oral health care community as these relate to DANB’s mission.
- Teamwork – DANB is committed to working with representatives of its communities of interest to develop and exchange ideas that promote the public good and enhance the oral health care community as a whole.
What are DANB exam candidates’ responsibilities to DANB?
Those who pass a DANB exam or earn DANB Certification have demonstrated professional achievement, which is a source of pride in their accomplishments. These achievements also confer responsibilities — to patients, others in the oral health care professions, and the community — all to the advancement of public health.
DANB exam candidates are responsible for abiding by the DANB application statements. When an exam candidate submits an application for any DANB exam, he or she agrees to be legally bound by all of the application statements. The DANB exam candidate agrees to follow DANB’s exam and certification procedures and regulations, to provide complete and accurate information on the application and when communicating with DANB, and to pay the required DANB exam and application fees. DANB exam candidates can view the application statements in DANB's Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA) candidate guides in print, or online at www.danb.org/PDFs/CDAComputer.pdf.
DANB exam candidates are responsible for abiding by the DANB Code of Professional Conduct. DANB's Code of Professional Conduct is a set of standards that DANB has developed to promote the quality and ethical practice of dental assisting. DANB's Code of Professional Conduct applies to all DANB individuals, including candidates and DANB certificants. The DANB Code of Professional Conduct highlights the following values:
- The dental assistant has a duty to respect each patient’s individuality, humanity, and autonomy in making decisions.
- The dental assistant has a duty to refrain from harming any patient, to promote each pa¬tient’s welfare, and to protect the health and well-being of colleagues.
- The dental assistant has a duty to treat people fairly.
- The dental assistant has a duty to communicate truthfully.
- The dental assistant has a duty to respect each patient’s right to confidentiality.
- The dental assistant has a duty to know the law (which includes DANB policies and procedures), to act within the law, and to report those who fail to do so to the proper authorities.
DANB exam candidates can view the full-length version of DANB's Code of Professional Conduct as well as print a one-page frameable version on DANB’s Web site at http://www.danb.org/main/code.asp.
DANB exam candidates are responsible for abiding by DANB’s policies and procedures. In line with these policies and procedures, candidates must not engage in cheating or any dishonest behavior that violates exam security; obtain, attempt to obtain, or assist others in obtaining or maintaining eligibility, certification, or recertification through deceptive means; or manufacture, modify, reproduce, distribute, or use a fraudulent or otherwise unauthorized DANB certificate.
DANB exam candidates must refrain from any action or behavior prohibited in DANB’s disciplinary policy and procedures. DANB’s disciplinary policy and procedures can be viewed at http://www.danb.org/PDFs/DisciplinePolicies.pdf.
What are the benefits of fulfilling these responsibilities?
The responsibilities that DANB and its stakeholders have to one another are the building blocks that form strong relationships. Through trust, respect, and a spirit of teamwork, DANB works with and supports its stakeholders to strive toward providing excellent service in the interest of promoting quality oral health care.
This article addresses DANB's responsibilities to its exam candidates. For information on DANB’s responsibilities to its Certificants and DANB Certificants’ responsibilities to DANB, please see the upcoming article in the winter issue of Certified Press, which will be published in January 2010.