Understanding the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners CE Auditing Process for Dental Assistants
Audit Selection Process: The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) conducts audits of licensees and certificate holders on a random basis. Each month approximately 5% of license renewals will be selected for an audit. If you are selected, you will receive notification approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of your license/registration.
Purpose of the Audit: These audits are conducted to make sure that licensees are meeting the continuing education (C.E.) requirements necessary for license renewal. You will not be able to renew your registration/certificate until you are in compliance with your audit.
CE Requirements for Assistants: The minimum requirement for dental assistants to renew their RDA registration/certificate is six (6) hours of continuing education (CE) each year in areas covering dental assistant duties. At least three (3) of these six (6) hours must be clinical continuing education. The CE can be self-study, interactive computer courses, or classroom lecture courses. Up to six (6) hours of CE may be carried forward from the years preceding the renewal period.
Supporting Documents: Dental Assistants can earn CE from various sources. All continuing education must be offered by providers approved under 22 Texas Administrative Code §104.2 and can be found on the TSBDE website under “Approved CE Course Providers”.
There are currently 22 CE Course Providers. TDAA is an approved provider under the American Dental Assistants Association and its constituent organizations. It is very important that dental assistants obtain and are able to produce the appropriate certificate of completion for CE courses taken by approved providers. It is suggested that you have a file, at home, of any CE courses completed where these certificates of completion can be
Many dental assistants may keep these files at their offices, but it is best to keep the original certificate at your home in case of employment changes or possible disasters that would not allow you to obtain these important documents in case of an audit.
Assessment/Timeline: It is important that licensees (RDA’s) maintain documentation of successful completion of their continuing education courses for no fewer than three (3) years; and if audited, they are required to provide that documentation to the board upon request. The timeline of when you are being audited will be conveyed to you in the email you receive from the Board.
Problems: Four (4) issues identified during these audits are:
- Licensees are unable to produce the appropriate certificate of completion for CE courses
- Licensees are taking classes that are not dental-related or are not directly about dental assistant duties.
- Licensees are taking CE courses from CE Providers NOT approved by TSBDE
- The email address that TSBDE has on file is NOT the current email address that you are currently using. If TSBDE has an older email address you are no longer using, than you will not receive critical information.
- You will receive a notice, either by mail or email (make sure TSBDE has your current email address), informing you that you have been selected for a continuing education audit.
- The email notification (not the US postal letter) will tell you exactly the time period of when you are being audited for. For example: Licensure Period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-01-01.
- You will need to comply by logging in and registering with the e-Strategy Solutions’ portal. The email letter states “To submit proof of your continuing education, please register and log in to https://portal.esslearning.com/tsbde” They have a FAQ section that is helpful or a help desk phone #800-215-0641 if you have problems. When you register to create your account, you will fill out an online form asking for your name, phone number and email along with creating a login ID and password.
- You will receive an email from e-Strategy Solution (firstname.lastname@example.org )that will ask you to confirm your account activation. You will need to click on the “confirm now” button.
- Within a week, another email from e-Strategy Solution (email@example.com) will come to your email that states your account has been created. The subject line will state: “TSBDE Account Confirmation.”
- At this point, you will need to go into your e-Strategy Solutions account and choose how you will submit your documentation of your continuing education certificates and your Human Trafficking certificate of completion. Most choose to scan documents and submit those while on their account. There are other options for submitting documentation including using your camera and taking photos of the CE certificates or faxing the certificates to e-Strategy Solutions. After you choose how information will be submitted, another step is required. You will need to manually click on the “edit” button and type in the following information:
- Course Title
- Hours of CE earned
- The provider of each course you took
- Then click on “submit” to e-Strategy Solutions.
- Within a week, you will receive another email from firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line that states “TSBDE Audit: Submitted”. The email will state that the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is in receipt of the documentation submitted for your continuing competency audit. The letter also states that you will receive a response regarding the outcome of your audit within ten (10) business days. It also states that “online renewal access is not available for audits submitted on the last day of the renewal timeframe in bold letters. Your renewal application and fee must be postmarked on or before your license expiration date to avoid fees and be considered for the grace period.”
- Within that 10 business day period, you will receive another email from email@example.com with a subject line that states “TSBDE Audit: Results.” The letter will state the results have been processed. If everything was accepted and met the CE requirements, then the status should be “closed.” The letter will also hopefully state “We have determined that you are in compliance with the continuing education requirements set by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.”
- At this point, you must go online and renew your license/registration.