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Improving the Quality Assurance Program

Research & Resources

One of the initial/early tasks of the QA Working Group as it moves towards enhancing CDSBC’s Quality Assurance program has been to research QA programs and review articles from experts on the topic. We have found that there is a wide range of approaches to quality assurance across different jurisdictions and professions.

The programs range from continuing education hours to practice assessments and competence tests. Below are examples of other regulators' programs and additional QA resources. Note that this research is not exhaustive and may have omissions. The information was current at the time of posting but may not reflect any recent changes made by these organizations.

Other Quality Assurance Programs



​Assessment / Audit

Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO)

Continuing Education:

Three-year cycle, 90 point minimum in three categories:

  1. Core courses (min. 15 pts.) - must be relevant to the practice of the profession and designed to promote competence and maintenance of professional standards. Courses offered through approved sponsors.
  2. Approved Sponsor Course (min. 45 pts.) – clinical dental topics
  3. Other courses

There are e-Portfolios for members to securely record CE activities and track points.

The Practice Enhancement Tool (PET) is a self-assessment tool that allows members to evaluate and assess their practice, knowledge, skill and judgement based on peer-derived standards. It consists of 200 multiple choice and case study questions.

There is also a Practice Enhancement Consultant available to suggest resources and provide guidance for appropriate CE activities.

Self-assessment & audit

Each month, dentists are randomly selected to complete the PET program. Unsuccessful completion requires a re-take of those areas where weakness was identified. All dentists are required to complete the PET program in a 5 year cycle.

RCDSO does monthly audits of 75 members' e-portfolios to ensure they are meeting their obligations under the QA regulation.

Manitoba Dental Association (MDA)

Continuing Education:

Three-year cycle, 90 credit hours required

  • Maximum of 54 credits allowed in one subject area
  • Maximum of 30 credits allowed in non-clinical education programs
  • Dental specialists – minimum of 63 credit hours must be obtained in their specialty area

Alternative competency assessment – registrants can apply to the MDA to perform the NDEB Equivalency process.

Office site assessments

The MDA does period office assessments. Priority for office assessments will be given to those required by legislation, followed by voluntary assessments.

The assessment consists of:

  • A pre-visit questionnaire
  • Log books and templates (policy and protocol documents), sterilization area.

Review of general practice including emergency response plan, accessibility, staff, facility, whmis, infection control, patient safety, confidentiality and sedation.

College of Registered Nurses of BC

Continuing Education:

  • Complete a self-assessment report using CRNBC's Standards of Practice
  • Seek and receive peer feedback
  • Create and implement a professional development plan based on self-assessment and peer feedback. This includes:
    • learning needs and goals
    • how will I meet these goals and by when?
    • how will I know I have succeeded?
    • progress and impact on practice
  • Evaluate the effect of last year's professional development

Continuous Practice:

  • Meet minimum practice hours
    (1,125 hrs. over 5 years)


Registrants must complete the self-assessment questionnaire as part of their annual registration renewal.


They are required to maintain and retain records of practice hours and QA activities for last 5 years. The registrar may cause audits of samples of registrants to be conducted as he/she considers necessary or appropriate to verify compliance with QA. (Bylaw)

College of Occupational Therapists of BCQuality Assurance Program

The program has three elements:

1. Competence Maintenance – OTs must complete an annual continuing competence review which includes the continuing competence exam (CCE).

2. Competence Assessment – OTs demonstrate competence by passing an objective CCE. The exam identifies OTs who need assistance to improve their competence to meet the profession's standards of practice.

3. Competence improvement – is designed to help OTs meet those standards and/or competencies that were identified in the CCE as needing improvement. A customized, personalized and confidential plan will be developed to assist the OT in improving his/her competence.  (only those who do not meet required score on exam)

Review and exam

Annual Continuing Competence Review and continuing competence exam once every 6 years.

College of Pharmacists of BC

Professional Development and Assessment Program (PDAP)

Continuing Education (CE Component) using CE-Plus Tool

  • Successfully complete at least 15 hours of learning documented on a minimum of 6 learning records per year (90 hours) or partial year (up to 45 hours on 18 learning records)
  • A minimum of 1/3 must be accredited learning and supporting documentation needs to be provided as part of the learning record
  • Complete learning activities in the year prior to application
  • Optional self-assessment tool
CE Review and Practice Review Program

Accredited learning activities are reviewed using stringent criteria to ensure they are high quality, unbiased and clearly identify the learning objectives of the participant.

Practice Review Program – an in-person review of a pharmacy professional's practice and the pharmacy where they work. Cyclical basis – multi-year time frame.


  1. Firmstone, Victoria R., Elley, Karen M., Skrybant, Magdalena T., Fry-Smith, Anne, Bayliss, Sue, Torgerson, Carole J. "Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Continuing Dental Professional Development on Learning, Behavior, or Patient Outcomes," Journal of Dental Education 77, no. 3 (2013): 300-315.

  2. Health Regulatory Organization of British Columbia. "Quality Assurance in the Regulation of Health Professions in British Columbia: Philosophical Approach, Principles and Assumptions." Discussion paper, Health Regulatory Organization of BC, 2005.

  3. Eva, Kevin W. and Regehr, Glenn. "'I'll Never Play Professional Football' and Other Fallacies of Self-Assessment." Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 28, no. 1 (2008): 14-19

  4. Regehr, Glenn and Mylopoulos, Maria. 'Maintaining Competence in the Field: Learning About Practice, Through Practice, in Practice." Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions 28, no. S1 (2008): S19-S23