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Diplomate Resources

How to Maintain Certification

Maintenance of Certification can be obtained in two ways:

  1. Passing the then-current AVDC® written (Phase 1) examination within five years of the end date of current certification. Multiple attempts may be made (limit one per year).


  1. Documenting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities in veterinary dentistry during the current certification period, using the Certification Maintenance Points System.

Maintenance of Certification Document and MOC Form to Submit

Diplomates whose diploma is dated prior to January 1st 2014 are not required to complete the maintenance of certification requirement, as the pre-2014 diplomas are not time-limited.

Maintenance of Certification

As of 2016, the American Board of Veterinary Specialties requires that each Specialty College recognized by ABVS has in place a limited duration of certification policy (maximum 10 years), including a means of maintenance of certification.

Commencing January 1st 2014, the AVDC® Board approved a requirement that certification as a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College® is time-limited.

Initial certification following successful completion of the training, credentials review and AVDC® examination processes is for ten years. During the tenth year, Diplomates who wish to retain AVDC® board-certified specialist status are required to submit information for the AVDC® Maintenance of Certification Requirement as described in this document.

The Maintenance of Certification process is designed to ensure that all Diplomates are meeting their professional responsibility to remain up-to-date and competent in their activities as specialist veterinary dentists.

Submit the completed Maintenance of Certification form to the AVDC® Executive Director no later than September 1st in the year in which your current certification expires. The form is available via a link from the Diplomate-only page on the AVDC® web site for electronic completion. A system that will allow you to accumulate items each year, to facilitate preparation of a Maintenance of Certification application within DMS, is under consideration. Until that is in place, be sure to accumulate your records of items that can be used to accumulate Maintenance of Certification points in an archived electronic folder.

Incomplete or undocumented applications for maintenance of certification applications will be returned unevaluated, and may risk lapse in continued certification.

Following receipt of the completed form and accompanying documentation, the package is reviewed by the AVDC® Maintenance of Certification committee, which makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors. Committee members and Board members shall not vote on their own maintenance of certification submissions. Diplomates whose Maintenance of Certification submission is approved will be issued with another 10 year, time-limited certificate.

Consequences of Lapsed Certification

A Diplomate who does not submit the completed Maintenance of Certification form or whose submission is rated as insufficient shall receive notice of the decision (notification of receipt required, e.g. certified mail), with reason(s) for the non-approval. The Diplomate may appeal the decision, as described in the AVDC® Appeal of Adverse Decision policy.

Those diplomates required to renew certification and whose certification has lapsed or whose certification maintenance application has been denied are considered “Inactive” by the College.

For Diplomates whose application for maintenance of certification was denied, Inactive status shall not be applied until either the deadline for lodging an appeal has past or until a decision on an appeal has been made by the Board of Directors, whichever comes later.

An Inactive Diplomate may apply for maintenance of certification at any time. The new application is to conform to the maintenance of certification requirements current at the time the new application is submitted.

An Inactive Diplomate is not considered by AVDC® to be a registered “AVDC® Veterinary Dental Specialist”, and his or her listing will be removed from the AVDC® Directory and from the public web site listing of Diplomates.

An Inactive Diplomate shall not be permitted to continue as Supervisor of an AVDC®-registered training program, or supervise any other activities of residents registered in AVDC® training programs that require Diplomate supervision. Residents supervised by a diplomate whose certification has lapsed can continue their program by transferring to another supervisor.

An Inactive Diplomate is not eligible to serve as a member of the Examination, Credentials or Certification Maintenance Committee or other AVDC® committees, or to be elected to AVDC® office, Board membership or appointed as AVDC® Representative to an external organization.

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