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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. There is no need to submit a separate document through DMS, just the MOC log.

,Diplomates whose diploma is dated prior to January 1, 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 1, 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 regarding professional and educational activities that meet requirements for continued AVDC® certification.

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.

The online log is available under the Documents section of the DMS home page.

Instructions for how points may be earned and allocated are available on the MOC document via a link from the Diplomate Only page on the AVDC® website for electronic completion. Logs must be completed by June 30 of the diploma’s expiration year. Incomplete or undocumented DMS logs for maintenance of certification will be returned unevaluated and may risk a lapse in continued certification.

Following completion of the DMS log with accompanying documentation, the logged information 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 is approved will be issued another 10-year time-limited certificate. If a log is deemed incomplete, there is a brief grace period to work with committee members to address and resolve log requirements.

Helpful information for maintenance of dual track certification (EQ and NSS/SA)

  1. For dual track Diplomates who must recertify in both disciplines (i.e. both diplomas were received in 2014 or later) 150 points are required every 10 years: 50 points minimum for knowledge and competency in equine dentistry, 50 points minimum for knowledge and competency in NSS dentistry, and 50 points maximum for service to the AVDC®. 

For example, a predominantly equine dual track practitioner could have 90 points in equine knowledge/CE, 10 points in service, and would require only 50 additional points in NSS knowledge/CE to remain a dual track diplomate.

  1. Dual-track Diplomates who need to recertify in both tracks must adopt a single deadline for recertification, whichever comes first. 

For example, a Diplomate who becomes boarded in 2014 and then again in 2017 should recertify in 2024, and then again in 2034. In this example, we understand that a dual-track Diplomate initially has up to 4 fewer years to log 50 extra points in the latter discipline for their first recertification. However, 50 points are attainable in relatively few events and professional activities. Once you start logging, you will find that the points add up quickly.

  1. Dual-track Diplomates who are only required to recertify in equine or NSS should follow the same 100-point guidelines as single-track Diplomates, as outlined in the MOC document and online logging system.

Consequences of Lapsed Certification

A Diplomate who does not submit the completed Maintenance of Certification form or whose submission is rated as persistently lacking 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 passed 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 the public website 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, Certification Maintenance Committee, or other AVDC® committees, or to be elected to AVDC® office, Board membership, or appointed as an AVDC® Representative to an external organization.

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