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AB-1707 Registered dental assistants: practical examination.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/07/2017 09:00 PM
AB1707:v96#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1707
CHAPTER 174

An act to amend Section 1752.1 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

[ Approved by Governor  August 07, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  August 07, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1707, Low. Registered dental assistants: practical examination.
Existing law, the Dental Practice Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of registered dental assistants by the Dental Board of California. The act authorizes the board to license a person as a registered dental assistant if he or she meets certain requirements, including a written and practical examination. Existing law requires the Dental Board of California, in consultation with the Office of Professional Examination Services, to conduct a review to determine on or before July 1, 2017, whether a practical examination is necessary to demonstrate the competency of registered dental assistants. Existing law authorizes the board to vote to suspend the practical examination if the review concludes that the practical examination is unnecessary or does not accurately measure the competency of registered dental assistants. Under existing law, the suspension of the practical examination commences on the date the board votes to suspend the practical examination and continues until July 1, 2017. If the board votes to suspend the practical examination, the board is required to post a notice on its Internet Web site.
This bill would instead extend that suspension date until January 1, 2020, or until the board determines an alternative way to measure competency, whichever occurs first. The bill would also require the board to post an updated suspension date notice.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1752.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

1752.1.
 (a) The board may license as a registered dental assistant a person who files an application and submits written evidence, satisfactory to the board, of one of the following eligibility requirements:
(1) Graduation from an educational program in registered dental assisting approved by the board, and satisfactory performance on a written and practical examination administered by the board.
(2) For individuals applying prior to January 1, 2010, evidence of completion of satisfactory work experience of at least 12 months as a dental assistant in California or another state and satisfactory performance on a written and practical examination administered by the board.
(3) For individuals applying on or after January 1, 2010, evidence of completion of satisfactory work experience of at least 15 months as a dental assistant in California or another state and satisfactory performance on a written and practical examination administered by the board.
(b) For purposes of this section, “satisfactory work experience” means performance of the duties specified in Section 1750.1 in a competent manner as determined by the employing dentist, who shall certify to such satisfactory work experience in the application.
(c) The board shall give credit toward the work experience referred to in this section to persons who have graduated from a dental assisting program in a postsecondary institution approved by the Department of Education or in a secondary institution, regional occupational center, or regional occupational program, that are not, however, approved by the board pursuant to subdivision (a). The credit shall equal the total weeks spent in classroom training and internship on a week-for-week basis. The board, in cooperation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall establish the minimum criteria for the curriculum of nonboard-approved programs. Additionally, the board shall notify those programs only if the program’s curriculum does not meet established minimum criteria, as established for board-approved registered dental assistant programs, except any requirement that the program be given in a postsecondary institution. Graduates of programs not meeting established minimum criteria shall not qualify for satisfactory work experience as defined by this section.
(d) In addition to the requirements specified in subdivision (a), each applicant for registered dental assistant licensure on or after July 1, 2002, shall provide evidence of having successfully completed board-approved courses in radiation safety and coronal polishing as a condition of licensure. The length and content of the courses shall be governed by applicable board regulations.
(e) In addition to the requirements specified in subdivisions (a) and (d), individuals applying for registered dental assistant licensure on or after January 1, 2010, shall demonstrate satisfactory performance on a written examination in law and ethics administered by the board and shall provide written evidence of successful completion within five years prior to application of all of the following:
(1) A board-approved course in the Dental Practice Act.
(2) A board-approved course in infection control.
(3) A course in basic life support offered by an instructor approved by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, or any other course approved by the board as equivalent.
(f) A registered dental assistant may apply for an orthodontic assistant permit or a dental sedation assistant permit, or both, by submitting written evidence of the following:
(1) Successful completion of a board-approved orthodontic assistant or dental sedation assistant course, as applicable.
(2) Passage of a written examination administered by the board that shall encompass the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to competently perform the duties of the particular permit.
(g) A registered dental assistant with permits in either orthodontic assisting or dental sedation assisting shall be referred to as an “RDA with orthodontic assistant permit,” or “RDA with dental sedation assistant permit,” as applicable. These terms shall be used for reference purposes only and do not create additional categories of licensure.
(h) Completion of the continuing education requirements established by the board pursuant to Section 1645 by a registered dental assistant who also holds a permit as an orthodontic assistant or dental sedation assistant shall fulfill the continuing education requirements for the permit or permits.
(i) The board shall, in consultation with the Office of Professional Examination Services, conduct a review to determine whether a practical examination is necessary to demonstrate competency of registered dental assistants, and if so, how this examination should be developed and administered. The board shall submit its review and determination to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature on or before July 1, 2017.
(j) Notwithstanding any other law, if the review conducted by the Office of Professional Examination Services pursuant to subdivision (i) concludes that the practical examination is unnecessary or does not accurately measure the competency of registered dental assistants, the board may vote to suspend the practical examination. The suspension of the practical examination shall commence on the date the board votes to suspend the practical examination and shall remain suspended until January 1, 2020, or until the board determines an alternative way to measure competency, whichever occurs first, at which date the practical examination shall be reinstated. If the board votes to suspend the practical examination, the board shall post a notice on its Internet Web site stating that the practical examination has been suspended, until January 1, 2020, or until the board determines an alternative way to measure competency, whichever occurs first.

SEC. 2.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
Since Section 1752.1 of the Business and Professions Code reinstates the registered dental assistant practical examination requirement as of July 1, 2017, and the Dental Board of California has deemed the examination to not accurately measure the competency of registered dental assistants and can no longer administer the registered dental assistant practical examination in its current form, it is therefore necessary that this act take effect immediately in order for the Dental Board of California to have adequate time to identify reasonable alternatives to measure competency to protect the public and not unnecessarily create a barrier to registered dental assistant licensure in California.