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New Graduates of Dental Hygiene Programs

For applicants who received their dental hygiene education in Canada or the US, but have never been registered as a dental hygienist in Alberta or another jurisdiction.

New Graduates of Dental Hygiene Programs

The requirements for initial registration as a new graduate are outlined on this page. There are different requirements for graduates of accredited institutions and graduates of non-accredited institutions. Please read the information below about these requirements carefully. 

If you have questions, please contact the College.

New Graduates of Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs

This section applies to applicants who have graduated from a Canadian or American dental hygiene program that is CDAC or CODA accredited, but have never been registered as a dental hygienist in another jurisdiction. 

As part of the required online application form, applicants must enter or upload the following: 

  • Personal information, including contact and demographic information. 
  • Dental hygiene education program information.  
  • Applicants must arrange to have a transcript sent from their institution to the College. College staff will then upload the document to the application. 
    • The dental hygiene education must either be from the Council-approved program or from a program that has been reviewed and determined to be substantially equivalent to the Council-approved program. 
  • Information about any current or previous professional healthcare registrations such as a dental assistant, nurse, paramedic, or dentist, etc. 
  • NDHCE completion information. 
    • Applicants must upload the completion certificate into the form. 
  • CPEDH completion information (the CPEDH is not a mandatory requirement in this situation). 
    • If required, applicants must upload a completion certificate into the form. 
  • Answers to questions about primary language and language in which applicants intend to practice. 
    • Applicants must only provide language proficiency test results if their dental hygiene education and exams were NOT done in English. 
    • If required, applicants must upload language proficiency results into the form. 
  • Information about which, if any, advanced restricted activities the applicant may be eligible to apply for authorization for. 
  • Additional post-secondary education information 
  • Completion information from the “Protecting Patients from Sexual Abuse and Misconduct” e-learning course  
    • Applicants must upload a completion certificate into the form. 
  • Information about current CPR certification that meets the requirements listed in section 2 of the Registration and Practice Permit Renewal Policy  
  • Information about Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) that meets the requirements listed in section 3 of the Registration and Practice Permit Renewal Policy  
    • Applicants must upload PLI certificate(s) into the form. 
  • Request to take the Jurisprudence exam modules 
    • Applicants will be given access to and must complete the modules. 
    • College staff will receive and upload the completion certificate. The learning management system will automatically send a completion certificate to the College, applicants do not need to send a copy to the College. 
  • Answers to Good Character and Fitness to Practice declarations and the statutory declaration 
  • Applicants must obtain and submit a vulnerable sector check to the College that meets the requirements listed in section 4 in the Registration and Practice Permit Renewal Policy. 
    • Applicants must provide a VSC to the College. College staff will then upload the document to the application. 
  • Applicants must upload 2 pieces of government-issued identification. 
  • Applicants must type their full name as their signature.

Please note: All uploaded documents and information provided must be verifiable by the College. The College may contact third parties such as educational institutions, regulatory bodies, agencies, or employers to verify documentation or the information provided in an application for registration. 

Reference: Health Professions Act (HPA) – Sections 28, 29.1, 33(4)(b) 

Reference: Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation – Sections 3, 5 

New Graduate Application Information

Initial Registration Checklist

Click here to Create an Applicant Profile to start the application process.

Fees for New Graduates of Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs

Applicants are required to submit the $350 application fee when they submit their application for registration. 

When an application for registration is approved, the applicant must pay the Permit Fee before the College can enter their name on the General Register and issue a unique Registration Number and Practice Permit.

All fees are non-refundable once paid. Permit Fees are not pro-rated.

The Application and initial Permit Fees are as follows: 

Application Type

Application Fee

Practice Permit Fee

TOTAL

New Grad Application
(Applying within 12 months of graduation)

$350

$350

$700

New Grad Application
(Applying more than 12 months after graduation)

$350

$599

$949

More information about Council-approved fees can be found on the Fee Schedule page on our website. 

FAQs for New Graduates of Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs

The University of Alberta Dental Hygiene Program is the Council-approved program in Alberta. It teaches to the full scope of practice in Alberta and serves as the benchmark program of study for all applicants for registration.  

Reference: Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation - Section 3(1)

Under section 5 of the Dental Hygienist Profession Regulation, when graduates from schools other than the U of A submit an application for registration, the College compares the qualifications and competencies required for graduation from that school to the qualifications and competencies required for graduation from the U of A program to determine if the other school is substantially equivalent to the U of A. This is done through a program review. The results of the review usually apply to cohorts that graduate within the 3 years after the graduation date of the program reviewed.  

For example, if the College reviewed the dental hygiene program of a school whose students graduated in June of 2018 and found it to be substantially equivalent to the U of A program, applicants who graduated from that school between June 2018 and May 2021 would be eligible to apply directly to the College for registration. An application from an individual who graduated from that program after June 2021 would trigger a new program review. The College may, at its sole discretion, conduct program reviews more frequently.  

The outcome of a program review is not guaranteed based on the previous review. The substantial equivalency of a program may change before an individual graduates, depending on when the last review was completed and how long the program is. 

To find out if a program is substantially equivalent, please contact the Registration Team. 

Reference: Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation - Section 5(1) 

An applicant from a dental hygiene program that has been determined to be not substantially equivalent to the U of A program may be required to successfully complete the CPEDH. Visit the Registration FAQs page for more information about the CPEDH.

Visit the page for Dental Hygienists Working in Other Jurisdictions and call the College if you need additional information. 

If your application for registration in another jurisdiction is approved before your application for registration with ACDH is approved, your application as a new grad will have to be withdrawn and you will have to reapply as a dental hygienist working in another jurisdiction. Call the College as soon as possible. 

The Alberta College of Dental Hygienists (ACDH) is a regulatory body, not an educational institute. Please refer to the What is A Dental Hygienist page of our website for more information about education, practice, and employment opportunities. 

New Graduates of Non-Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs

This section applies to applicants who have graduated from a Canadian or American dental hygiene program that is NOT accredited by CDAC or CODA, and have never been registered as a dental hygienist in another Canadian jurisdiction. 

As part of the required online application form, applicants must enter or upload the following: 

  • Applicant personal information, including contact and demographic information. 
  • Dental hygiene education program information 
    • Applicants must arrange to have a transcript sent from their institution to the College. College staff will then upload the document to the application. 
  • Information about any current or previous professional healthcare registrations such as a dental assistant, nurse, paramedic, or dentist, etc. 
  • NDHCE completion information 
    • Applicants must upload a completion certificate into the form. 
  • CPEDH completion information (This is a mandatory requirement in this situation) 
    • Applicants must upload a completion certificate into the form.
  • Answers to questions about primary language and language in which applicants intend to practice 
    • Applicants must only provide language proficiency test results if their dental hygiene education and exams were NOT done in English 
    • If required, applicants must upload language proficiency results into the form. 
  • Information about which, if any, advanced restricted activities the applicant may be eligible to apply for authorization for. 
  • Additional post-secondary education information 
  • Completion information from the “Protecting Patients from Sexual Abuse and Misconduct” e-learning course 
    • Applicants must upload a completion certificate into the form. 
  • Information about current CPR certification that meets the requirements listed in section 2 of the Registration and Practice Permit Renewal Policy 
  • Information about Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) that meets the requirements listed in section 3 of the Registration and Practice Permit Renewal Policy 
    • Applicants must upload PLI certificate(s) into the form. 
  • Request to take the Jurisprudence exam modules 
    • Applicants will be given access to and must complete the modules. 
    • College staff will then receive and upload the completion certificate. The learning management system will automatically send a completion certificate to the College, applicants do not need to send a copy to the College. 
  • Answers to Good Character and Fitness to Practice declarations and the statutory declaration 
  • Applicants must obtain and submit a vulnerable sector check to the College that meets the requirements listed in section 4 in the Registration and Practice Permit Renewal Policy.
    • Applicants must provide the VSC to the College. College staff will then upload the document to the application. 
  • Applicants must upload 2 pieces of government-issued identification 
  • Applicants must type their full name as their signature. 

Please note: All uploaded documents and information provided must be verifiable by the College. The College may contact third parties such as educational institutions, regulatory bodies, agencies, or employers to verify documentation or the information provided in an application for registration. 

Reference: Health Professions Act (HPA) – Sections 28, 29.1, 33(4)(b) 

Reference: Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation – Sections 3, 5 

Info Package for New Graduates of Non-Accredited or International Programs

Initial Registration Checklist

Click here to Create an Applicant Profile to start the application process.

Fees for New Graduates of Non-Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs

Applicants are required to submit the non-refundable $350 application fee when they submit their application for registration. 

When an application for registration is approved, the applicant must pay the Permit Fee before the College can enter their name on the General Register and issue a unique Registration Number and Practice Permit.

All fees are non-refundable once paid. Permit Fees are not pro-rated.

The application and initial Permit Fees are as follows: 

Application Type

Application Fee

Practice Permit Fee

TOTAL

Registration as a new dental hygiene graduate
(Applying within 12 months of graduation)

$350

$350

$700

Registration as a new dental hygiene graduate
(Applying more than 12 months after graduation)

$350

$599

$949

More information about Council-approved fees can be found on the Fee Schedule page on our website. 

FAQs for New Graduates of Non-Accredited Dental Hygiene Programs

The CPEDH is the Canadian Performance Examination in Dental Hygiene. It’s a clinical exam administered by the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada (FDHRC). Find more information about the exam here: www.fdrhc.ca/pages/cpedh.   

Applicants whose dental hygiene program is not accredited or not substantially equivalent, must provide evidence of successful completion of the CPEDH as part of their application for registration as a new graduate. 

Applicants in this situation are not required to take the CPEDH before applying. However, an application for registration will not be considered complete without evidence of successful completion of the CPEDH. 

No. Under our legislation, internationally trained dentists cannot be authorized to work as dental hygienists in Alberta unless they have completed a dental hygiene education program. Please refer to the What is A Dental Hygienist page of our website for more information about education, practice, and employment opportunities. 

Reference: Dental Hygienists Profession Regulation - Section 3(1)(a)