IDFPR Temporarily Removes In-Person CE Requirement for Dentists, Dental Hygienists
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that all hours required for dentists and dental hygienists for the September 2021 renewal may be completed online either by live, real-time presentations, or through prerecorded video provided by approved CE sponsors.
Just this week, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued the following Guidance that they are proposing an emergency rule change effective in May 2021 to allow all continuing education (CE) for both Dentists and Dental Hygienists to be completed online either by live, real-time presentations, or through prerecorded video provided by approved CE sponsors. As a reminder, 2021 is a licensure year for dentists and dental hygienists. This solves one problem with securing necessary CE hours during the pandemic but does not address the Basic Life Support (BLS) issue.
Under current rules, 68 Illinois Administrative Code Section 1220.440, in the 36-month period prior to September 30, 2021:
Dentists shall complete 48 hours of approved CE, and dental hygienists must complete 36 hours of CE over the three-year licensure period.
A minimum of 50% of the total CE hours required, being 24 hours for dentists and 18 hours for hygienists, must be obtained through face-to-face, in-person instruction or experience.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department has become aware that opportunities for in-person CE courses have diminished and as a result, licensees may not be able to complete their in-person CE requirements.
For this reason, the Department has drafted proposed Emergency Rules to temporarily remove the in-person requirement. The Department intends to submit such rules to go into effect in May 2021, approximately 150 days prior to the Sept. 30, 2021, licensure expiration. Until such time, this Guidance should be referenced when determining Dental CE requirements. The Department intends that all hours required for dentists and hygienists for the September 2021 renewal may be completed online either by live, real-time presentations, or through prerecorded video provided by approved CE sponsors.
On another issue, the Illinois State Dental Society will again request a variance from the Department to ensure that the students at all three dental schools in Illinois can take their regional board exams without using live patients. We are sharing this latest information membership-wide with practicing dentists and dental hygienists and will continue to be in contact with the Department in order to facilitate the necessary provisions needed in the coming months.