Table 5.

How U.S. and Canadian dental schools implement competency testing in the clinic setting

NB: Multiple responses were allowed.
Timing of competency tests
75%Student determines when a competency test is to be taken.
73%Written criteria exist to establish eligibility of patients for competency tests.
69%Timeframe (“windows”) exist for when competency tests must be taken.
57%Only selected faculty members are allowed to administer competency tests.
17%Faculty can declare almost any patient as a competency test.
15%The majority of competency tests are given at predetermined times, near the end of terms.
Determination of passing scores
81%Judgment of department members.
51%The same standards that have always been in place.
11%Historical studies comparing performance with other standards.
9%There is no “pass score”: students receive a numeral score, but individual tests are not passed or failed.
Consequences of failing a test of competency
77%Students must repeat tests until they pass.
37%Failing a test more than once automatically and always triggers remedial instruction.
27%They are allowed a predetermined number of opportunities to pass the test.
24%A committee considers students’ overall performance and determines the course of action.
2%Students can graduate without being competent in every discipline.