Pro Bono Continuing Education Credit (Act 159)

Act 159 of 2022 is now in effect for the license renewal period

Here’s what you need to know to apply up to three hours of pro bono service for continuing education credits each time you renew your license.

Act 159 applies to you and members of your dental team. Dentists, dental hygienists, and expanded function dental assistants may have up to three (3) hours of volunteer practice credited toward their respective continuing education requirement, so long as the following criteria are met:

  • The services are provided in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • The licensee or certificate holder provides volunteer services at a clinic, health center or at an event or program offered by a charitable entity.
  • The services are provided at no cost to patients.
  • The licensee or certificate holder is not compensated for providing services to those patients.
  • The number of hours of volunteer practice to be credited towards the continuing education requirement must represent the time that the licensee or certificate holder spent in the actual delivery of oral health care services or in direct support of the delivery of oral health care services. Continuing education credit will not be awarded for time spent performing administrative duties.

Question: Does the pro bono service hours count as in-person CE?
Answer: Yes, the pro bono service counts toward the in-person CE requirement.

Question: Will the board accept pro bono service performed before the effective date of the Act?
Answer: No, the State Board of Dentistry will only accept pro bono hours performed after the effective date of the Act, which is January 2, 2023. Pro bono service meeting the requirements in the Act (see here) must take place between January 2, 2023, and March 31, 2023.

Acceptable documentation consists of a letter from the clinic, health center, or charitable entity on their letterhead, which verifies the licensee or certificate holder’s compliance with the above conditions, along with the date(s), location and hours of volunteer practice. The letter may be signed by the director, chief operating officer or other authorized person affiliated with the clinic, health center or charitable entity hosting the event or program. Licensees and certificate holders must retain the documentation for a minimum of four (4) years, in case of an audit.

Contact PDA’s government relations team at (800) 223-0016 or, if you have any questions or concerns.