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Canadian Performance Examination in Dental Hygiene (CPEDH)

About the CPEDH

Applicants from non-accredited schools who have been granted equivalency and have passed the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination (NDHCE), must also successfully complete the Canadian Performance Examination in Dental Hygiene (CPEDH) before they can register to practice in most provinces. Individuals should check with the Regulator in the province in which they wish to register to confirm their requirements to practice. A full list of Regulators is available here. The CPEDH is delivered annually in a central location and as of 2022, is administered by the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada (FDHRC). The CPEDH was developed through a partnership of the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia, College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta, and the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario. The CPEDH is only available in English.

The CPEDH is a practical examination that assesses an applicant's clinical skills. The purpose of this exam is to ensure that all candidates possess the breadth and depth of clinical skills to safely and effectively enter professional dental hygiene practice in Canada. The CPEDH is a two-part performance-based assessment, which will assess the competency of an entry-to-practice dental hygienist's knowledge and/or skills in both a simulated-based setting and an authentic clinical context delivered over two days.

The examination evaluates a broad range of clinical skills and issues such as a candidate's ability to demonstrate proficiency in the dental hygiene process of care, including:

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Communication skills
  • Collection, documentation, and analysis of data to identify oral health risks and client needs
  • Dental hygiene diagnosis
  • Dental hygiene treatment planning
  • Instrument selection
  • Detection and removal of supra and sub gingival calculus
  • Tissue care
  • Client Management

Apply for the CPEDH

Exam Date: November 4-5, 2023

Location: Scarborough, Ontario

Application Opens: June 27, 2023

Application Deadline: August 31, 2023

Candidates will need the following documentation and/or information to complete their application:

  • Two current, notarized, passport-style photographs.
  • Evidence of Professional Liability Insurance for a minimum amount of $1,000,000.
  • Date of successful completion of the NDHCE and certificate number.
  • Reporting of any active communicable disease/respiratory illness (e.g., TB, HBC). If the applicant has such an illness, it must be reported in writing and the report and any related documentation must be included with the application form. Complete appropriate follow up to determine what, if any, actions are required.
  • Payment of the application fee is required at the time of application.



Candidates who want to apply for exam accommodations for a disability or medical condition should review the CPEDH Test Accommodations Policy and Procedure carefully. 

Candidates must then complete the following forms, as appropriate:

Fully completed Forms A and B, as well as supporting documentation, must be sent to the FDHRC by the exam application deadline. Any incomplete documentation or requests received after the application deadline may result in accommodations that cannot by met due to a lack of time prior to the examination. The candidate is responsible for any costs related to any supporting documentation. A new accommodation request (including Form A and Form B, if required) and appropriate documentation must be made with every examination application. An approved accommodation for a previous exam attempt does not guarantee it will be approved for subsequent attempts.

Administration of the examination under special conditions will not be granted to candidates whose mother tongue is neither English nor French for the sole reason that their native language is one other than English or French.

Exam Preparation Resources

A number of resources to assist CPEDH candidates to prepare for the examination is provided below.