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Exam Day


Candidates are responsible for being present during their scheduled examination day/time. Candidates who report late may not be allowed to participate. The proctor and/or the FDHRC™ will determine if there is sufficient time left to complete the exam. All candidates (except those who have approved exam accommodations) are expected to complete the NDHCE™ by the expiration time of the regular time period.

In the case of inclement weather, natural disaster, or other conditions that may cause unavoidable interruptions to examinations, the FDHRC™ will make reasonable efforts to notify candidates and determine the best course of action.

If, before the start of the examination, a candidate feels too ill to start the examination, they must contact the FDHRC™ immediately to determine the next course of action.


Examination Schedule

The exam is divided into two separate two-hour sessions with a compulsory 15-minute break at writing centres OR a 15-minute break (including re-login time) for virtual proctoring in between both sessions.

All candidates are required to attend both consecutive sessions – partial credit is not given.


Examination Security

The NDHCE™ is highly confidential. The examination questions are the property of the FDHRC™. Unauthorized disclosure of the examination questions is strictly prohibited under copyright laws. By submitting an application form and signing the Statement of Understanding, candidates agree to maintain the confidentiality of the NDHCE™ questions/items. Candidates must therefore refrain from any cheating or attempts to subvert the test or steal content. The exam content must be kept confidential, even during the examination break and after the exam (including from teachers or classmates who wrote the exam before you, with you, or who have not written the examination yet). Any recording or memorization of questions/items is strictly forbidden, regardless of intended use. Participation in the electronic posting or online discussion of information regarding test content or answers is strictly prohibited.

In applying for and writing the NDHCE™, a candidate agrees to abide by all NDHCE™ policies and procedures, as well as any oral or written instructions given by the proctor. These policies are intended to preserve the integrity of the test process by providing standardized test administration conditions that yield valid and reliable results.

The candidate may be observed/recorded at all times while writing the NDHCE™, including direct or indirect observation by proctors. The proctor may not necessarily inform candidates of their observations, but proctors are required to report behaviour that violates FDHRC™ policies or other forms of irregular behaviour. If a candidate is behaving in a manner that could be interpreted as giving or receiving assistance with the NDHCE™, the proctor may warn them to immediately cease this behaviour and will report it to the FDHRC™. If the situation persists, the proctor may also direct a candidate to stop writing the examination before they have completed it.

Any candidate who witnesses behaviour before, during, or after the examination that violates FDHRC™ policies must report it to the Proctor and/or the FDHRC™ as soon as possible. An anonymous tip line is available to access on the FDHRC™ website.

Candidates are advised to minimize the belongings they bring to their writing space. Only the following items are permitted during the examination:

  • Proof of identification (government-issued picture ID)
  • Transparent water bottle with labels removed (optional)
  • A handheld mirror/reflective device (virtual proctoring only)
  • Earplugs (writing centres only)

The following items are strictly prohibited in the writing space during the examination and cannot be accessed at all, including during the break:

  • Cellular phones, pagers, calculators, computers, tablets, electronic readers, scanners, recording eyeglasses, cameras, smart watches, or any other electronic device
  • Large jewelry
  • Supplies, including erasers, notes, books, pens, pencils and calculators
  • Headphones
  • Earplugs (permitted in writing centres only)

For virtual proctoring, the candidate must meet all system requirements. The examination space must be well-lit.

The candidate must not begin the examination until directed to do so by the proctor.

There is no manual note taking by the candidates during the examination, but candidates will be able to use a notepad function on the computer for rough work.

No unauthorized person may enter the examination space without permission from the Proctor.

Candidates must remain silent during the examination unless they need to speak to get the attention of the Proctor.

A candidate may end the examination before the allotted time is up provided they are finished answering all the questions of each session.


Scoring of the Examination

The NDHCE™ is computer scored by the FDHRC’S contracted testing agency. To confirm that the examination meets or exceeds professional standards, a comprehensive statistical analysis is conducted on the examination. Items that do not meet established criteria are not used in calculating candidates scores.

The score of the NDHCE™ will be reported as Pass or Fail. Specific individual scores will not be reported. Candidates who are under investigation may have scores/results labelled as Under Review until a further investigation determines their reliability or validity – see Examination Incidents.

A list of the results of all candidates by ID number will be posted on the FDHRC’s website as “Unofficial Results” as soon as results are available. The FDHRC™ will not respond to requests from candidates who have forgotten or lost their ID number; they will have to wait until the results are mailed out.

All candidates are warned that they must avoid taking action (e.g. career, move, etc.) before receiving their official results.

Official results will be sent to the candidate within six weeks after the testing date. Candidates who have failed will receive their results and a performance report through email.

A listing of successful candidates, including their National Dental Hygiene Certificate number, will be forwarded to all participating dental hygiene regulatory authorities as the official results are available.

A school specific aggregate school performance report will be sent to dental hygiene program directors unless there are less than five candidates who wrote a specific administration (to preserve anonymity). This report will also indicate the number (but not names) of candidates from that program who failed. A summarized report of aggregate school performances will also be posted on the FDHRC™ website.

Information accumulated by the FDHRC™ through the certification process may be used for statistical purposes and for evaluating the certification program. A report of successful candidates may be published by the FDHRC™, at its sole discretion, in one or more publications throughout Canada. Individual results will not be provided to any other agency or person except for forensic analysis or data administration purposes, without the written consent of the candidate.


Examination Incidents

An examination incident is any issue that compromises the security, validity, and/or reliability of the examination prior to, during, or after an examination administration. The FDHRC™ takes all incidents seriously and will use its discretion to respond appropriately.

The FDHRC™ reserves the right to Withhold or Nullify any examination results when, in the sole opinion of the FDHRC™, a testing irregularity and/or cheating has occurred, there is an apparent discrepancy in or falsification of a candidate’s identification, a candidate violates FDHRC™ policies, when aberrations in performance are detected for which there is no reasonable and satisfactory explanation, and/or the results are believed to be invalid for any other reason.

Conduct occurring before, during, or after testing that violates FDHRC™ policies may result in an invalidation of test results and/or other penalties such as the revocation of the NDHCE™ certificate and may be reported to all Canadian dental hygiene regulatory authorities. Candidates may not be aware that they are under investigation.

The FDHRC™ reserves the right to engage an external and specialized exam security company to identify candidates who have exam results that are unreliable, invalid, or where the candidate has violated FDHRC™ policies.

The FDHRC™ reserves the right to determine whether or not to make a candidate aware that their results are under review and/or request information from the candidate.

Candidates who are under investigation may have to wait longer to receive the results of their examination.



One (1) NDHCE™ certificate will be mailed to all candidates who pass the NDHCE™. Additional copies must be purchased.


Rewrite Attempts

Beginning in 2015, a candidate will be allowed a maximum of three (3) opportunities to write the NDHCE™ although anyone who has transferred or failed at least one attempt prior to 2015 will still get a maximum of four attempts.

A candidate who is applying for their final attempt of the NDHCE™ will be required to sign a statement verifying their understanding that this is their last attempt to pass the NDHCE™.

A candidate who has failed the maximum number of attempts is no longer eligible to write the NDHCE™ unless they successfully complete all of the dental hygiene requirements of a recognized dental hygiene program again, and meet the eligibility criteria in effect at the time of their new application to write the NDHCE™.


Territory Acknowledgement

The FDHRCTM office stands on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. The Algonquin peoples have had a special, reciprocal relationship with this territory since time immemorial, and this relationship continues today. The FDHRCTM recognizes without qualification the inherent lands and territory rights of the Algonquin peoples as articulated in Section 35 of the Constitution Act of Canada 1982, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which is enshrined in various legislation in what is now commonly called Canada.

See the FDHRC’sTM full territory acknowledgement here.