Continuing Education

Washington State dental hygienists are required to complete 15 clock hours of continuing education (CE) annually. WAC 246-815-140


Continuing education is defined as any of the following activities:


(a) Continuing education courses offered or authorized by industry recognized local, state, private, national and international organizations, agencies or institutions of higher learning. Examples of sponsors or types of continuing education courses may include, but are not limited to:


(b)     (i) The Washington State Dental Association, American Dental Association, National Dental Association, Washington Dental Hygienists' Association, American Dental Hygienists' Association, National Dental Hygienists' Association, including the constituent and component/branch societies;

(ii) BLS for health care providers, advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)/Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), or emergency related training such as courses offered or authorized by the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society, or any other organizations or agencies;
(iii) Self-study through study clubs, books, research materials, or other publications. The required documentation for this activity is a summary of what was learned, not to exceed five hours per year;
(iv) Distance learning. Distance learning includes, but is not limited to: Correspondence course, webinar, audio/video broadcasting, audio/video teleconferencing, computer aided instruction, e-learning/online-learning, or computer broadcasting/webcasting that includes an assessment tool upon completion;
(v) A licensee who serves as an educator or who lectures in continuing education programs or courses, that contribute to the professional knowledge of a licensed dental hygienist may accumulate hours for the content preparation of the program or course, not to exceed ten hours per year;
(vi) Attendance at a continuing education program with a featured speaker(s);
(vii) Courses relating to practice organization and management, medical/dental insurance courses, or retirement, not to exceed five hours per year;
(viii) Dental hygiene examination standardization/calibration workshops and dental hygiene examination item writer workshops, not to exceed ten hours per year;
(ix) Provision of clinical dental hygiene services in a documented volunteer capacity when preceded by educational/instructional training prior to provision of services, not to exceed five hours per year. Volunteering must be without compensation and under appropriate supervision;
(x) A licensee who serves as a public health official or employee, contractor for a state or local health agency, community prevention education expert, or works in a field that relates to prevention activities in public health dentistry, may accumulate hours for the content preparation of providing services, education, or training to the underserved, rural, and at risk populations, not to exceed five hours per year; and
(xi) College courses.

The Department of Health may randomly audit up to twenty-five percent of practitioners for compliance with the continuing education requirements after the credential is renewed as allowed by chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 7.


For more information, visit the Washington State Department of Health's dental hygienist continuing education web page