Royal College of
Dental Surgeons of Ontario
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Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English or French is a requirement for registration. All dentists must have the ability to effectively communicate with patients, other professionals, and with the College.

Language proficiency can be demonstrated through any one of the ways set out below or an applicant may submit other information/documentation to a panel of the Registration Committee in order to satisfy the panel they have the required language skills.        

Applicants from accredited dentistry programs

Graduates from accredited dentistry programs taken in English or French have met the language proficiency requirements. This currently includes dentistry educational programs accredited by:

  • the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC)
  • the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association
  • the Australian Dental Council (after March 31, 2010)
  • the Dental Council – New Zealand (after December 14, 2011), or
  • the Irish Dental Council (after December 5, 2012)

Applicants from dentistry qualifying or degree completion programs

Graduates from accredited two-year qualifying or degree completion programs in dentistry, which is a requirement of the College for registration of some applicants, have met the language proficiency requirements.

Graduates from non-accredited dentistry programs

Graduates from non-accredited dentistry programs must demonstrate English or French language proficiency. They must:

  • successfully complete an English / French Language Proficiency Test recognized by the College within the past two years prior to the receipt of an application for registration by the College, or
  • satisfy the Registrar or Registration Committee by submitting acceptable evidence that demonstrates that the applicant has reasonable proficiency in English or French.

English / French Language Proficiency Tests

Applicants who reach the minimum acceptable score of one of the following English / French language proficiency tests are deemed to have met the College’s language requirement. Scores are only valid for two years from the date of the test.

Original test results or certified true copy of test results from one of the following language proficiency assessments must be submitted to the College:

IELTS Academic Format:

Writing – 7     Speaking – 7     Listening – 7     Reading – 7     Overall Band Score – 7.5

TOEFL iBT:

Writing – 27     Speaking – 23     Listening – 24     Reading – 24     Overall Score – 100

CanTEST (English) or TESTCan (French):

Writing – 4     Speaking - 4.5     Listening – 4     Reading – 4     Overall Band Score – 4.5

TEF:

  • Compréhension écrite (reading) - 233/300 points
  • Compréhension orale (listening) - 280/360 points
  • Expression écrite (writing) - 349/450 points
  • Expression orale (speaking) - 349/450 points

Ordre des Dentistes du Québec

French Language Certificate (as required by ODQ) issued within 2 years of submitting an application for registration.

Alternatives

Applicants may be considered to have met the requirement for language proficiency if they submit evidence that they have:

  • Successfully completed within the past two years prior to submitting the application for registration, a non-accredited dental program taught fully in English or French;
    • a letter from the Dean of the program confirming that the program is taught entirely in English or French
    • a letter from the applicant explaining how they meet the language proficiency requirement

or

  • Successfully completed a health profession training program taught fully in English or French for a minimum duration of two years within the past two years prior to submitting the application for registration;
    • a letter from the Dean or head of the program confirming that the program is taught entirely in English or French
    • official transcripts or completion certificate evidencing the successful completion of the program
    • a letter from the applicant explaining how they meet the language proficiency requirement

or

  • Taught at a College or University on a full-time basis within the past two years prior to submitting the application for registration in which the primary teaching language is English or French.
    • a letter from employer / faculty confirming language of instruction, full-time basis (minimum 25 hours per week) and employment dates
    • evaluation report / reference letter from faculty /employer assessing language performance
    • a letter from the applicant explaining how they meet the language proficiency requirement

or

  • If any of the alternatives listed above were completed more than two years prior to submission of an application for registration, an applicant may submit it, in addition to a written letter and additional evidence of fluency. Examples of what may be considered sufficient could include: 

    • Successful completion of four final years of school in Canada or the United States to become eligible to apply for college and/or university;
      • official transcripts or completion certificate evidencing the successful completion of the program
      • a letter from the applicant explaining how they meet the language proficiency requirement

    • Work employment / patient care as a health care provider in a similar role or scope of practice as application provided fully in English or French
      • a job description or letter outlining the applicant’s primary roles or responsibilities
      • written confirmation from employer confirming dates of employment and total number of hours worked per week
      • written confirmation from employer that English or French was the primary language used with patients
      • a letter of reference from employer that speaks to the applicant’s language proficiency in either English or French
      • a letter from the applicant explaining why they think they meet the language proficiency requirement

Registration Committee

Applicants who do not meet the requirements outlined above and wish other evidence to be considered will be referred to a panel of the Registration Committee. They will be provided with 30 days written notice of the referral.

Applicants will be given the opportunity to submit any other evidence of their English or French language proficiency that they wish to be considered by the panel. Applicants will also be invited to attend before the panel to make an oral presentation and to be available to answer any questions the panel may have in respect of the matter.

Applicants that have their application referred to a panel of the Registration Committee for consideration should expect some delay in the registration process as the Registration Committee typically meets only three to four times per year.

To avoid this delay, the applicant may choose to submit acceptable language proficiency test scores as described above.