ABPD Certification Policies and Procedures

Examination Cancellation Policy

Qualifying Examination

2025 Examination Fee Refund Deadline: January 5, 2025

  • Cancellation more than 4 months prior to examination = full refund, less $100 processing fee
  • Cancellation within 4 months of the examination date = forfeiture of the examination fee
  • Failure to appear for the scheduled testing appointment = forfeiture of the examination fee

Oral Clinical Examination

2024 Examination Cancellation Date: March 20, 2024.

  • Cancellation more than 6 months prior to examination = full refund, less $100 processing fee
  • Cancellation within 6 months of the examination = forfeiture of the examination fee
  • Failure to appear for the scheduled testing appointment = forfeiture of the examination fee

If an applicant or candidate cannot appear for the examination due to extenuating circumstances and would like an exception to the examination cancellation fee policy, he/she must notify ABPD prior to the time of examination by completing an Examination Cancellation Form accompanied by supporting documentation.  Extenuating circumstances include the following:

  • Complicated pregnancy, temporary physical disability or sudden onset of a serious medical condition or physical disability of the applicant or candidate that prevents travel.
  • Serious medical condition of an immediate family member* within four weeks of the examination date.
  • Death of an immediate family member* within four weeks of the examination date.
  • Funeral of an immediate family member* that conflicts with examination date.
  • Military deployment or military obligations.
  • Natural disaster that prevents travel.

When cancelling due to extenuating circumstances, the following documentation is required with the completed Examination Cancellation Form:

  • A signed letter by the treating physician on professional letterhead documenting the medical condition/disability of the applicant, candidate, or immediate family member*.  Documentation must explain the reason travel is prohibited for the applicant or candidate.
  • Death certificate of immediate family member*
  • Documentation of funeral service date of immediate family member.
  • Military deployment form or letter of military duty obligation
  • Documentation of natural disaster

*Immediate family member: Spouse/partner, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, sibling, parent-in-law and grandparent.

All cancellations must be submitted by completing the Examination Cancellation Form. Please email info@abpd.org for the Examination Cancellation Form. Examination fees cannot be transferred to a different exam year.

QE Test Center Policies

Click the link below for information regarding check-in process and requirements, personnel, security, test material and equipment and exam administration.

These Terms apply to all of your access to and use of this Site.  By accessing, browsing and/or otherwise using the Site, you, your agents and authorized representatives are indicating that you have read and agree to follow and be bound by these Terms. Please read these Terms. If you do not agree to these Terms, do not access or use the Site.

Although ABPD may attempt to notify you when some changes are made to these Terms, we may modify these Terms at any time and from time to time in our sole discretion without notice to you. You should periodically review these Terms carefully in order to make sure that you are aware of the most current terms and conditions for the use of the Site because any use or viewing of the Site by you after any change to these Terms, whether or not you have reviewed the amended Terms, constitutes your acceptance of these Terms as changed. These Terms as amended from time to time shall remain in full force and effect anytime you use or access the ABPD Site.

Click the link below to read the full policy.

Privacy Policy

You have arrived at a web site that is provided by American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and/or its affiliated and subsidiary companies (collectively "ABPD" or “we” or “our” or “us” or “our”).  Please read this Privacy Policy carefully so that you understand our policies and practices regarding your information and how we will treat it.

If you do not agree with our policies and practices, including our use and disclosure of your Personal Information, please do not use our Site and do not provide us with any of your information. 

By accessing or using the Site, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy and consent to our privacy practices described in this Privacy Policy, including our use and disclosure of your Personal Information as described in this Privacy Policy.  

This Privacy Policy may change from time to time. Your continued use of the Site after we make changes is deemed and treated as your acceptance of those changes, so please check the Privacy Policy periodically for updates.

 Click the link below to read the full policy.

Code of Professional Conduct and Discrimination and Harrassment Policy

The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (“ABPD”) is dedicated to providing a safe and productive experience for all participants and attendees at all official ABPD events regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, perceived disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

ABPD does not tolerate discrimination or any form of prohibited harassment and is committed to enforcing this Code of Professional Conduct (the “Code”) at its examinations, meetings or at any other ABPD event.  The ABPD is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific and educational ideas.  Furthermore, ABPD upholds the philosophy of equal opportunity for and treatment of all event participants and staff in any venue. Click the link below to read the full policy.

Re-Examination Policy

An applicant or registrant who fails the QE or OCE may retake the examination annually during their eligibility period.  All examination scores will be forfeited if board certification is not achieved during the eligibility period.  

Examination Accommodation Policy

The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act for individuals with documented disabilities or qualifying medical conditions who demonstrate a need for accommodation and complete an application to request an accommodation.  

Accommodations are provided on an individual basis and depend on the nature of the disability or medical condition, the documentation provided, and the requirements of the examination.  ABPD will make reasonable efforts to provide the requested services to examinees who have documented disabilities or qualifying medical conditions, as long as the accommodations do not fundamentally alter the format of the examination and the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test and are not an undue burden to the organization.

Individuals must request testing accommodations with each application, by the date listed, and may be required to submit additional documentation for the same disability/condition with subsequent applications. 

Requesting Accommodations and Appropriate Documentation

ABPD requires a completed Examination Accommodation application along with supporting documentation.  Access to the application is through the online portal.

Completed applications must include:

  • Personal statement
  • Documentation of  previous accommodations, if any, provided by educational institutions or other testing agencies 
  • Professional Certification Form
    • Must include professional recommendation for the examination accommodation (extra time needed, etc.)   
    • Must be certified, signed and dated by the current medical provider who is treating the condition for which the accommodation is requested
  • Current Assessment/Evaluation Report
    • Must be performed within 5 years of application date

For the diagnosis of learning disabilities, examples of qualified evaluators include licensed school, education and clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, learning disability specialists, or medical professionals experienced within the field of learning disabilities.  For the diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) or other mental disorders that require accommodation, examples of qualified evaluators include licensed school, education and clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, learning disability specialists, or medical professionals experienced and trainied in psychological/psychiatric evaluation.


    • Must include list of tests performed, with dates, and results of tests with interpretation for diagnosis of condition
      • Tests must include appropriately named measures of intellectual ability and/or information processing such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence scale, Third Ability, or the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability, and appropriately normed measures of academic ability such as Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Education Battery-Revised test of Academic Achievement. Screening tests such as the Wide Range Achievement test are inappropriate as the sole measure of a person’s academic skill development.
      • Date of tests performed may be prior to 5 years of application date if professional assessment states that condition has not changed since the time the tests were performed.

This documentation will assist ABPD in determining whether the individual qualifies for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Process and Deadlines for Submission

The Examination Accommodation Request Form is located on the ABPD portal. All required documentation must be received by ABPD on or before the following deadlines, if a candidate is requesting an accommodation for pregancy and lactation, please refer to section below for separate deadline. 

  • Qualifying Examination:  within 2 weeks of the closing of the application period
  • Oral Clinical Examination:  within 2 weeks of the closing of the application period

ABPD personnel will acknowledge receipt of each request and notify applicants when their submissions are complete. Those submissions deemed incomplete as of the required deadline will be excluded from consideration.

Pregnancy And Lactation Accommodations

Nursing mothers who request accommodation will be given:

  • 30 minute break at the scheduled break time.
  • A private space with an electrical outlet, that is not a restroom, for lactating purposes.

Candidates are allowed to bring their own breast pump with them to the testing center.  Children are not permitted at the testing center. Please email info@abpd.org to discuss options if you are exclusively breastfeeding.

Please note: In order to maximize the potential that a nursing mother will have access to private space to express breast milk during an ABPD examination, ABPD must receive a request for such space at least 90 days prior to the scheduled examination date. Candidates requesting accommodations for pregnancy and/or lactation will be required to complete an application and provide supporting documentation.

Additionally, ABPD will work with pregnant women on an individual basis to determine the best timing or comfort accommodation. We understand that your needs may vary based on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Decision Outcome

Completed applications will be reviewed and a decision on accommodation request will be made in writing within 30 days after the deadline.   If an applicant/candidate is dissatisfied with ABPD’s decision concerning a request for accommodation, reconsideration may be requested in writing to ABPD.  The letter must state in specific detail why the initial decision was incorrect and must provide any additional documentation the applicant/candidate wishes ABPD to consider.  A request for reconsideration must be received no later than 30 days from the date of ABPD’s written decision concerning the request for accommodation.  ABPD may grant or deny the request or seek additional information.

Only those accommodations approved in advance by ABPD will be honored at the examination site. No accommodation requests will be considered or approved at the examination site.  No extensions to an application or refunds will be granted due to failure of an applicant/candidate/diplomate to request accommodation or if requested, if the accommodation was denied.



Examination Appeal

Upon completion of the examination, the candidate must contact ABPD if the candidate believes one of the following conditions existed:

Conditions for an Examination Appeal

  • Procedural error or difficulties in administration of an examination
  • Equipment or facility failure

The appeal form must be completed through the ABPD online portal within five business days after the examination.

  • A candidate in their last year of eligibility may file an appeal, however, the board candidacy period will not be extended.
  • A candidate cannot appeal in two consecutive years.
  •  ABPD will not consider appeals based on examination results, examination content, examination scoring, or psychometric validation.

All appeals will be reviewed and decided by the Appeals Committee. During the appeal review, examination results will not be disclosed to the candidate. 

The appeal and documentation will be sent to the Appeals Committee. If a conflict of interest is reported by a committee member, the president will appoint another committee member. 

All appeal materials will be sent to the committee within 14 days upon receipt. The chair shall poll the committee as to the outcome.

If a disagreement exists between committee members, the president shall cast the deciding vote.
The chair of the committee shall provide a written report within 30 days to the executive director who will notify the complainant in writing and enter the report in the complainant’s file.

If the appeal request is approved: 

  • The result of the appealed examinations, regardless of whether pass or fail, will be discarded, and never disclosed. 
  • The candidate will be given an opportunity to retake the examination in the next examination period. The examination fee will be waived.  
  •  Candidate must resubmit all required application materials. 

If the appeal request is denied:

  • The original results will be released to the candidate.
  • The original score is final.

The decision of the ABPD Appeals Committee will be considered final.

Request for Extension of Candidacy

At the sole discretion of ABPD, a candidate may be granted a one-time extension of the candidacy if the candidate is unable to complete the Oral Clinical Examination (OCE) in the last year of candidacy due the following circumstances:

  • Birth or adoption of a child within eight weeks before or four weeks after the OCE date
  • Pregnancy with due date within eight weeks before or four weeks after the OCE date
  • Complicated pregnancy, temporary physical disability or sudden onset of physical disability
  • Serious medical condition of the candidate or member of the immediate* family within four weeks of the OCE date
  • Death of an immediate* family member within four weeks of the OCE date
  • Military deployment

*Immediate family member: spouse/partner, child, step-child, parent, stepparent, sibling or parent-in-law , grandparent

A candidate who wishes to extend their candidacy term must submit the appeal in writing 30 days prior to their candidacy expiration.

The following documentation is required in the petition:

A completed Request for Extension of Candidacy to include appropriate documentation of the circumstance that prevents the candidate from appearing at the OCE, and a signed letter by the treating physician documenting the medical condition, medical emergency, qualifying pregnancy or birth of a child.

The candidate must confirm receipt of the documentation by the ABPD Staff.

The decision whether the event qualifies for an extension of the candidacy is at the sole discretion of ABPD. All ABPD annual requirements will remain in effect during the period of candidacy extension.  If the candidate is unable to complete the certification process for whatever reason the following year, including failing the OCE, ABPD will not consider a second appeal. The candidate will need to re-initiate the certification process by retaking the Qualifying Examination.

All ABPD annual requirements will remain in effect during the period of candidacy extension.  There will be no grace year allowed.  Any candidate who wishes to extend candidacy for reasons not included in this policy may request an extension through the appeals process.

Assessment Score Verification Policy

ABPD offers score verification service to candidates that wish to have the accuracy of their reported scores verified. Verification of a candidate's QE score is limited to verifying that the responses recorded were correctly scored as correct or incorrect and their total score was correctly transformed into a scaled score. Verification of a candidate's OCE score, will verify that the examiners’ ratings for the candidate were accurately recorded, recalculate the scaled score and verify that the scaled score and pass/fail decision were accurately reported to the candidate. Examiners will not reevaluate the examinee performance.

The score verification service is not a review of the content, a review of the correct answers, the acceptability of testing site conditions or examiner style, or a reconsideration of the passing standard. Candidates that wish to request the exam score verification service should contact ABPD staff. The fee for the score verification serivce is $250. We will communicate the exam score verification outcome within six weeks of receiving the request.

Policy on Fairness

The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) is committed to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly, regardless of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, linguistic background, or other personal characteristics. 

Click below to read the full policy.

ABPD Policy on Fairness

Procedures for the Enforcement of the Ethical Obligations of Diplomates and Candidates

These "Procedures" are designed to assist in promoting the highest level of professional conduct by diplomates and candidates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (the "ABPD") and resolving credentialing and ethical disputes and allegations of misconduct regarding diplomates and candidates of the ABPD. They are intended to resolve disputes and allegations in an expeditious manner while at the same time afford the diplomate or candidate a fair opportunity to rebut them. Click the link below to read the full policy.

Applicant Examination Agreement

ABPD examinations are copyrighted and confidential. All examination participants are required to agree to the following terms prior to the examination.  The conditions of the terms outlined in this agreement are in effect before, during, and after the examination.  

1.    I will not discuss or in any (written, oral or electronic) way disclose or disseminate information regarding the content of this examination.

2.    Should ABPD obtain information that I had prior access to or was involved in discussing, copying, disclosing, or disseminating ABPD examination content (e.g., questions and vignettes), I may be prohibited from ever taking or retaking any ABPD certification examination. 

3.    I understand that obtaining prior knowledge of or disseminating information on the content of any ABPD examination would be a breach of my responsibility and a violation of the ABPD Candidate Agreement, Ethical Obligations of Diplomates and Candidates.  

4.    I understand that any violation of the above terms will mandate an investigation that may subject me to disciplinary actions by ABPD. The ABPD may, at its discretion, refuse to examine me or having examined me, may refuse a certificate based upon its above-described investigation. Should I become a diplomate of ABPD, such violation may result in revocation of my certificate.

5.   In the event ABPD refuses to issue a certificate on the basis set forth in this agreement, I hereby waive any right I may have to question said refusal in any court of law or equity or other tribunal and further waive any right to a return of any fees.

6.    I understand and agree to ABPD Withholding and Cancellation of Scores Policy.

7.    I understand I must comply with the ABPD Recording Device and Personal Items Policy.

8.    I understand I must comply with the ABPD Code of Professional Conduct and Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

­9.    I understand the examinations may be monitored for internal purposes and will not be available for score verifications or appeals.

10.  I understand ABPD will only share my information with the College of Diplomates of ABPD and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, otherwise the information will not be released to outside entities without my permission.

11. I agree and understand ABPD will be releasing unidentifiable examination outcomes to my residency program. 

12. I understand and agree to the ABPD Privacy Policy.

13. I understand and agree to the ABPD Terms of Use Policy.

14. I understand that is my responsibility to review the ABPD website for all updated policies related to the certification process.


Withholding/Cancellation of Scores Policy

Testing is conducted in accordance with the Procedures for the Enforcement of the Ethical Obligations of Diplomates and Candidates.  In accordance with the Procedures, the ABPD reserves the right to take appropriate actions in the event of allegations of identification discrepancies (e.g., situations where the test taker’s identification documents cannot be verified or where ABPD has evidence that the candidate registered for the test had someone else take or attempt to take the test) or other misconduct (to include but not limited to having someone other than the registered test taker take the test; obtaining test questions or answers before or during the test; or disclosing any test question or answer before, during, or after the test).  As set forth in the Procedures, the Ethics Committee of the ABPD may impose a variety of sanctions for misconduct or identification discrepancies by a test taker, including excluding the candidate from further participation in the exam process, imposing conditions on the candidate’s examination process, precluding the candidate from reapplying for the examination process or imposing conditions on the candidate’s right to reapply, issuing a letter of warning, reprimand, suspension, and revocation.  

A candidate’s scores may be withheld pending disposition of an allegation of ethical violation or other misconduct.  
When, for any of the above reasons, ABPD cancels a test score that has already been reported, ABPD will notify the score recipient(s) that the score has been canceled. Further action may be taken, including denying, revoking and/or suspending ABPD certification.

Testing Irregularities
"Testing irregularities" refers to problems with the administration of a test. Testing irregularities may result from actions of test takers, test center administrators, ABPD or natural or man-made causes. When testing irregularities occur, they may affect an individual or groups of test takers. Such problems include, without limitation, administrative errors (such as improper timing, improper seating, improper test forms, and defective equipment); improper access to test content; and other disruptions of test administrations (such as natural disasters or other emergencies). When testing irregularities occur, ABPD may decline to score the test or cancel the test score. If misconduct against a candidate is alleged, the candidate will be referred to the Ethics Committee as set forth above.  When, in ABPD's sole judgment, it is appropriate to do so, test takers will be given the opportunity to take the test again as soon as possible without charge.
Invalid Scores
ABPD may also cancel scores if, in its judgment, there is substantial evidence that they are invalid for any other reason. Substantial evidence means evidence that is sufficient to persuade a reasonable person. The substantial evidence standard is lower (i.e., requires less proof) than beyond a reasonable doubt and clear and convincing and preponderance of the evidence standards. Evidence of invalid scores may include, without limitation, unusual answers, and inconsistent performance on the test. If misconduct against a candidate is alleged, the candidate will be referred to the Ethics Committee as set forth above.  If no misconduct is alleged or if the findings of the Ethics Committee do not substantiate any claim of misconduct, the test taker will be given the opportunity to take the test again as soon as possible without charge.


Recording Device and Personal Items Policy

Recording Devices:The use of tape recorders, digital voice recorders, mobile phones, smartwatches, video recorders, cameras, and other recording devices (“Recording Devices”) is prohibited during the Qualifying Examination and the Oral Clinical Examination. Any use of Recording Devices from the time of check-in at the testing center until departure from it at the conclusion of the examination may result in a candidate’s examination being invalidated and consequently, loss of the registration fee. Furthermore, if a candidate photographs, records, transmits or otherwise discloses any portion of the examination, the candidate will be dismissed from the testing facility.  The allegation of misconduct will be referred to the ABPD Ethics Committee for appropriate action in accordance with the ABPD Procedures for the Enforcement of the Ethical Obligations of Diplomates and Candidates.

Personal Items: All personal items including but not limited to Recording Devices, mobile phones, bags, purses, briefcases, watches, keys, study materials and personal notes are prohibited at the testing center, unless previously authorized in writing by ABPD.  The presence of any unauthorized personal item at the testing center will be cause for immediate dismissal from the examination and referral to the ABPD Ethics Committee.

Candidates for examination who need to have a personal item at the testing center because of a medical condition (e.g., Epi-Pen, blood sugar monitor, hearing aids, etc.) must notify the ABPD at least 90 days in advance of the test and secure written approval to bring the item into the testing center.  The candidate may be required to furnish proof of medical necessity to the satisfaction of the ABPD before a personal item exception is granted.