College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario regulates the practice of dental hygiene in the interest of the overall health and safety of the public of Ontario.

Self-Service-E  FAQ-E

Clinical Competency Exam

The clinical competency exam is a practical examination that assesses an applicant’s clinical skills. The exam candidate will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in the dental hygiene process of care on an adult client, 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
Unlike the written examination, the clinical exam is a provincial examination. It is offered once a year in Ontario, however, there is an agreement between the provinces to accept the results of examinations taken in other provinces. Alberta and British Columbia offer a clinical exam at a different time of year than Ontario. Please note: applicants who graduate from a Canadian or American accredited program are exempted from sitting the clinical competency exam.  More about the CDHO clinical competency exam can be found in the Clinical Competency Evaluation Guide.