©2020 NDHCB

Exam Security Policy and Procedures

The NDHCE is a strictly confidential examination program that provides a common evaluation system for entry-to-practice dental hygienists in Canada. The examination questions are the property of the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board. Unauthorized disclosure of the examination questions is prohibited under copyright laws. The following policies and procedures regarding irregular behaviour are intended to assure the integrity of the examination system.  Specific policies and procedures for scores deemed to be “under review” are described in Annex A (see "Quick Links").


Irregular behaviour includes all actions or attempted actions on the part of applicants, candidates, potential applicants, or others when solicited by an applicant and/or candidate that would or could subvert the examination process. The “Statement of Understanding” that each candidate must sign before the start of every exam (see "Quick Links") is in place to make sure every candidate understands security implications surrounding the NDHCE.

Examples of irregular behaviour include, but are not limited to: 

  • failing to comply with any NDHCE policy, procedure, and/or rule (see "Quick Links");

  • seeking and/or obtaining unauthorized access to examination materials;

  • providing false information; impersonating a candidate or engaging a proxy to take the examination;

  • giving assistance to or receiving or obtaining assistance from another individual in answering examination items;

  • possessing unauthorized or illegally obtained items, equipment or materials during an examination; altering or misrepresenting examination scores;

  • engaging in disruptive or unprofessional behaviour at a writing centre;

  • theft of examination materials;

  • unauthorized reproduction by any means and/or dissemination of copyrighted materials;

  • recording or disclosing any information, including that related to examination content.

If the NDHCB determines that irregular behaviour related to an examination administration has occurred, an “under review” annotation will appear on applicable score reports and the candidate will be notified that their scores are being withheld impending an investigation of irregular testing results. Following the investigation, information regarding the decision of the NDHCB and the basis for such decision will be provided to the candidate with the NDHCE score report and may also be provided to legitimately interested entities (see Annex A in "Quick Links").

After receipt of a report or other information suggesting irregular behaviour on the part of an individual, or after acquiring information to that effect from data forensic analysis, fact investigation, or otherwise, the NDHCB will evaluate the information and will assess whether there is sufficient evidence of irregular behaviour. When indicated and feasible, the NDHCB will conduct a follow up investigation to gather additional information, including the conduct of additional statistical analysis that are appropriate. If the individual is a candidate, the NDHCB will also assess whether the suggested irregular behaviour would affect the validity of scores. The individual will be given an opportunity to provide an explanation for the findings that have been obtained and/or to present other relevant information.


If the follow up analysis and/or follow up investigation referenced above will not be concluded until after the typical period for the reporting of scores, the candidate will be notified that the reporting of the scores in question is being delayed pending further review and/or analysis.

If, at the conclusion of such investigation and analysis of available information, the NDHCB finds that suggested irregular behaviour raises concerns about the validity of scores or that a clearly reasonable and satisfactory explanation for the aberrancies in performance has not been disclosed, appropriate measures will also be taken in accordance with Annex A.


  • NDHCB may, with or without names or other identifying information, publish accounts of actions taken in confirmed cases of misconduct or irregular behaviour.

  • NDHCB may communicate this information in a section of the NDHCB’s website dedicated to exam security issues, in letters to interested third parties, or any other publication that will communicate the NDHCB’s commitment to exam security.


A decision regarding examination irregularities may be appealed in writing as a request for formal review addressed to the CEO within 45 days of the candidate's receipt of the official examination result. Then, following receipt of the CEO’s decision, if the candidate still feels that his/her request was not accorded due consideration, the candidate can choose to submit an appeal to the NDHCB Board of Governors if the individual involved has a reasonable basis to believe the NDHCB did not act in compliance with its own applicable policies and/or procedures or that its decision was clearly contrary to the weight of the evidence before it. The request for such an appeal must be filed by registered mail within 45 days of the reception by the candidate of the CEO’s decision. The appeal must also follow the NDHCB Rescoring and Appeal Procedures (see "Quick Links").

The NDHCB strives to report results that accurately reflect the skill and performance of each candidate and represent a valid measure of their knowledge or competence as sampled by the examination. Accordingly, our standards and procedures for administering examinations have two related goals: giving candidates comparable opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, and preventing any of them from gaining an unfair advantage over others.


To promote these objectives, the NDHCB reserves the right to cancel or withhold any examination results when, in the sole opinion of the NDHCB, a testing irregularity occurred; cheating has occurred; there is an apparent discrepancy in, or falsification of, a candidate’s identification; a candidate engaged in misconduct or plagiarism; when aberrancies in performance are detected for which there is no reasonable and satisfactory explanation; or the results are believed to be invalid for any other reason.