AAO Services Inc, St Louis, a subsidiary of the AAO, has launched the AAO Voluntary Certification ProgramSM (VCP) for orthodontic clinical assistants. Orthodontic assistants who meet requirements of the VCP will be recognized with the credential designation of Specialized Orthodontic AssistantSM (SOA).

Voluntary certification is a process of nongovernmental review of work experience, leadership, professionalism, education, and knowledge within the profession of orthodontic assisting. Individuals who earn the SOA credential confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement. The VCP was created in response to AAO members’ requests for assistance with staff training.

“Well-trained orthodontic team members are critical in the delivery of optimum care to the public we serve. The Voluntary Certification Program has been designed to advance the art and science of orthodontic clinical assisting by recognizing knowledge, skill and professional proficiency, and development among orthodontic assistants,” said AAO President Lee W. Graber, DDS, MS, MS, PhD. “The Specialized Orthodontic Assistant credential will help enhance professionalism within the orthodontic assisting area, increase the value of orthodontic assistants to their employing doctors, and contribute to the best possible orthodontic treatment for patients.”

The AAO has also given its endorsement to the Academy of Orthodontic Assisting/Trapezio and International Training Institute orthodontic staff training programs.

In addition, the AAO has established the AAO Orthodontic Staff Club. Benefits to joining the club include free distance learning as well as a discount on the AAO Annual Session registration fee. Lastly, the association will sponsor a staff competition at each AAO Annual Session. 

For further information about the VCP, including eligibility requirements and access to the AAO Voluntary Certification Program Guidelines handbook, click here.