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Professional Advancement Program

What is the Professional Advancement Program?

Dentist members may take advantage of the Professional Advancement Program which promotes lifelong learning and continued educational development. The Professional Advancement Program has four progressive ranks which correspond to membership status: Associate, Active, Fellow, and Diplomate. Certificates of achievement are granted to candidates for each new level. IAO Memberhsip is required to participate in the Professional Advancement Program.

How are Membership Levels determined?

Levels are determined by the number of continuing education hours on record with the Continuing Education Course Recording Program (all levels), successful presentation of completed orthodontic cases (Fellow, Diplomate), and passing the rigorous IBO Diplomate Exam (Diplomate).

What are the specific requirements for each Membership Level?


Associate is the first Membership level of the Professional Advancement Program. All dentist members are Associates when they enter the IAO.


Active is the second Membership level of the Prpfessional Advancement Program.
To apply for Active, members must submit:

  • Active Level Advancement Application

  • Application fee of US$30.00.

  • A minimum of 150 hours of orthodontic or related education


Fellow is the third Membership level of the Professional Advancement Program. Clinical case presentations are required for this Level.
To apply for Fellow, applicants must submit:

  • Fellow Level Advancement Application

  • Application fee of US $45.00

  • A minimum of 300 hours of orthodontic or related education

  • Applicants are also required to present five (5) successful completed orthodontic cases to IAO Education Committee Examiners.

It is highly recommended that at least one (1) case be presented for examination to an IAO Education Committee Examiner for review and guidance, prior to completing the remaining four (4) cases for Fellow status. Contact IAO Headquarters for further information or go to the IBO Dipomate page for case structure and requirements.


This board recognized status is given to the IAO Member who has completed 500 hours of orthodontic continuing education, has met the requirements for all prior categories of membership, has passed the written examination for Diplomate Status, and has successfully presented 10 completed cases (5 of which must be two years post active treatment). More information regarding the requirements for the Diplomate Examination and case structure can be found on the IBO Diplomate page.

Caseworx Case Submission Software

It is now possible for Fellow and Diplomate Candidates to submit their cases for review online using Caseworx case submisison software. This software is available for free download to IAO Members

Learn more about Caseworx

Continuing Education Credits & Course Recording Program

To assist members in keeping track of orthodontic continuing education (CE) credits received, the IAO has developed the Continuing Education (CE) Course Recording Form. Submission forms are supplied by Headquarters on request and credits may also be submitted online. It is the responsibility of each member to keep his or her CE record current.

Members may also request a transcript of their CE record from IAO Headquarters at any time. A summary of Member CE records for the last ten years is sent annually to IAO Membership. Digital CE records are maintained by Headquarters indefinitely.

Upcoming Continuing Education Opportunities

For a list of upcoming CE opportunities that may be used for Professional Advancement please visit IAO Continuing Education Listing.

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