Cynthia Durley receives Institute for Credentialing Excellence’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Cindy Durley

Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and DALE Foundation Executive Director Cynthia C. Durley, M.Ed., MBA, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Institute for Credentialing Excellence’s annual conference, the ICE Exchange, held Nov. 6-9, 2018, in Austin, Texas.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, the Institute’s most prestigious award, is presented in recognition of significant and exceptional contributions to the credentialing industry. Ms. Durley was nominated for this award by Bill West, former Vice President of Professional Business Development for Pearson VUE, and by DANB’s 2017-2018 Board Chair Katharine J. Noble, CDA, CRFDA, SSgt Maine Air National Guard. Ms. Durley also received many letters of support from the credentialing community. Nominators described Ms. Durley as being a dedicated worker, lifelong learner and mentor.

“The ICE Lifetime Achievement Award is not presented annually. This award is only presented to individuals whose vision, efforts, long-standing commitment and extraordinary contributions have advanced the credentialing profession,” explained Johnna Gueorguieva, Ph.D., CAE, DANB’s Chief Credentialing and Research Officer and the 2019 Chair of the Institute’s Board of Directors.

“I’m both so humbled and proud,” Ms. Durley shared. “To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement.”

Ms. Durley joined the Institute for Credentialing Excellence in 1983, when she was the Academy of General Dentistry’s Manager of Exam Development and Services. She has consistently participated in the Institute’s activities since 1986, when she became DANB’s Director of Testing and Measurement — and she rose to many other leadership positions within the Institute since ascending to the role of DANB Executive Director in 1996.

Some highlights of Ms. Durley’s contributions to the credentialing community include her leadership in the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a premier accrediting body for certification programs. She served as an NCCA Commissioner from 1999 to 2004 and as NCCA Co-Chair in 2003 and 2004.

Ms. Durley also was the primary author of the Institute’s seminal document, ICE’s Guide to Understanding Credentialing Concepts, first published in 2005. She also served on the Institute’s Board of Directors from 2003-2007 and was elected as President in 2006.

Additionally, Ms. Durley helped shape the national standards for assessment-based certificate programs when she served as a member of the Institute’s Assessment-Based Certificate Programs Accreditation Standards Task Force from 2007 to 2010 and worked as a co-author on the Defining Features of Quality Certification and Assessment-Based Certificate Programs guide, published in 2010.

Ms. Durley continues to be active in the Institute. Since 2010, she has served in a number of volunteer positions, including on the Institute’s Research and Development Committee, the ICE Digest Editorial Board, and the Leadership Council; co-chaired the Benchmarking Best Practices in Certification Task Force; and is one of the editors of the third edition of the ICE Certification Handbook, which is scheduled to be published later this year.


About DANB

The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is recognized by the American Dental Association as the national certifying board for dental assistants. DANB’s mission is to promote the public good by providing credentialing services to the dental community. To learn more about DANB, visit

About the DALE Foundation

The Dental Auxiliary Learning and Education Foundation (the DALE Foundation), is the official DANB affiliate. The DALE Foundation benefits the public by providing quality continuing education and conducting sound research to promote oral health. To learn more about the DALE Foundation, visit