NCCPA Certification Maintenance: Requirements

In 2014, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) introduced a new certification maintenance process for PA certification. Those who took the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) prior to 2014 will continue with the current requirements and will then transition to the new certification maintenance process after their first Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE).

The table below outlines the changes in certification maintenance requirements:

Requirements for PAs who passed PANCE or ended their 6-year certification maintenance cycle on or before December 31, 2013:Requirements for PAs who pass PANCE, regain certification, or wrap up a 6-year certification maintenance cycle in 2014 and after:*
Pass PANCE, and then enter a 6-year cycle, which is divided into three 2-year periodsPass PANCE, and then enter a 10-year cycle, which is divided into five 2-year periods
Earn and log a minimum of 100 CME credits during every 2-year periodEarn and log a minimum of 100 CME credits during every 2-year period, and submit certification maintenance fee every 2 years (see below for credit requirements)
Submit a certification maintenance fee to NCCPA by December 31 of the 6th yearSubmit a certification maintenance fee to NCCPA by December 31 of the 10th year
During the 5th period of the certification cycle (years 9 and 10) earn 100 CME credits, with at least 50 in Category 1**
Pass PANRE before the end of the 6th yearPass PANRE before the end of the 10th year
Enter 10-year recertification cycleRe-enter 10-year recertification cycle

 

*PAs who pass PANRE a year early in 2013 (year 5) but whose 6th year is 2014 will transition to the 10-year cycle once their certification is updated in 2014 and would be due to pass PANRE again in 2024.
**There are no self-assessment (SA) or performance improvement (PI) CME requirements in the final 2 years of the certification cycle. During this period, PAs need to earn 100 CME credits, with at least 50 in Category 1. PAs should choose the type of CME that will best prepare them for their upcoming recertification exam.

PA Certification Maintenance CME requirements

CME consists of educational activities that enable PAs to further develop their knowledge and skills. Here are a few things to note about the new CME requirements for PA certification maintenance:

  • At least 50 of the 100 biannual CME credits required must be Category 1. The other 50 credits can be Category 1, Category 2, or a combination of both.
  • NCCPA has introduced 2 new categories of CME that will be required for PAs: self-assessment (SA) and performance improvement (PI).
    • At the end of eight years (four 2-year periods in the 10-year cycle), PAs must have earned at least 40 Category 1 SA CME credits and at least 40 Category 1 PI CME credits.
  • In the fifth CME cycle, there are no SA or PI CME requirements. During this cycle, PAs need to earn 100 CME credits, with at least 50 in Category 1. PAs should choose the type of CME that will best prepare them for their upcoming recertification exam.

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