Category 1 and 2 CME

Here we explain the various types of Category 1 CME and Category 2 CME.

Category 1 CME: Regular

Category 1 CME has been designated as such by one of the following sponsors: AAPA, AMA (providers accredited by ACCME), AOA, AAFP, European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), or the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC). Some ways Category 1 CME credits can be earned include seminars, conferences and online. The CME program provider will issue you a certificate or letter of completion, indicating the number of CME credits you've earned during each program. All PAs are required to log at least 50 credits of Category 1 CME during each two-year logging cycle.

Category 1 CME should be logged as Category 1 (Regular) CME if it does not otherwise fall into one of the following Category 1 sub-types.

Category 1 CME: Certification Programs

Certification Programs: These activities include certification and recertification programs that are preapproved (sponsored) by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) for a maximum number of Category 1 credits regardless of who presents the programs or where they are presented. Completion of any program is necessary to log the credits toward the CME requirement. You may earn and apply CME credits for the same certification program once in a calendar year and no more than twice per logging cycle.

NCCPA does not require these certification programs.

Click here for a list: Preapproved Certification Programs - Category 1 CME credits

Category 1 CME: Performance Improvement (PI-CME)PI-CME

PI-CME is active learning and the application of learning to improve your practice. This can be done in  partnership with physicians, PAs and others in your practice; everyone can work on and get credit for PI-CME together. PI-CME involves a three-step process:

  • Compare some aspect of practice to national benchmarks, performance guidelines or other established evidence-based metric or standard.

  • Based on the comparison, develop and implement a plan for improvement in that area.

  • Evaluate the impact of the improvement effort by comparing the results of the original comparison with the new results or outcomes.

SA CME Category 1 CME: Self-Assessment

Unlike traditional lecture-learner CME sessions in which the PA is a passive participant, self-assessment CME activities involve a more active process of conducting a systematic review of one's performance, knowledge base or skill set. Most board-certified physicians are now completing this type of activity as part of their own maintenance of certification process, and many of the self-assessment programs offered by their certification boards are also available to PAs.

Click here for a list: PI and Self-Assessment - Category 1 CME credits

Category 2 CME

Category 2 CME is any medically related activity that enhances the role of a PA (including journal reading). Category 2 credits are earned on an hour-by-hour basis. There is no minimum requirement for Category 2 activities.

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