The six-year certification maintenance cycle (PAs began transitioning to a new ten-year certification maintenance cycle in 2014) is divided into three two-year periods (five two-year periods for those now on the ten-year cycle). During every two-year period, PA-C designees must earn and log a minimum of 100 credits of CME and submit a certification maintenance fee to NCCPA by 11:59 p.m. PT, December 31 of their certification expiration year.
You can begin earning and logging CME credits on May 1 of your certification cycle year and must finish earning and logging them by 11:59 p.m. PT, December 31 of the year your certification expires. The only exception to this policy is for first-time loggers.
By the end of the sixth year (or tenth year) of the certification maintenance cycle, PA-C designees must have also passed a recertification exam. Offered at testing centers throughout the U.S., the multiple choice Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) is designed to assess general medical and surgical knowledge.
PAs who fail to maintain their certification must take and pass PANCE or PANRE to regain it. (Other eligibility requirements will apply.)
Following the completion of the six year (ten year) requirements, the certification maintenance process begins again.
10-year Certification Maintenance Process that Began in 2014
2014 marked the beginning of the PA profession's transition to a 10-year certification maintenance process. PAs who passed PANCE, regained certification, or wrapped up a six-year certification maintenance cycle in 2014 began the new 10-year process. To see when you move to the 10-year cycle, sign in to your record to review your dashboard.
Click here to view some of the key changes to your online personal certification record before you sign in!
The new process requires new types of CME activities, described below and also explained in this video and in our certification maintenance flyer.
(Note: The cost for the METRIC PI-CME activity from AAFP is $125.)
By the end of the sixth year (or tenth year) of the certification maintenance cycle, PA-C designees must have passed a recertification exam. Offered at testing centers throughout the U.S., the multiple choice Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) is designed to assess general medical and surgical knowledge.
You are eligible to take the PANRE for recertification if you:
- are in the fifth or sixth year of the PA-C certification maintenance cycle, or
- are in the ninth or tenth year of the PA-C certification maintenance cycle, depending on your recertification cycle.
**If you are in your sixth or tenth year, don't forget that you have two attempts to pass the recertification exam and you must wait 90 days between exam dates - so don't wait until the last minute to take PANRE!
The following video has a wealth of information to help prepare you for taking PANRE, including how to register, what to expect on test day and when you will receive your score. After watching the video, read more on eligibility and registration requirements available to the left.