Code of Conduct for Certified and Certifying PAs
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants endeavors to assure the public that certified physician assistants meet professional standards of knowledge and skills. Additionally, NCCPA attempts to ensure that the physician assistants it certifies are upholding appropriate standards of professionalism and ethics in practice. The NCCPA’s Code of Conduct for Certified and Certifying Physician Assistants outlines principles that all certified or certifying physician assistants are expected to uphold.
Breaches of these principles may be cause for disciplinary review. Disciplinary actions taken at the conclusion of that review may include formal censures, fines, revocation of certification or eligibility for certification and/or other actions as deemed appropriate by NCCPA. Some disciplinary actions are reported to the state licensing authorities and the Federation of State Medical Boards. This Code of Conduct represents some, though not necessarily all, of the behaviors that may trigger review under NCCPA’s Policies and Procedures for Disciplinary Review.
Principles of Conduct
Certified or certifying physician assistants shall protect the integrity of the certification and recertification process.
- They shall not engage in cheating or other dishonest behavior that violates exam security (including unauthorized reproducing, distributing, displaying, discussing, sharing or otherwise misusing test questions or any part of test questions) before, during or after an NCCPA examination.
- They shall not obtain, attempt to obtain or assist others in obtaining or maintaining eligibility, certification, or recertification through deceptive means, including submitting to the NCCPA any document that contains a misstatement of fact or omits a fact.
- They shall not manufacture, modify, reproduce, distribute or use a fraudulent or otherwise unauthorized NCCPA certificate.
- They shall not represent themselves in any way as a Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C) designee unless they hold current NCCPA certification.
- When possessing knowledge or evidence that raises a substantial question of cheating on or misuse of questions from an NCCPA examination, fraudulent use of an NCCPA card, certificate or other document or misrepresentation of NCCPA certification status by a physician assistant or any other individual, they shall promptly inform the NCCPA.
Certified or certifying physician assistants shall comply with laws, regulations and standards governing professional practice in the jurisdictions and facilities in which they practice or are licensed to practice.
- Certified or certifying physician assistants shall respect appropriate professional boundaries in their interactions with patients.
- Certified or certifying physician assistants shall avoid behavior that would pose a threat or potential threat to the health, well-being or safety of patients apart from reasonable risks taken in the patient's interest during the delivery of health care.
- Certified or certifying physician assistants shall recognize and understand their professional and personal limitations.
- Certified or certifying physician assistants shall practice without impairment from substance abuse, cognitive deficiency or mental illness.
- Certified or certifying physician assistants shall maintain and demonstrate the ability to engage in the practice of medicine within their chosen areas of practice safely and competently.