Continuing Medical Education

Click here to view some of the key changes to your online personal certification record before you sign in.

CME Procedures

Earning continuing medical education (CME) credits is an integral component of NCCPA certification. Every two years, (years two, four and six of the certification maintenance cycle), all certified PAs must log their 100 CME credits online and submit the *$130 certification maintenance fee by 11:59 p.m. PT, December 31 of their certification expiration year. The $50 discount is no longer available. The 2011-2013 cycle was the last cycle the discount was available.

Of the 100 CME credits you must earn and log, at least 50 must be Category 1 CME. The remaining 50 credits can be Category 1, Category 2 or a combination of both. CME can be classified as a Certification Program, Category 1 or Category 2.

Your CME earning and logging window is May 1 of the year your current certification was issued through December 31 of the certification expiration year. (For example, PA-C designees whose certifications expire in 2015 must have earned their CME between May 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015.)

*Please note that any refund requests must be submitted within 30 days of submitting payment.

Special Guidelines for New Certification Holders
If this is the first time you've logged CME since passing PANCE, you may log any CME earned as of the date your certification was issued through December 31 of the year your certification expires (approximately two years later) and submit the $130 certification maintenance fee by December 31 of the year your certification expires.

CME Terms

CME consists of clinical and professional education activities that maintain, develop or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician assistant uses to provide services for patients, the public and the profession.

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.

Click here for a list: CME: Preapproved Category 1 credits

Category 1 CME

Category 1 must be classified by AAPA as Category 1 (Preapproved) CME by one of the following sponsors: AAPA, AMA (providers accredited by ACCME), AOA, AAFP, 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.

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.


The CME provider is the organization that offered the seminar, conducted the training, etc. Usually, providers are associations, hospitals, schools, pharmaceutical companies, or other health care organizations. You will need to enter the provider name when you log your Category 1 CME credits.


By definition, all Category 1 activities are sponsored (approved for credit) by one of the following:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • American Medical Association (AMA) (providers accredited by ACCME)
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)
  • The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)
  • Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC)

Need help logging your CME credits online? Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Ready to log your CME credits? Click here to sign in to your record.

**You should keep your Category 1 CME documentation for your current CME cycle and your last CME cycle. For example, if you are currently on a 2013-2015 CME cycle you would need to keep that documentation and the 2011-2013 CME cycle documentation. We do not audit Category 2 CME. This is the policy for NCCPA, not the state medical boards. You will need to check with your state medical board regarding their auditing requirements.

If you have lost your certification, click here to read about your options for regaining it.