In early February, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced that some elements of its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process would be temporarily suspended to allow more time for the consideration and development of those programs and systems.

Having reviewed the decision of the ABIM and that organization’s MOC process, there are a few important points that distinguish the NCCPA certification maintenance requirements from those of the ABIM:

  1. The PA profession was involved in the development of the new 10-year certification maintenance requirements, both through the engagement of AAPA representatives and the profession-wide solicitation of feedback on the initial concepts. NCCPA then made improvements based on what we heard from AAPA and from certified PAs.

  2. The new requirements for self-assessment CME and PI-CME were integrated within existing CME requirements, taking the place of other types of CME credits PAs were already required to earn; they were not added on as completely separate, additional certification maintenance requirements.

  3. The PA certification maintenance process includes intermediate deadlines (framed within our longstanding two-year certification maintenance cycle), making this an ongoing process -- not one that will catch PAs unaware and unable to maintain certification in the final year of the 10-year process.

  4. Certified PAs have a relatively broad range of activities through which to earn PI-CME and self-assessment credits. There are almost 250 AAPA-approved self-assessment activities available today to PAs on primary care topics as well as a broad range of specialty areas. There are more than 60 PI-CME activities available, also covering primary care and a range of specialties. Those numbers, of course, continue to grow.

NCCPA remains committed to the new 10-year certification maintenance process and appreciates AAPA’s commitment to the same. We will continue to regularly monitor its implementation.