Self-assessment CME and PI-CME are no longer required

To encourage PAs to continue to pursue self-assessment activities, NCCPA will award 50% additional credit for all activities designated for self-assessment Category 1 CME credit (i.e., a self-assessment activity worth 10 credits will be converted to 15 credits by NCCPA). Also, the first 20 PI-CME credits logged during every two-year cycle will be doubled when logged with NCCPA. 
Read the full announcment here.

Q. How soon will this change be implemented?

A. The policy change is effective immediately. It will, however, take us a few months to reprogram our systems and website to reflect the changes.

Q. Why is NCCPA making this change now?
A. When we announced these new requirements in 2012, we did so with the expectation that our requirement would spur CME providers to create more of these relatively new types of CME activities. That did in fact happen, but not quickly enough to meet the needs of the PAs who face these requirements by the end of 2016. This change was spurred by an analysis of available self-assessment CME and PI-CME across 66 specialty and subspecialty areas of PA practice. We believe in the value of these types of CME activities. However, given gaps in availability of practice-relevant options for so many PAs, we did not feel it responsible to maintain self-assessment and PI-CME requirements. Our hope is that by weighting self-assessment and PI-CME activities more heavily, those PAs who can find such activities that are relevant to their practice will continue to pursue them.

Q. With the new weighting of self-assessment and PI-CME, I now have more credits than I need for this CME cycle. Will the extra be carried over to the next two-year cycle?

A. Yes. Later this year we will automatically apply any credits logged beyond the 100 CME credits (with 50 Category 1 credits) required for the current CME cycle to the next one (this applies to the 2014-2016 and 2015-2017 cycles only). After this adjustment, the usual CME earning and logging cycles will apply again.

Q. Will I receive notification once my self-assessment and PI-CME credits have been recalculated in NCCPA’s system?
A. Yes, we will notify you when the changes are complete and will ask you to sign in to the website to see your new CME totals.

Q. Can I earn self-assessment and PI-CME before I transition to the 10-year cycle, and will the new weighting apply to those activities?
A. Yes! All PAs can log self-assessment and PI-CME, and those activities will be weighted for everyone as soon as our systems and website have been reprogrammed to reflect this new policy.

Q. Will my dashboard still track self-assessment credits and PI-CME credits? Or will it just track Category 1?
A. Your dashboard will continue to track self-assessment and PI-CME credits. They just will no longer be identified as requirements.        
Q. I was expecting my certification to be updated for the next two-year cycle in October. Will that still happen?
A. No, it will take several months for us to reprogram our systems and website to reflect these changes, but your certification will be updated for the 2016-2018 cycle before the end of the year.

Q. How will these changes effect the CME regaining requirements? Will the requirement be just 100 Category 1 CME requirements?
A. The regaining requirements will also change. By January 1, there will no longer be a requirement for self-assessment or PI-CME as part of the process for regaining certification.

Q. Is this a temporary change?
A. Certification maintenance requirements certainly could change again in the future, but we do not view this as a temporary change.

Q. Will it be possible to use self-assessment and PI-CME activities approved by physician organizations now?
A. Right now, the only activities that can be logged for self-assessment and PI-CME credit are those approved by AAPA – a list that includes many activities provided by physician organizations. However, in the coming months, we plan to work with AAPA and others to establish a broader range of criteria that would expand the array of self-assessment and PI-CME activities available to PAs.

Q. While you are encouraging PAs to complete self-assessment and PI-CME, why would I do them if I am able to complete the requirements with regular CME for less money?
A. We believe you will find that self-assessment CME and PI-CME activities – if related to your practice – are interesting, educational and valuable in terms of impact to your knowledge, skills and practice. These types of CME are now optional, however, and so you may choose to pursue them or not. The good news is that choice is now yours to make.