Becoming Certified

You have chosen a rewarding and exciting profession at a time when it has never been needed more. We at NCCPA are ready to help you take that last step to transition from student to certified PA. 

Watch the entertaining animation video where James Cawley describes the value of certification. 


If you graduate from a physician assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or its predecessors, you can take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) for certification. The multiple-choice exam assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge. You will need to submit an application and payment in advance and can choose from over 200 testing sites.

After passing PANCE, PAs are issued NCCPA certification and can use the PA-C designation until the certification expiration date (approximately two years).

Read NCCPA's Code of Conduct for Certified and Certifying PAs, which explains the ethics and professionalism expected of all PAs seeking or holding NCCPA certification.