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Licensing and Certification

Maintain your Certification



2014 marked the beginning of the PA profession's transition to a 10-year certification maintenance process. PAs who passed the Physician Assistant National re-certifying Exam (PANCE) regained certification, or wrapped up a six-year certification maintenance cycle in 2014 began the new 10-year process. 


Renewal Cycle

Licenses must be renewed annually on or before July 1st.  Evidence of annual review of the Notice of Intent to Practice and the Delegation Agreement must accompany the renewal.  Your renewal notice is sent approximately 6 weeks prior to expiration. 


Links to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice


Continuing Education

Each licensed PA must obtain 50 contact hours of Category 1 CME every two years or take the NCCPA exam during the last two years as a condition to license renewal.  Newly licensed PAs commence their two year cycle on July 1st immediately following the date license was granted.


Category 1 CME (Certification Programs)

These activities include certification and re-certification programs that are pre-approved (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.


Category 1 CME (Regular) 

Category 1 must be classified by AAPA as Category 1 (pre-approved) 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 1 CME (Performance Improvement)

PI-CME is active learning and the application of learning to improve your practice. This can be done in partnership with your supervising physician and others in your practice; everyone can work on and get credit for PI-CME together. PI-CME involves a three-step process:

  • Compare some aspect of practice to national benchmarks, performance guidelines or other established evidence-based metric or standard.
  • Based on the comparison, develop and implement a plan for improvement in that area.
  • Evaluate the impact of the improvement effort by comparing the results of the original comparison with the new results or outcomes.

Category 1 CME (Self-Assessment)

Unlike traditional lecture-learner CME sessions in which the PA is a passive participant, self-assessment CME activities involve a more active process of conducting a systematic review of one's performance, knowledge base or skill set. Most board-certified physicians are now completing this type of activity as part of their own maintenance of certification process, and many of the self-assessment programs offered by their certification boards are also available to PAs.


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.


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