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Physician Assistants

The Bureau of Professional Licensure does not pre-approve continuing education providers, sponsors or individual programs. It’s the licensees’ responsibility to determine if the continuing education programs they attend meet the requirements of their professional licensure board.

For auditing purposes the licensee must submit to the board office an individual certificate of completion issues to the licensee or evidence of successful completion of the course from the course sponsor. These documents must contain the course title, date(s), contact hours, sponsor and licensee’s names.

For multi-hour live symposiums, Des Moines University continuing education will provide a certificate of participation which will include: program content, objectives, presenters, location, date, time and number of education hours offered. For all other sponsored activities, participation will be tracked through the Des Moines University continuing education office and available upon request.

Maintenance of license requirements

Earning continuing medical education (CME) hours 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 hours online and submit the $130 certification maintenance fee.

Of the 100 CME hours you must earn and log, at least 50 must be Category I CME. The remaining 50 hours can be Category I, Category II or a combination of both. CME can be classified as a certification program, Category I or Category II.

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 2010 must have earned their CME between May 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010.)

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 I hours regardless of who presents the programs or where they are presented. Completion of any program is necessary to log the hours toward the CME requirement. You may earn and apply CME hours for the same certification program once in a calendar year and no more than twice per logging cycle.

CME: preapproved Category 1 hours

Category I CME

Category I must be classified by AAPA as Category I (preapproved) CME by one of the following sponsors: AAPA, AMA, ACCME, AOACCME or AAFP. Some ways Category I CME hours 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 hours you’ve earned during each program.

Category II CME

Category II includes other practice-related, voluntary, self-learning activities, such as journal reading, independent study, preceptorships and any medically-related postgraduate course, excluding courses taken in an actual PA program. Category II hours are earned on an hour-by-hour basis. There is no minimum requirement for Category II activities.

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