TO CHALLENGE THE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT CERTIFICATION COUNCIL OF CANADA (PACCC)
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT ENTRY TO PRACTICE CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION (PA CERT EXAM)
All candidates must meet all of the following requirements:
- Properly complete the PACCC PA Cert Exam online registration form by the established deadline;
- Be a member of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA); and
- Meet the competency and/or experience as laid out in the eligibility criteria listed below.
To establish eligibility to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam all applicants must meet either of the following:
Be a graduate of a Canadian PA program recognized by PACCC (CAF PA program, University of Manitoba, McMaster University and the Consortium of PA Education all previously accredited by the CMA).
- Requires validation of successful completion of a Canadian PA program.
- New graduate’s first exam attempt must be made within the first three (3) years after graduation
- Graduates of PA programs recognized by PACCC are eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of the recognized PA program; during that five (5) year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four (4) times, when either the fifth (5th) year or the fourth (4th) attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.
Be a graduate of an Accreditation Review Commission (ARC) program and be certified by the National Commission of Certification for Physician Assistant (NCCPA)
- Requires validation of successful completion of an ARC accredited US PA program and proof of current NCCPA membership.
- NCCPA member number must be included on the registration form.
- Must also declare if your name appears on the National Physicians Data Bank (NPDB) Report). No other International program graduates are eligible.
Even if you have earned a medical degree, you must still graduate from a program recognized by PACCC (in Canada the CAF PA Program, University of Manitoba, McMaster University and the Consortium of PA Education) or an ARC-PA accredited program in the US to take the Canadian PA Cert Exam.
Trainees of a PACCC recognized PA program may be eligible to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training program pending confirmation of completion of core competencies by the program. Recognized Canadian PA programs with candidates registering to write the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training must provide PACCC with a list confirming the names of each enrolled student that has completed core competencies and are eligible to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam. Candidates whose names do not appear on the provided list will be redirected to their PA Program and their registration form will be refused. Should a candidate not be successful in graduating from their PA program, their PACCC PA Cert Exam results become null and void. Under no circumstances will these candidates be advised of their PACCC PA Cert Exam results prior to PACCC receiving confirmation of successful program completion.
PACCC will not waive any eligibility requirements
The PACCC Director, Certification approves all applications for eligibility to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam. If there is insufficient documentation to substantiate the certification requirements the application will be refused. All applications will be reviewed 30 days before the exam date. In the event of a refusal, a candidate can dispute the decision in writing within 2 weeks before the exam date. All written disputes will be referred to the PACCC for immediate review and consideration.
ONLINE PA CERT EXAM REGISTRATION
The online registration dates will be posted annually in the Exam Dates and Online Exam Registration sections under the PACCC logo on the CAPA Website. No registrations will be accepted after the posted close date.
The exam is administered as follows:
4 hours in duration
Administered in 2 sections – Section 1 – 2 hours – 125 questions – Section 2 – 2 hours – 125 questions (once Section 1 is submitted it is closed and cannot be reviewed).
Normal Lab Values are provided to candidates.
Requests for late registrations must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. PACCC reserves the right to waive the registration deadline under extenuating circumstances however, PACCC decisions are final.
Any behaviour that threatens the integrity or security of the PA Cert Exam and the certification process is considered by PACCC to be irregular behaviour. Irregular behaviour includes, but is not limited to:
- making false representations on CAPA membership applications or falsifying supporting documentation;
- altering or falsifying CCPA certificates or otherwise misrepresenting a certification status;
- altering or falsifying PA Cert Exam performance reports;
- seeking or having access to the PA Cert Exam materials before the PA Cert Exam is administered;
- impersonating an examinee or engaging someone else to take the PA Cert Exam by proxy;
- copying of the PA Cert Exam answers from someone else or allowing answers to be copied;
- copying, memorizing and/or reproducing PA Cert Exam items for personal use or distribution;
- purchasing or stealing any PA Cert Exam materials;
- possessing unauthorized materials or equipment during the administration of a PA Cert Exam;
- making a false or intentionally misleading report accusing others of irregular behaviour.
To help PACCC maintain the integrity and security of its certification process, anyone acting in good faith that has information or evidence that irregular behaviour has occurred is encouraged to submit a written, signed statement to PACCC detailing the incident and providing copies of any supporting evidence or documentation.
If PACCC determines that irregular behaviour has occurred, it may invalidate scores, suspend or revoke existing certifications, temporarily or permanently bar individuals from the PA Cert Exam, or may impose other sanctions or take other actions, as it deems appropriate, including legal action.
Any candidate subject to an adverse decision by PACCC can submit an appeal (see Appeal Process document).
A failing score on the PACCC PA Cert Exam is NOT subject to appeal.
The following adverse decisions by PACCC (or delegated to its Manager, Certification) are subject to appeal.
- Disciplinary action based on irregular behaviour of candidates as reported in writing to PACCC before, during or after a PA Cert Exam;
- Disciplinary action based on fraudulent use of the CCPA credential;
- Denial of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
- Revocation of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
- Revocation of certification;
- Other adverse action regarding the CCPA credential.
There is no requirement for re-certification. Canadian Certified Physician Assistant’s (CCPA) are required to maintain their competency through the tracking of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). All CCPAs must be a regular or sustained member of CAPA and must track their CPD credits through the CPD Tracking Tool of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (the Royal College) MAINPORT ePortfolio login. Please review PACCC’s Maintenance of Certification policy on non-compliance.
NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS AND RE-WRITES
Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in this document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a PACCC recognized PA program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.
Only 2 circumstances are accepted for re-establishing eligibility:
- Candidate has missed the “first exam attempt must be made within the first three (3) years after graduation.
- Candidate is outside of the “up to five years after successful completion of a PA program”
To re-establish eligibility, the candidate must:
- If not already rectified, re-establish membership with CAPA (a re-instatement fee will be applied to all membership renewals)
- Provide a letter confirming employment as a PA since the last year of CAPA membership
- Provide proof of continuing professional development (CPD) since the last year of CAPA membership
All requests are subject to PACCC approval. Candidates may be requested to provide more information at the Council’s discretion.
Once eligibility is re-established:
- the first attempt must be taken within the 1st year of notification of re-eligibility (if not taken, the candidate loses the eligibility to take the PA Cert Exam
- only a combined total of 4 lifetime attempts is allowed; after a combined total 4 attempts is exhausted the individual loses the eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam and no other re-eligibility requests will be accepted.
Unsuccessful after 4 attempts
The only way to establish new eligibility is to complete an unabridged PA program recognized by PACCC.
Aggregate data (candidate names are removed) is provided to each Canadian PA program recognized by PACCC to provide the information required to meet requirements for the maintenance of accreditation.
LIST OF CCPAs
All individuals who obtain the Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) designation are added to a list containing the names of all PAs that hold the CCPA designation and such other information as PACCC deems relevant in the interest of public safety and this list shall be open to the public.
FINANCIAL POLICY (Fees, Withdrawals, Cancellations & Refunds)
For more information, please see the Financial Policy.
QUESTIONS OR REQUESTS
All questions or requests must be sent or submitted to the Director, Certification at email@example.com