AAPA CME Accreditation
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2022 Preceptorship Credit Update
The previous limit of 20 AAPA Category 1 CME for preceptors is no longer in effect. Preceptors may now earn an unlimited number of AAPA Category 1 CME for their precepting efforts from programs accredited by AAPA to provide these CME. Preceptorship CME is still earned at a rate of 2 AAPA Category 1 CME credits per PA student per 40-hour week.
Why apply for AAPA CME Accreditation?
AAPA is the only accreditor for the AAPA Category 1 CME system. Obtaining AAPA Category 1 CME (Continuing Medical Education) credit adds value and improves marketability of any CME activity.
- Reach a wide audience of PAs and NPs
- Enhance your credibility by meeting AAPA criteria
- Use the widely recognized AAPA CME logo in marketing materials
- Extend your reach by posting your activity on AAPA’s CME calendar (Fees may apply.)
What does it mean to PAs when an activity is designated for AAPA credit?
- It’s appropriate and relevant to their scope of practice.
- It will count toward requirements for national certification and state licensure.
- PAs are truly welcome and valued. The activity is not intended for physicians only.
Did you know?
NPs can often claim AAPA Category 1 CME credit as continuing education with AANPCB and ANCC. AAPA recommends that NPs check with their certification/licensing authority to confirm that AAPA credit is acceptable.
Eligibility, Criteria, and Policies
AAPA Accreditation is criteria based and aligned with other accreditors in the health professions such as Joint Accreditation and ACCME/AMA. CME credits are awarded for appropriate clinical and professional educational activities designed to assist healthcare professionals with continued medical education needed to enhance the ability to provide quality care to patients.
All applications are reviewed for educational and scientific merit, audience scope, and compliance with legal, ethical and professional obligations.
Topics that do not qualify for CME include personal finance and most non-clinical business development topics. If you have any questions about eligibility please reach out to [email protected] prior to beginning your application.
To be eligible for AAPA CME approval, be sure to:
- Plan the activity in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria (PDF), in compliance with ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.
- Apply for AAPA approval prior to the event or activity launch date. AAPA does not grant retroactive approval for activities.
- Ensure that the activity is relevant to PA practice. The activity must empower PAs to improve patient care, improve systems of healthcare, or advance the profession as a whole.
- Determine in advance how you will record and verify learner participation.
- Create meaningful educational goals or learning objectives that are shared with prospective participants prior to the activity.
- Collect evaluations after the activity so that learners can provide feedback on the quality of the program and the extent to which it met the educational purpose and/or learning objectives of the activity.
- Collect and retain attendance or participation records.
- Approval of your activity is contingent upon your agreement to provide a small amount of follow-up data after the accreditation period ends. This varies slightly by learning formats, but includes a count and list of PAs who participated in the activity and an evaluation summary and may include other details.
AAPA Criteria & Policies
AAPA’s CME Criteria require that CME providers to provide learners with a certificate that reflects the precise number of credits earned by that specific participant. CME providers are not permitted to issue a generic certificate indicating only the total number of credits available, thereby placing the burden on the learner to claim the appropriate number of credits with certification and/or licensing authorities. AAPA CME Criterion 11 requires that providers have a mechanism in place to record and verify learner participation. AAPA CME Criterion 12 requires that providers document the specific number of CME credits claimed by each participant on their CME certificate, along with the appropriate credit designation statement, the learner’s name, and the appropriate CME logo from AAPA.
If your activity is approved by the AAPA Review Panel, you will receive an email with the precise accreditation statement and AAPA CME logo to include in your marketing materials and on certificates of completion issued to learners. Prior to this you may use the follow pre-approval language.
Language to Use Prior to Receiving AAPA Approval
You may publish the following statement in any advance marketing, prior to applying and/or receiving approval of AAPA Category 1 CME credit for your activity:
“This program is not yet approved for CME credit. Conference organizers plan to apply for ____ AAPA Category 1 CME credits from the AAPA Review Panel. The total number of approved credits is yet to be determined.”
You may not use AAPA CME logos nor claim AAPA approval until you have received an approval from AAPA. Doing so may result in denial of current and/or future CME applications.
Already Designated for Physician Credit?
Activities already designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, AAFP Prescribed Credit, or AOA Category 1-A Credit may apply using an expedited AAPA CME review application and gain AAPA Category 1 Accreditation for their activity. These activities are automatically eligible for Simple application fees, as noted in the 2020 CME Fee Structure Update.
PAs generally know that programs approved for Category 1 CME credit by an ACCME accredited provider, AAFP and/or AOA will count toward PA certification maintenance requirements. If you wish to make this explicit in your promotional materials, you could use one of the following statements.
If your program is already designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
“PAs may claim a maximum of ____ Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.”
If your program is already designated for AOA Category 1-A Credit
“PAs may claim a maximum of ____ Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AOA Category 1-A Credit.”
If your program is already designated for AAFP Prescribed Credit
“PAs may claim a maximum of ____ Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AAFP Prescribed Credit.”
After analyzing application data from the past decade, AAPA has developed an updated CME fee structure effective March 2020. It simplifies how fees are determined and more appropriately aligns the fees for more complex applications with the resources required to review those complex applications.
|Tier 1 – Constituent Organizations||$50||$100||+$200||+$200|
|Tier 2 – ARC-PA Accredited PA Programs||$200||$400||+$200||+$200|
|Tier 3 – Duty of Care, Academic, Professional, Government, and Military Organizations||$300||$600||+$500||+$500|
|Tier 4 – All Other Organizations||$1000||$2000||+$1000||+$1000|
Fees are now determined based on the complexity of the application as described below:
An activity is considered SIMPLE if it meets ALL of the following criteria:
- 5 or fewer CME credits
- If there is no commercial support
- If there is a single CME format included in the application*Activities already designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, AAFP Prescribed Credit, or AOA Category 1-A Credit will automatically be considered SIMPLE.
An activity is considered COMPLEX if it meets ANY of the following criteria:
- If there are more than 5 CME credits requested
- If there is commercial support
- If there is more than one learning format included in the application
Click on a panel below to learn more about each tier.
Constituent organizations (COs) are independent organizations affiliated with AAPA. Constituent Organizations, including the following groups, are eligible for Tier 1 fees:
- PA state chapters
- PA federal service chapters
- PA specialty organizations
- PA caucuses
- PA special interest groups
- PA regional groups
Only PA programs which are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) are eligible for Tier 2 fees.
Duty of Care organizations are defined as those organizations whose staff are responsible for the provision of care to the public or their employees. These organizations must be able to prove that they provide education with the goal of increasing the skills and knowledge of only their employees or members and not primarily to make a financial profit. Organizations qualifying for Tier 3 fees include:
- Hospitals, Health Systems, Clinics, or Private Practices targeting their employees or members
- Academic institutions targeting their employees or members
- Professional associations targeting their employees or members
- Government or Military organizations or agencies
- Other organizations targeting their own professional staff or members
All other organizations that do not fit the descriptions in Tiers 1-3, or which AAPA deems as most appropriately being placed in Tier 4, will be subject to Tier 4 fees; these commonly include:
- Medical Education Companies and their partners
- Communications Companies and their partners
- Other organizations who do not qualify for Tiers 1-3, regardless of tax status
Rush or Upload Fees
Rush Processing: Required for application submitted within 21 days of an activity. Optional addition to any application for expedited review with a guaranteed result within 7 days.
Data Upload: Providers who would rather upload their session details in a properly formatted Excel file may pay an additional fee in lieu of entering that data manually into the system.
CME Calendar Listings and Advertising Through AAPA
Add your CME approved course to our CME Calendar. This one-stop portal is the go-to source for PAs in search of the latest CME education. AAPA accredited listings are $250 for a 30 day listing. Please complete this form and you will be contacted once approved. For other questions about advertising please contact Del Baker-Robertson via email at [email protected].
How to Apply
- Submit your application at least 21 days in advance of the activity start date. Applications submitted less than calendar 21 days in advance of the activity start date are subject to mandatory rush fees. Applications submitted less than 7 calendar days in advance of the activity start date are not accepted for review.
- Please allow up to 3 weeks for the AAPA Review Panel to reach a decision. Actual review times vary and are impacted by total application volume, reviewer resources, and the number of rush applications we’ve received. If reviewers need to request additional information, review of your activity could take longer. If you’ve marked your application for rush processing, you will receive a decision within 7 calendar days.
- You may only use AAPA Category 1 CME credit logos in your marketing once your activity is approved. See Pre-accreditation Statements for more information.
- AAPA does not, under any circumstance, approve activities retroactively. Nor do we accept applications less than seven days in advance of the event/activity date.
Applying for CME Accreditation
AAPA’s application process is entirely online. Approval decisions and any requests for additional information are sent via email. It is incumbent on the submitter to monitor the status of applications, respond to correspondence in a timely manner, and ensure all appropriate documentation is provided. Failure to compete a request for further information or any other requests may result in the cancellation of the application.
- Read through and understand AAPA’s CME Criteria and Policies.
- Review required information for your application and specific learning formats.
- Go to AAPA’s CME Approval and log in using your AAPA username and password. If you don’t already have an AAPA account, creating one is straightforward and intuitive. If you already have a personal account, you should not create a new one when applying. Credentials for the old system will no longer be valid.
- Click “Submit New Applications” to begin your application. Complete all required fields marked and. pay the application fee. Paying the fees by credit card is strongly recommended because your request will move into our review queue without delay and you can obtain a receipt immediately (click on the “Invoices” link). If paying by check, be sure to include the Request ID on the check stub or in the memo line or risk a delay in your application. Please bear in mind that we will not begin reviewing your application until we receive payment. If your delay moves your application too close to, or after, your event’s start date, your application will not be reviewed, and no refund will be issued.
- Allow up to 3 weeks for a decision from the AAPA Review Panel. If our review panel requires more information or your application is incomplete, you will receive a request for more information via email. The AAPA Review Panel’s decision on your request is also sent via email.
After Your Activity is Approved
- Accept AAPA’s CME Agreement. Log in to AAPA’s CME Approval System and navigate into your application. You will now have access to the “Agreement” stage of the application, which you must review and accept. You must accept the agreement within 7 days of receiving temporary accreditation or risk your activity being cancelled and subsequently unaccredited, without refund.
- Use the AAPA CME logo and accreditation statements in your marketing materials, printed program, and front matter. A link to the AAPA credit logo and an accreditation statement can be found in your CME Agreement. Please use the accreditation statement verbatim; this is also found in your agreement.
- Issue certificates to participating learners when appropriate. Sample certificates are available from the pages detailing each of the learning formats. As the CME provider, issuing certificates is your responsibility. PAs are responsible for logging the credits they earn. AAPA does not perform either of these functions. Please use the accreditation statement provided to you in your CME Agreement verbatim.,
- Provide AAPA with follow-up information in your Post Activity report. Within 90 days of completion of your activity (or at the end of your accreditation period), return to AAPA’s CME Approval Software, return to your application, and click on the “Post Activity Report” link. This entails entering the number of learners (PAs and other professionals) who completed your activity, uploading a participant list), a summary of the evaluations collected from participants, and any other lingering information or updates specific to your application.
AAPA offers Category 1 CME accreditation for 6 learning formats.
Use the pages below to access the definition, accreditation period, any eligibility requirements unique to that type, and to download sample supporting documents for your application.
AAPA joined a collaboration with Joint Accreditation, an organization that establishes the criteria to deliver continuing education planned by the healthcare team for the healthcare team. This collaboration gives jointly accredited organizations the option to include PAs in their interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) programs without needing to attain separate accreditation through AAPA.
In addition to increasing the accessibility of AAPA Category 1 CME credit, Joint Accreditation provides greater recognition of the PA’s role in educational activities developed for the team and offers organizations simultaneous accreditation of all team members through a unified accreditation process and set of accreditation criteria.
We are pleased to recognize the following providers for their adoption of AAPA Category 1 credit through Joint Accreditation:
- AK Department of Health and Social Servic
- AKH, Inc., Adv. Knowledge in Healthcare
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Amedco, LLC
- American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
- American Academy of CME
- American Association of Diabetes Educator
- American College of Cardiology Foundation
- American Diabetes Association
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- Ascension/St. Vincent’s Health
- AXIS Medical Education
- Baystate Health
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
- Clinical Care Options, LLC
- Community Health Center, Inc
- Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers
- Creighton University
- Dannemiller, Inc
- Defense Health Agency, J-7, Continuing Education Program Office (CEPO)
- Duke University Health System Department of Clinical Education and Professional Development
- FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
- GuideStar Eldercare
- Haymarket Medical Education
- Indian Health Service Clinical Support
- Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center
- Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
- The Medical Educator Consortium
- Medical Education Resources, Inc..
- Medscape, LLC
- National Committee for Quality Assurance
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- National Kidney Foundation
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- Northwell Health
- Penn Medicine
- Postgraduate Institute for Medicine
- Practicing Clinicians Exchange
- Projects In Knowledge, Inc.
- Relias LLC
- Rush University Medical Cnt
- Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
- Society of Gynecologic Oncology
- Stanford University
- Texas Health Resources
- The Carle Foundation
- The Robert Larner College of Medicine at The University of Vermont
- Thomas Jefferson University
- Trinity Health System
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Virginia
- UW-Madison Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership
- VCU Health Continuing Education
- Veterans Health Administration, Employee Education System
- Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Frequently Asked Questions
Organizations are required to maintain their records for no less than 7 years following the end of an activity. AAPA is not responsible for maintaining records of your attendance, materials, or otherwise.
No. Under no circumstance will incomplete applications be accepted for review.
The form you use to collect disclosure information is less important than the management of conflicts of interest which applicants are now required to outline in their applications for each planner, reviewer, and faculty member. If your disclosure forms collect the same amount or more information than the AAPA sample disclosure your form will be acceptable in place of our own.>
Please be sure you are logging in to the CME Accreditation system using your aapa.org login credentials. You may call 703-836-2272 for assistance. Note that the system does not keep any financial information on file, so it is completely safe for us to reset the password on your behalf.
Email [email protected] so that an incomplete application or an application in need of reconciliation may be reassigned to you. Applicants should not create multiple accounts or attempt to create institutional accounts, and should only use their personal accounts.
This varies by request type. For all activities, we need the number of learners (PAs and other professionals) who completed the activity, a participant list, a summary of evaluations collected from participants (do not submit individual responses), and any other application specific information. Please note that there may be additional information needed depending on the different request types.
AAPA has updated to a new accreditation system for your benefit. The application process will remain largely unchanged with some minor updates intended to make it easier and more cost effective for applicants.
You must now use your existing AAPA username and password to log in to cmeapproval.aapa.org and submit new applications. If you don’t already have an AAPA account, creating one is straightforward and intuitive.
Your AAPA accreditation portal login credentials are the same as your Learning Central credentials. Contact AAPA Customer Support at 703-836-2272 to have your password reset.
All applications submitted in the old system will still need to be reconciled. However, it will be easier than before. When your activity / accreditation period ends, you will email your attendance list and evaluations summary to [email protected]. Failure to complete the reconciliation process will result in delays in future application processing.
As an alternative to explicitly requiring learning objectives, CME activities must at a minimum include a stated purpose or goal in order to comply with AAPA CME Criteria. This modification is made with the recognition that learning can take place in less formal situations but still be relevant for CME credit.
For enduring materials, as an alternative to traditional post-tests taken after a CME activity, an evaluation may be used that assesses the degree to which the activity met its educational purpose and/or objective. The assessment should also focus on a change in practice for PAs or their healthcare teams in terms of their skills/strategy, performance, or patient outcomes.
Yes, PI-CME activities approved for AAPA Category 1 PI-CME credit and Hospital and Health System QI activities approved for AAPA Category 1 PI-CME credit both satisfy the 2019 Improvement Activities Requirements for MIPS.
For any other questions, comments, or concerns, you may contact us at 703.836.2272 or [email protected].