June 30, 2017

AAPA board takes action on recertification issues

Message from Josanne Pagel, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, President and Chair of the Board, AAPA:

AAPA’s board of directors held a special meeting at its headquarters yesterday, during which they took the following actions:

  • AAPA will not start a new certifying agency.
  • AAPA will continue to pursue all avenues for discussions with NCCPA regarding our members’ concerns about the current recertification process and NCCPA’s interactions with stakeholders.
  • AAPA will contract with a highly respected, unbiased, independent research organization to identify evidence-based alternatives to high-stakes PA recertification testing.

These decisions were made after a deliberative process that included a comprehensive review of the complex and time-intensive requirements to stand up a new organization, extensive feedback from members, and rigorous financial analysis.

As you may recall, in July 2016, the board directed AAPA staff to take the next steps toward establishing a new certifying organization by gathering more information and developing the necessary documents. We took this action due to NCCPA’s inflexibility in considering alternatives to high stakes recertification testing. Since that time, NCCPA announced its intention to pilot alternatives to high stakes recertification testing by 2020, although we have no other information at this time.

AAPA opposes the use of high stakes examinations as part of the recertification process. Through the engagement of an independent research organization, AAPA seeks to identify evidence-based alternatives to high stakes testing that are less burdensome for PAs, relevant to daily practice, offer learning opportunities, and support high quality patient care. We welcome NCCPA’s support in this effort.

AAPA will aggressively pursue advocacy efforts to modernize PA practice laws and regulations. We will monitor and respond vigorously to any lobbying efforts by the NCCPA or any other organization that does not support advancement of the PA profession.

The board reaffirmed our commitment to open and transparent engagement with NCCPA and our other sister organizations.

AAPA will continue its work with our constituent organizations to uncouple maintenance of certification from licensure renewal in state law. No PA should lose their license because of an antiquated recertification testing model that is not in line with other healthcare professions.

We will keep you updated on the Academy’s efforts to move the profession forward.