AAPA Engages RAND Corporation to Research Evidence-Based Alternative Solutions to PA Recertification

Findings to be Available in Fall 2018

February 22, 2018

AAPA signed an agreement with the RAND Corporation — a highly respected nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization — to identify alternatives to high-stakes recertification testing. The research project, The Identification of Alternative PA Recertification Models, will first focus on developing an objective analysis of the landscape and evidence surrounding closed-book examinations and other approaches to recertification.

“If there’s one issue on which most PAs agree, it’s that we shouldn’t be at risk of losing our ability to practice based on a high-stakes recertification exam,” said L. Gail Curtis, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, president and chair of AAPA’s Board of Directors. “For quite some time, AAPA has been vocal about the need for an evidence-based recertification process for PAs that is less burdensome, has more relevance to daily practice, offers learning opportunities, and supports high-quality care.”

As part of the project, RAND will:

  • Document the recertification requirements for health professions in both the U.S. and in other countries, including both closed-book examinations and other complementary or alternative approaches.
  • Review and synthesize the evidence about the impact of various approaches to recertification requirements for health professions in the U.S. and in other countries on patients (i.e., outcomes, safety, and access to care) and provider experience (i.e., cost, stress).
  • Explore in further depth the rationales, alternatives, and future plans regarding recertification requirements among health professional certifying bodies in the U.S. and other countries that currently employ recertification approaches other than closed-book examinations.
  • Provide a publicly-available report presenting key project findings.

The AAPA Board believes this research by an independent third party will help AAPA and its members assess the implications of new recertification proposals and add to the body of knowledge that the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants can draw upon as it pursues an alternative approach to recertification. The findings from RAND’s initial research are expected to be available in the fall of 2018.

More Resources:
AAPA Responds to NCCPA PANRE Alternative Pilot Process
AAPA Board takes action on recertification issues