OAPA Opposes NCCPA and ARC-PA InitiativesOAPA Opposes NCCPA and ARC-PA Initiatives
During the AAPA May 2006 House of Delegates, the chair of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Board of Directors announced that the commission had "convened a special task force" to address the needs of PA's who practice in the growing number of medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, and to explore the development of specialty recognition examinations.
During this same meeting representatives from the Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA) announced that they would be establishing standards to accredit postgraduate training programs for PA's.
These new directions of both the NCCPA and ARC-PA are in conflict with and not supported by existing policy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). Both of these organizations have requested comment from the PA profession, but have made their objectives quite clear that they are committed to these new directions and will proceed with establishing new training and evaluation standards for PA's despite opposition or negative comment from the profession.
The NCCPA and ARC-PA are justifying their decisions to pursue these "new initiatives" as being within their established mission of improving quality and protecting the public. However, neither the NCCPA, ARC-PA, nor any other reputable organization, has produced any statistically significant data that indicates the quality of services provided by PA's in a medical/surgical specialty is faltering and has potentially placed the public at risk.
The NCCPA and ARC-PA have not clearly articulated to the profession any research the commissions have initiated to give good reason for their call for proposed changes in their current missions, or methods of validating a PA's postgraduate training and base of knowledge. Without reliable facts to substantiate their proposals, the NCCPA and ARC-PA should not expect unconditional support by the majority of their primary stakeholders, PA's.
OAPA has sent formal letters of opposition to both the NCCPA and ARC-PA and also sent a letter to encouraging other Constituent Chapters to do the same.
OAPA has submitted a Resolution to the AAPA House of Delegates and it will be debated in May at the AAPA Annual Conference in Philadelphia.
OAPA Response to NCCPA
OAPA Response to ARC-PA
OAPA Request of Constituent Chapters