Resources for Developing PA Programs


PAEA offers two types of membership for developing programs:

Institutional Colleague membership is an ideal choice for PA programs not yet accredited, but wish to receive benefits and participate in PAEA activities. Institutional colleague membership allows the institution’s faculty and staff access to many of the same benefits as full PAEA member programs.

Institutional/CASPA Colleague membership is an ideal choice for PA programs not yet accredited, but wish to receive benefits and participate in PAEA activities, as well as the central application service for PAs (CASPA), and whose provisional accreditation is scheduled to occur within one year. Click here for benefits and fee information.

The CASPA application cycle runs April-March annually. Benefits are the same as institutional colleague membership, with the addition of CASPA participation.

Both membership options can be readily converted to full PAEA membership once provisional accreditation is granted.

The following membership benefits are not available to Institutional Colleague members:

  • Voting rights at business meetings
  • Voting rights for PAEA officers
  • Serving as PAEA committee chairs
  • Participation in CASPA (for institutional colleague/CASPA members only)

Professional Services for Developing  & Accredited PA Programs

Colleges and universities often considering hiring a consultant to help navigate the complicated processes that lead to a successful accreditation and the launch of a PA program. Continual improvement of a PA program is also challenging. It can be valuable to work with an objective third party to help take your program to the next level, improving quality and reducing costs.

PAEA’s professional services team has decades of experience in program development, accreditation, and administration. Our goal is to help you determine if developing a PA program is the right choice and to help design the highest-quality programs possible.

Read more about our Professional Services at

Assessment Exams

We offer two exam programs for PA programs.  The Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PACKRAT) has been in operation for over 20 years, with new versions released every November.

PAEA has developed new testing products for physician assistant (PA) programs. The initial products focus on End of Rotation Exams offered in the areas of internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, general surgery, and psychiatry/behavioral medicine. These exams are validated, peer-reviewed online exams. New for July 2014: updated and enhanced versions of all seven exams – with simplified pricing.

Liaison Organizations

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant

ARC-PA is the accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public and PA profession by defining the standards for PA education and evaluating PA educational programs within the territorial United States to ensure their compliance with those standards.

American Academy of Physician Assistants

AAPA is the national professional society for physician assistants. AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. It also works to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence, and recognition of physician assistants.

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)

NCCPA is the only nationally recognized credentialing organization for PAs. Visit their website for more information on PA credentialing.

Related Websites