The FPARCP has announced changes to the Physician Associate re-certification process as our profession prepares for GMC oversight in 2024. Recertification is critical in ensuring we have the information and abilities to offer high‑quality patient care.
The most significant change was the removal of the re-certification exam. We were the only healthcare profession to retake a qualifying exam for re-certification. This is a step towards aligning our profession with the GMC’s processes. The GMC will have its own method for PAs to demonstrate that we are up to date and fit to practice and will not require a re-certification exam.
The GMC’s revalidation process will likely be based on the following:
- annual employer appraisals
- local clinical governance.
This is a similar process to how doctors are already revalidated. More information is available on the GMC’s website.
Until GMC regulation is in place, the PAMVR remains in place. The GMC will require proof that you remain registered on the PAMVR, and have passed the national exams as a student PA in the past. However, the GMC will not require any evidence that you passed a re-certification national assessment – hence why the FPARCP scrapped the re-certification exam recently.
The PA national examination will become known as the Physician Associate Registration Assessment (PARA).
And in case you were wondering.for PA students to gain their initial registration with the GMC, they will be required to:
- graduate from a UK university PA programme and pass the PA National Examination (PANE) which will become known as the physician associate registration assessment (PARA)
- Or graduate from a nationally recognised USA Physician Assistant programme and passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) in the USA to be eligible to practise as a PA in the UK and pass the PANE/PARA as appropriate
- have the knowledge and skills to work safely as a PA in the UK.
There are some changes being phased in to the re-certification process for PAs to replace the re-certification examination. To remain in good standing and listed on the PAMVR, all PAs will be expected to engage with the FPA Core Clinical Practice Curriculum (CCPC) via the FPA ePortfolio beginning in October 2023. The CCPC will be included in this new electronic platform and will cover all the core areas of practice in which a PA is expected to maintain expertise and the areas that have historically been examined during recertification.
”We now look forward to regulation with the GMC. With this we can start to enable PAs to work at the best of their abilities.Chandran LouisVice President, Faculty of Physician Associates
Plus, members will be able to log evidence of clinical competence in their ePortfolio by completing the following:
- direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS)
- mini clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX)
- case-based discussion (CBD) forms, for example, collecting multi-source feedback (MSF) and patient feedback forms, finish the FPA appraisal toolkit record CPD.
The ePortfolio, when combined with the CCPC, will become the new mechanism for qualified FPA members to maintain their generalist knowledge and skillset. It will also allow fellow PAs to demonstrate their evolving speciality‑related clinical knowledge.
Remember to maintain your CPD and curriculum competency and participate in the ePortfolio when it is launched. Until otherwise instructed, continue to log your CPD in the CPD diary. However, all FPA members are still obliged to follow the FPA code of conduct, maintain their generalist skills, complete the FPA’s CPD requirements, and, beginning in October 2023, engage with the new ePortfolio.
“The FPA ePortfolio and FPA CCPC will be available to FPARCP members; the FPA has stated this will be a member benefit for all registered PAs on the MVR.”