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The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) 2023

Physician assistants (PAs) must be certified and recertified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, or NCCPA, a well-known body in the US. The goal of NCCPA is to maintain the highest levels of professionalism, competence, and expertise in the PA industry. NCCPA, a non-profit organization, was founded with the primary goal of making sure PAs are qualified to treat patients in a variety of medical disciplines. The NCCPA is a pillar of PA practice and education, promoting quality in the healthcare industry with its stringent certification and recertification procedures. The context for comprehending the critical role that NCCPA plays in upholding the caliber and legitimacy of the physician assistant profession in the US is established by this introduction.

Here is what you need to know about (NCCPA) 2023:


PANCE – Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam


The PANCE is intended for people who want to become certified as PAs initially and have finished a recognized physician assistant program. It evaluates whether applicants possess the know-how and abilities required to function as PAs.


The PANCE normally requires you to have completed an approved PA program in order to be eligible. As requirements can change, it’s critical to confirm the precise requirements at the time of application.

Exam Format:

The PANCE is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam.
It consists of 300 questions divided into five content domains:

  • Organ Systems: 64% of the exam
  • Diseases or Disorders: 14%
  • Task Areas: 13%
  • Patient Evaluation: 9%
  • History Taking and Physical Examination: 7%

The exam must be completed within a five-hour time frame.

Passing Score:

A statistical procedure is used to determine the PANCE passing score. Applicants do not receive a numerical score; instead, they receive a pass or fail outcome.


You have the option to retake the PANCE if you do not pass it. You can retake the exam after a ninety-day waiting period and up to six times in a six-year span.

 PANCE Registration

Prior to completing PANCE registration, you need to apply to the NCCPA and pay $550. You have 180 days from the time you graduate from a PA program certified by ARC-PA to take the test. As long as the testing facility is available, you are free to arrange it anytime you like. Ensure that you send in all necessary materials to the NCCPA. Those who take the exam but are not eligible will either not receive a score or have their score revoked. Only one exam registration is permitted at a time.


The two primary expenses associated with the PANCE are the application fee and any test-prep services you may use. The application price is $550  and must be paid at the time of registration. The NCCPA website has the most recent version of this cost, which is subject to change. The price of test preparation can vary based on the available resources. The majority of PANCE review tools are in the $200–$550 range.

PANCE Duration:

The time limit for the exam is 5 hours.

PANCE Exam Date

January 3, 2023 – December 16, 2023

PANRE – Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam


The PANRE is the test that PAs with certification must take to recertify. It guarantees that certified PAs maintain the levels of expertise and knowledge necessary for continued practice.


Generally speaking, PAs have 180 days prior to the expiration of their certification to take the PANRE. The requirements for eligibility may change depending on the person’s cycle of certification.

Exam Format:

The PANRE consists of 240 multiple-choice questions.
Questions are categorized into four core medical categories:

  • Organ Systems: 25% of the exam
  • Diseases or Disorders: 25%
  • Task Areas: 16%
  • Patient Evaluation: 14%

The exam also includes 10 pretest questions that do not count toward the final score.

Passing Score

Like the PANCE, a statistical method is used to establish the PANRE passing score. Candidates do not receive a numerical score; instead, they receive a pass or fail outcome.

Recertification Cycle

Depending on experience, the PA recertification cycle has different durations. Experienced PAs usually have a ten-year certification cycle, whereas new PAs begin with a two-year cycle. The certification cycle concludes with the PANRE.


In the event that a PA fails the PANRE, they can retake it within a certain time frame.

PANRE Registration

The following are the requirements to register for the PANRE:

  • Register online at the NCCPA website
  • Submit payment of the $350 exam registration fee
  • Schedule your exam anytime within the timeframe established for you to take the exam based on the successful submission
  • of all required materials


To register for PANRE, simply sign in to your NCCPA record if you are in the ninth or tenth year of your certification maintenance cycle. $350 is the registration fee. Testing won’t take place from December 17–31, 2023.

PANRE Duration

The time limit for the exam is 4 hours.

PANRE Exam date

January 3, 2023 – December 16, 2023

Latest News

From 95,583 board-certified PAs in 2013 to 168,318 by the end of 2022, the PA profession rose by 76% in the last ten years, according to the most recent Statistical Profile of Certified PAs released by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

PAs made $120,204 on average in 2022 compared to $110,567 in 2018, a 9% rise. 9.4% of PAs are employed in clinical settings and treat an estimated 10.4 million patients weekly.

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