The ARC-PA is the recognized accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public, including current and prospective PA students, and the 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.


  • High quality education for all physician assistants best serves the interests of both the public and the PA profession
  • Continual self-study is the foundation for improving quality in the content and processes of education

PA program accreditation must:

  1. be voluntary, private, and non-governmental
  2. encourage efforts toward maximal educational effectiveness
  3. be built on mutual trust among all parties involved
  4. be devoid of conflict of interest
  5. assure due process

The ARC-PA derives its identity from:

  1. its history
  2. its involvement with other accreditation organizations
  3. its collaborating organizations
  4. the PA profession

The role of the ARC-PA is to:

  1. establish educational standards utilizing broad-based input
  2. define and administer the process for comprehensive review of applicant programs
  3. define and administer the process for accreditation decision-making
  4. determine if PA educational programs are in compliance with the established standards
  5. work collaboratively with its collaborating organizations
  6. define and administer a process for appeal of accreditation decisions


  • to foster excellence in PA education through the development of uniform national standards for educational effectiveness
  • to foster excellence in PA programs by requiring continuous self-study and review
  • to assure the general public, as well as professional, educational, and licensing agencies and organizations that accredited programs have met defined educational standards
  • to provide information to individuals, groups, and organizations regarding PA program accreditation

Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA)

The ARC-PA is a member of ASPA, and as such, subscribes to its code of ethics as posted on theĀ ASPA web site.