Accreditation History of Postgraduate Programs

Historically the topic of accreditation of postgraduate programs is one dating to the 1980s. A summary of the history of the interest in postgraduate program accreditation follows.

Date Activity
February 1980 The Joint Review Committee was first approached to review the issue of accrediting postgraduate physician assistant programs.
February 1981 An adhoc Committee was appointed and reported its findings. It was the Joint Review Committee consensus opinion that it was inappropriate for the JRC to review post-graduate physician assistant programs at that time.
March 1985 The Joint Review Committee again brought up the issue of reconsidering the advisability of expanding the scope of its review to include post-graduate physician assistant programs. No decision was made.
September 1992 The ARC-PA entertained a presentation from representatives of the Association of Post-graduate Physician Assistant Programs (APPAP). Over the ensuing months additional information was garnered.
March 1994 The Committee declined to be involved in accrediting of post-graduate programs but offered technical assistance regarding the development of separate Standards.
March 1999 The ARC-PA received a request from APPAP president to reconsider accrediting its member programs. A workgroup was appointed.
September 1999 Workgroup reported issues identified and requested a meeting of the ARC-PA and APPAP to further explore the issue.
May 2000 Meeting of APPAP representatives and ARC-PA
March 2001 Issue further discussed at ARC-PA meeting. ARC-PA invites APPAP, AAPA, APAP to join in Task Force
October – December 2002 Task Force members surveyed regarding issues related to accrediting postgraduate PA programs
March 2003 ARC-PA decided that if there is to be an accreditation process, the ARC-PA should administer the process.
May 2003 Task force meets in New Orleans, LA. Discussion of possible Standards.
October 2003 Task force meets in Scottsdale, AZ
June 2004 Task force meets in Las Vegas, NV. APPAP formally asks ARC-PA to develop an accreditation process with cost estimates.
November 2004 Task force meets in Nashville, TN. Task force discusses working draft of accreditation process, policies, time line, costs, Standards
May 2005 AAPA House of Delegates passes policy statement in opposition to accreditation of postgraduate programs. APPAP passes motion reaffirming its desire to have ARC-PA proceed in developing an accreditation process. Task force has final meeting in Orlando
September 2005 ARC-PA appoints committee to continue study of accreditation of post entry level PA programs
February 2006 ARC-PA appoints committee to continue study of accreditation of post entry level PA programs
March 2006 ARC-PA votes to begin providing accreditation services for clinical postgraduate PA programs
March 2007 ARC-PA approves accreditation standards for clinical postgraduate PA programs
March 2008 ARC-PA accredits first two clinical postgraduate PA programs
August 2014 Accreditation process placed in abeyance pending futher study.