Accreditation of PA programs is a process initiated by the sponsoring institution.  It includes a comprehensive review of the program relative to the Standards and it is the responsibility of the PA program to demonstrate its compliance with the Standards.  Accreditation decisions are based on the ARC-PA’s evaluation of information contained in the accreditation application, the report of site visit evaluation teams, any additional requested reports or documents submitted to the ARC-PA by the program and the program accreditation history.

Updated results of program applications considered at the March 2019 meeting of the ARC-PA are available here.

Accreditation Review Cycle

A PA Program, once accredited, remains accredited until the program formally terminates its accreditation status or the ARC-PA terminates the program’s accreditation through a formal action. Accreditation does not end merely because a certain length of time has elapsed, but continues unless subject to formal termination by either the program or the ARC-PA. When the ARC-PA withdraws accreditation, the letter transmitting that decision specifies the date at which the accreditation ceases.

PA programs typically are subject to comprehensive evaluation on a ten-year cycle. Clinical postgraduate PA programs typically are subject to comprehensive evaluation on a six-year cycle; the process for clinical postgraduate programs is in abeyance at present. A site visit or any periodic reporting by the program does not affect the accreditation status of a program unless it is accompanied by a formal ARC-PA accreditation action.

The maximum length of time between comprehensive evaluations for

  • established PA programs is 10 years.
  • established clinical postgraduate PA programs is 6 years.
  • a PA program completing a period of probation is 8 years.
  • a clinical postgraduate PA program completing a period of probation is 3 years.

For additional information see Types of Accreditation Site Visits and Accreditation Types and Review Cycles.