Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada

PACCC is an independent Council of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA) that administers and maintains the Physician Assistant (PA) certification process. This includes the PA Entry to practice certification examination (PA Cert Exam), written upon the successful completion of a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredited PA program. The PA Cert Exam is administered independently of any training facility to ensure that the PA meets the standard set out in the National Competency Profile (NCP) for the Physician Assistant profession. CAPA aims to reassure the public that there is a national standard of care from PA providers who successfully complete the PA Cert Exam.

PACCC will include a minimum of two certified physician assistants and representatives from the following categories:

•Allied Health professional
•Chair, Test Committee
•Chair, CPD Committee

Mission Statement

To be the national body that safeguards professional standards and promotes lifelong learning of the Physician Assistant by responding to the evolving needs of patients, government, regulators and national associations.

Vision Statement

Constructing the Canadian standards to deliver on the promise of a competent, caring and responsible Physician Assistant.


As individuals and as a Council, we value:

•The health of individuals and the Canadian population
•Having healthy care providers
•Quality patient care that focuses on needs and values of patients
•Collaboration with other health professions
•PA's making a contribution to the overall quality of health service delivery
•Maintaining public trust
•Accountability of the PA profession to the public

Available Exam Resources

We do not make specific recommendations of reference material. Others have found these resources useful. (not limited to this list)

A Comprehensive Review for the Certification and Recertification Examination for Physician Assistants. Calire Babcock O'Connell, Third Edition

Current medical diagnosis & treatment (2006 ed)/ edited by Lawrence M. Tierney, Stephen J. McPhee, Maxine A Papadakis -- Toronto: McGraw -Hill, c2006

The Merck manual (18th ed)/ edited by Mark H. Beers, Robert Berkow -- Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck & Co., c2006

Current Emergency Diagnosis and Treatment(5th ed)/by C. Keith Stone, Roger Humphries - Toronto: McGraw-Hill C2004

Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology: (4th ed)/ by Thomas Fitzpatrick, Richard Johnson, Klaus Wolff -- Toronto: McGraw Hill, c2001

MCCQE 2007 Review Notes (23rd ed)/ Blair Leonard, Johnathan Yeung -- Toronto: University of Toronto, c2007 Annual with workbook for student retention

Mosby’s manual of diagnostic and laboratory tests (2nd ed)/ by Kathleen Deska Pagana, Timothy Pagana -- St. Louis, MO: c2002

Primary care for physician assistants. Clinical practice guidelines (2nd ed)/ edited by Rodney Moser, Anne Heinly -- Toronto: McGraw-Hill, c2001

The HSC Handbook of Pediatrics (10th ed) / edited by Adam Cheng, Brent Williams, Ben Sivarajan -- Toronto: The Hospital for Sick Children, c2003

Therapeutic choices (4th ed)/ edited by Jean Gray -- Ottawa: Canadian Pharmacists Association, c2003

Current obstetric & gynecologic diagnosis and treatment(9th ed)/ by Alan De Cherney, Lauren Nathan -- New York: Lange c2003

PA Cert Exam Eligibility

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS All candidates must meet the following requirements:

•Properly complete the PA Entry to Practice Certification Examination registration form by the established deadline;

•Member of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA); and

•Meet the competency and/or experience as laid out in the eligibility criteria listed below.


To establish eligibility to challenge the PA Entry to Practice Certification Examination all applicants must meet one or more of the following:

•Graduate of the Canadian Forces Medical Services School (CFMSS) PA Program prior to 2004 (This eligibility will remain valid until and including the 2014 exam. Requires validation of successful completion from the CFMSS PA Program. Proof of clinical practice within 5 years of the examination date supported by the supervising physician indicating the applicant has been in clinical practice.)

•Graduate of a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredited PA program (Requires validation of successful completion of a CMA accredited PA program.) and/or

•Graduate of an Accreditation Review Commission (ARC) program and certified by the National Commission of Certification for Physician Assistant (NCCPA) (Requires validation of successful completion of an ARC accredited US PA program and proof of current NCCPA membership. NCCPA member number must be included on the registration form.)

Trainees of a CMA accredited program may be eligible to sit the examination in the last two months of their training program pending confirmation of completion of core competencies by the program. Failure to successfully complete the training program renders the PA Certification Examination result invalid.

The CAPA Certification Manager approves all applications for eligibility to sit the PA Entry to Practice Certification Examination. If there is insufficient documentation to substantiate the certification requirements the application will be refused. All applications will be reviewed 30 days before the exam date. In the event of a refusal, a candidate can dispute the decision in writing within 2 weeks before the exam date. All written disputes will be referred to the Physician Assistants Certification Council of Canada (PACCC) Chair for immediate review and consideration.