Frequently Asked Questions – Continuing Medical Education

  1. If I am selected to participate in a continuing medical education (CME) audit, do I have to provide evidence of compliance of the CME requirements?

    Yes. Within 65 days of the date of the Physician Assistant Board’s (Board) written request, physician assistants selected for audit are required to provide the Board with records issued by an approved continuing medical education provider that indicate the course or program attended, the dates of attendance, and the hours assigned to the course or program. If certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) at the time of renewal, verification of certification must be submitted to the Board.

  2. If I am currently in the military, am I exempt from the CME requirements?

    The Board must temporarily waive the renewal requirements for military personnel when they are called to active duty. To qualify for a waiver, the licensee must possess a current and valid license when called to active duty; and provide written documentation that substantiates the licensee’s call to active duty. “Called to active duty” means full-time duty in the active military of the United States, including training and attendance at a service school. Active duty will also include individuals who are on active duty in the California National Guard, whether due to proclamation of a state of insurrection, a proclamation of a state extreme emergency, or when the California National Guard is otherwise on active duty.

    Renewal requirements are only waived for the period of time the licensee is serving in the temporary assignment at the remote location, and the licensee must notify the Board of receipt of a notice of discharge date within 60 days of receiving such a notice.

  3. What happens if I am unable to comply with the CME requirements?

    If you are unable to complete the minimum CME requirements due to health, military service, or undue hardship, and your license is current and not suspended, revoked or otherwise punitively restricted by the Board, you may request a CME waiver by submitting a Request for Inactive Status (PDF) form to the Board 60 days prior to the expiration of your license.

    If you apply for renewal and pays all applicable fees but answer “No” to the CME renewal requirement question, the license will be placed in inactive status.

    You may not engage in an activity for which is a license is required while in an inactive status. The renewal fee and renewal requirements are the same as for an active license.

    To restore and inactive license, the licensee is required to pay the Controlled Substance Utilization Review Evaluation System (CURES) fee and complete CME hours within the last two years prior to applying to restore the license to an active status.

    The inactive status of any licensee does not deprive the Board of its authority to institute or continue any disciplinary or enforcement action against the licensee.

  4. If I was granted a CME waiver for my prior renewal period, how many hours of CME do I need to complete by the end of the next renewal period?

    If a CME waiver is granted, it is for the current renewal period only and you are not required to complete CME hours or maintain NCCPA certification. Prior to applying to restore the license to an active status, you must complete 50 hours of CME or provide a verification of certification with the NCCPA at the time of renewal.

  5. Can I obtain a CME extension if I am unable to complete the CME hours needed prior to the expiration date of my license?

    No. Until the CME is completed, a license may only be renewed as inactive by paying the renewal fee (exempt from CURES fee) and by checking “No” to the CME question on the renewal application. A physician assistant cannot practice in California with an inactive license.

  6. What happens if I am audited and cannot provide evidence of CME compliance?

    The license status will be changed to inactive until evidence of CME compliance is provided to the Board.

    Misrepresenting compliance with the CME requirements at the time of renewal is considered unprofessional conduct and the Board may issue a citation or take disciplinary action against a licensee who is found to falsely represent compliance with the CME requirements.