Postgraduate Programs

Accreditation Process

(January 2013)

The clinical postgraduate PA program accreditation process conducted by the ARC-PA is a voluntary one entered into by institutions and programs that sponsor a structured educational experience. To be eligible to apply for accreditation, programs must be operational with at least one enrolled PA resident at the time of application.

The accreditation process for clinical postgraduate PA programs is available here.  A graphic display of this process is available in the Accreditation Manual available on the Resources page of this section of the website. For your convenience diagrams of the accreditation process and site visit process are also found here.

Highlights of the revisions include the following points:

  • To initiate the process, the most senior institutional official responsible for the program must submit a letter of interest and support for the program to pursue the ARC-PA accreditation process.
  • Applying for accreditation for clinical postgraduate PA programs is time limited. There are several 3-year limited components to the process. 
    • The initial 3-year eligibility/application time line begins with receipt by the ARC-PA of the formal letter of interest and support for the process as submitted by the most senior institutional official responsible for the program.
    • There is a 3 year limit from this date for the program to complete its application process and be scheduled for a site visit.  Programs not completing all steps in the process must begin the process again.
    • After being determined to be eligible to apply for accreditation, the program has 1.5 years to complete the curriculum review process.
    • The program has two years from the date of submission of its institutional letter of support to complete its application materials (to include the curriculum review) for administrative review, and receive notification that it has successfully completed its administrative review and is ready for a site visit.

Programs interested in applying for accreditation that are not yet in the process are advised to carefully review the process.

Clinical postgraduate PA programs interested in applying for accreditation by the ARC-PA should contact the ARC-PA office expressing their interest, as detailed in the process..