Assessing physician and anaesthesia associates

Newly qualified physician associates (PAs) currently must pass the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) PA national exam (PANE) to gain entry to the Faculty of Physician Associates’ (FPA’s) managed voluntary register. There is no equivalent assessment for anaesthesia associates (AAs).

The RCP will continue to run the PANE after regulation begins as an entry requirement for our register. We are working with them and others to develop a new assessment to replace PANE which will test newly qualified PAs who have followed the new education framework. This will be called the PA registration assessment and will be used from 2025.

We are also working with the Royal College of Anaesthetists and others to develop an AA registration assessment (AARA). AA courses will adopt the new framework earlier and we’re aiming to have this assessment in place for those who graduate in 2024/25.

Both assessments will have two parts: a written knowledge test and an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). When regulation begins, international applicants for registration will be required to pass the relevant registration assessment.