May exam cancellations due to COVID-19


As the number of COVID-19 cases grows daily we have made the difficult decision to cancel the scheduled PA National  Examinations, both written and OSCEs, which were due to take place in May in Liverpool. We know that at this current time the uncertainties about what will happen around exams are causing considerable anxiety. The welfare of aspiring physician associates is very important to us so we wanted to provide as much notice as possible of the decision.



These examinations were due to take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 7 May 2020 (written)

  • Wednesday 20 May 2020

  • Thursday 21 May 2020

  • Friday 22 May 2020


We have also made the decision to extend the recertification period by two exam diets for those who were intending to sit the exam in May. As the NHS will be under considerable pressure candidates who were planning on recertifying in May will not be able to register for this examination and will instead have their recertification period extended. 


We are currently in discussions with stakeholders to agree a way forward for those candidates who would have sat the May exams, and hope to provide an update shortly.


The next scheduled round of National Examinations will be held in September.


 Physician Associate National Certification and Recertification exam

The Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) runs the Physician Associate National Certification and Recertification exam. The certification exam is a 14 station OSCE and 200 single best answer (SBA) exam sat by students who have qualified from UK physician associate programmes. They are then required to pass their National Certification exam before they can be declared fit to practice in the UK. Once they have passed their exam, providing they are a member of the FPA, they can then be registered on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register (PAMVR)

The Recertification Examination is a 200 SBA exam which all physician associates have to take every 6 years to revalidate.

Please note, the FPA does not endorse any national examination revision courses.



If you are interested in becoming an examiner for the national exam OSCE please email [email protected] detailing how you meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold a minimum of three year post-registration clinical practise experience
  2. Experience of the PA role - for example as a practicing PA, a PA supervisors, significant involvement in a PA course, or significant ‘on the ground’ experience working with PAs.
  3. Current registration with a professional body (e.g. GMC, PAMVR, NMC).

All new examiners will be required to attend a training workshop prior to their first session as an examiner.


The Exam board 

The FPA Exam Board quality assures the process and results of the PA National Exam and ensures it is robust and fair. 

Please see the Exam Board terms of reference for further information. 


Exam Fees

Please be aware that from September 2018, the national examination fee is  £550; written component £175, OSCE component £375.

 The recertification fee will increase to £275.

 The FPA reserve the right to review the examination fees annually.

National examinations

National Examinations 2020  COVID-19 and Assessments update May exam cancellations due to COVID-19 As the number of COVID-19 cases grows daily we have made the difficult decision... more


  COVID-19 and Assessments update: May exam cancellations due to COVID-19     As the number of COVID-19 cases grows daily we have made the difficult decision to... more