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Physician Assistant License Requirements

Chapter 18.71A RCW

Chapter 246-918 WAC

Licensing Requirements Verification Documents
Graduation from an accredited and approved physician assistant program Official transcript with degree and date posted, received directly from applicant’s program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation. Program director evaluation report.
Must have successfully passed the NCCPA examination.
If you are a new graduate from an accredited program and have not taken or passed the PANCE examination at the time of application, you will be eligible for an interim permit.
If a new graduate sitting for the PANCE exam through NCCPA, please have scores sent to us for verification. If you are currently certified, the licensing staff will be able to verify this on the NCCPA webpage.
Work history (professional training and experience) Must have complete chronology from receipt of physician assistant degree to the date of application. All time breaks of 30 days or more must be accounted for.
Hospital privileges Hospital privileges
State license verification Applicant lists all states where credentials are or were held, including where applicant has applied but a credential was not granted. A verification form must be completed and submitted by the jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed. Applicant sends form to jurisdiction for completion. The jurisdiction sends completed form directly to the department.

Statement about:

  • physical and mental health status
  • lack of impairment due to chemical dependency/substance abuse
  • history of loss of license, certification or registration
  • felony convictions
  • loss or limitations of privileges
  • disciplinary actions
  • professional liability claims history.
Applicant must answer personal data questions. An appropriate explanation and required documentation must be sent with positive answers. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint and the settlement or final disposition. If pending, applicant must indicate status.

Additional Information/Documents Required

  • Federation of State Medical Boards verification – department staff will obtain
  • Successfully passed examination by National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). An interim permit can be issued for one year while results are pending.
  • Suicide Prevention Training - six hours - retain CME certificate (WAC 2046-918-185)
  • Opioid Prescribing Training - one hour -  retain CME certificate. Since the rules do not specify what the training must contain, other than it be regarding opioid prescribing best practices, we are not maintaining a list of resources. Any training that is at least one hour, provides CME, and is regarding best practices in opioid prescribing would count as having met the one-time, one-hour requirement. (WAC 246-918-825

Process for Approving/Denying Applications

Documents from the AMA and Federation of State Medical Boards and documents verifying hospital privileges and state licenses which are over one year old from the date of application must be re-verified.

The licensing manager reviews and approves applications as authorized by the commission except for applications that have the following:

a. positive answers on state, hospital or post-graduate training verifications;
b. applicants without an active license who have not worked for more than three years; and/or
c. positive answers to personal data questions, except for questions regarding malpractice history.

Applications with malpractice history are reviewed by a medical consultant. If the medical consultant determines there is no basis for denying the application, the licensing manager reviews the application and if there are no other positive answers or “red flags”, approves application for licensure. If the medical consultant determines additional information is needed or that a member of the commission should review the file, the application is forward to a reviewing member for a decision.

Applications with positive answers or that are considered “red flag” applications are reviewed by the legal unit and then forwarded to a reviewing board member who presents it to a panel of the commission for a decision. An applicant is formally notified of a denial and has the opportunity for a hearing.

Note: Additional documentation needed to practice is described in Process for Delegation Agreement Approval.

Process for Delegation Agreement Approval

Before a physician assistant is able to practice with a physician, they must submit a delegation agreement defining the working relationship between themselves and their sponsoring or supervising physician.

The licensing manager manager reviews and approves completed delegation agreements as authorized by the commission except for those that have the following:

a. instances where the sponsoring or supervising physician are currently sponsoring or supervising three or more physician assistants; and/or
b. where the physician assistant or physician sponsor or supervisor are currently on order by the commission.

A medical consultant reviews delegation agreements where the sponsoring or supervising physician is currently sponsoring or supervising three or more physician assistants, and remote site requests. If the medical consultant determines additional information is needed or that a member of the commission should review the delegation agreement, the agreement is forwarded to a reviewing commission member for an approval/denial decision.

Delegation agreements where the physician assistant, physician sponsor or supervisor has had prior action by the commission are forwarded to a reviewing commission member for an approval/denial decision. Licensee will be formally notified of a denial and has the opportunity for a hearing.

Prescriptive Authority

A delegation agreement allows the certified or non-certified physician assistant to prescribe, order, administer and dispense legend drugs and Schedule II-V controlled substances. If a supervising or alternate physician’s prescribing privileges are restricted, the physician assistant will be deemed similarly restricted.

Renewal Requirements

Physician assistants must renew their license every two years on or before their birthday. They're required to submit the appropriate fee and renewal card. Physician assistants must complete 100 hours of continuing education every two years. Physician assistants must also complete the Demographic Census for Workforce Planning.