What to Know About the PANRE-LA


PAs now have two options for their recertification assessment. In addition to the traditional PANRE, the NCCPA offers the PANRE-LA, a longitudinal, at-home process. While both the PANRE and PANRE-LA follow the same content blueprint, there are differences between the two recertification assessments. Here are some of the most important things you need to know about the PANRE-LA. 

What is the PANRE-LA? 

The PANRE Longitudinal Assessment (PANRE-LA) is the new alternative to the traditional PANRE. It is designed to help PAs identify and address knowledge gaps in core medical content as they complete their recertification process.  

What is the format of the PANRE Longitudinal Assessment? 

The PANRE-LA is made up of 12 available quarters of material. Each quarter, PAs must answer 25 questions. Each question will have a five-minute time limit. 

PAs will have three years to complete the assessment. They must complete eight quarters (at least one in the first year and one in the second year) and may skip up to four quarters. PAs participating in the PANRE-LA may access printed or online reference materials to help them answer questions. 

After answering each question, PAs will receive feedback on whether the question was answered correctly or incorrectly, as well as a rationale and reference for each answer choice. 

How long does it take to complete the assessment? 

PAs who complete the first eight quarters and meet the passing standard may be able to finish the process in two years at the earliest. For PAs who do not meet the passing standard, scores will continue to be recalculated with the best eight quarters.  

I prefer to take the traditional PANRE. Do I have to take the PANRE-LA? 

The traditional PANRE will still be administered at designated testing centers. The PANRE-LA is an alternative option, not a replacement to taking the traditional PANRE.  

When do I need to apply for the PANRE-LA?  

PAs are required to apply for the PANRE-LA process in year 6 of their 10-year certification maintenance cycle. They will then start the exam in January of their 7th year.

Who is eligible for the PANRE-LA? 

Only currently certified PAs may participate in the PANRE-LA. PAs who are due for recertification in 2027 are eligible to apply for the PANRE-LA administration which begins in January 2024.  

Do I still have to complete CME requirements to maintain certification? 

Yes, PAs who participate must continue to meet the two-year CME and certification maintenance fee requirements to maintain their PA-C certification.  

Is the PANRE-LA open book? Am I allowed to work with others on the exam? 

PAs are permitted to use printed and online medical references. However, discussing exam questions and materials with others is prohibited, and doing so can lead to disciplinary actions from the NCCPA, including potential loss of certification.  

How can I prepare for the PANRE-LA?

While the assessment is open book, it is still vital that you study for the PANRE-LA. Using a question bank will help give you the practice you need to answer as many assessment questions correctly as possible.

The BoardVitals PANCE/PANRE Question Bank contains more than 1700 questions formatted to the latest NCCPA blueprints. In addition, you can use BoardVitals web platform’s Search Questions field to find all questions and explanations containing the term you searched. You can then reference questions and explanations to assist you in working out the correct answer. 

What happens if I fail the PANRE-LA? 

The PANRE-LA is available from years 7-9 of a PA’s certification maintenance cycle. PAs who do not pass have up to 3 chances to take and pass the traditional PANRE.  

Do I get CME credit for participating in the PANRE-LA? 

The assessment qualifies as a Category 1 Self-Assessment activity. For each quarter that you complete all 25 questions, you will receive 2 Category 1 Self-Assessment CME credits. For NCCPA certification maintenance requirements, NCCPA will automatically apply the 50% bonus for self-assessment activities to NCCPA CME requirements. 

Have more questions? Need more advice for success as a PA? Download The Complete Guide to Becoming a Physician Assistant, the free eBook from BoardVitals. Filled with words of wisdom from PAs who have been through it all, this FREE eBook will help you on your journey towards becoming a PA, before, during, and after PA school. 

The writing staff at BoardVitals is passionate about medicine, healthcare, and education. We’ve trained over 1.5 million physicians and work with more than 300 top teaching institutions. Learn more about our board review and continuing education products at boardvitals.com.

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