In August 2019, the Certifying Board (CB) of the AAMA approved the launch of a three-year eligibility pilot program, which temporarily opens a new education pathway for medical assistants to become eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam.
Applicants first submit their documentation for review—free of charge—to determine their eligibility to apply for the exam.
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for this pathway to CMA (AAMA) certification, candidates must have graduated from a postsecondary (college-level) medical assisting program that meets the following criteria:
- Is the equivalent of two semesters and includes a minimum of 560 academic contact hours (not including practicum/externship)
- Includes a minimum of a 160-hour practicum/externship (or 1,000 hours of medical assisting experience following program completion) in an ambulatory setting
- Awards a diploma, certificate, or associate degree
- Is offered by an institution accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Has a required curriculum that includes the following:
- Basic anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, infection control, and applied mathematics
- Theory and techniques of intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injection administration
- Theory and techniques of phlebotomy
Why Launch This Pilot Program?
Before implementing the program, the CB took into account several policy priorities, including but not limited to the following:
- Maintaining global and national accreditation standards
- Protecting patients from substandard practice
- Heeding a recommendation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies
- Needing to collect and evaluate empirical evidence on examination performance by candidates who are not graduates of accredited medical assisting programs
Examine all the CB’s considerations and rationale in detail by reading the November/December 2019 Public Affairs article, “The CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam Eligibility Pilot Program: Criteria and Rationale for the Three-Year Pilot Study.”