The Faculty of Physician Associates is launching a new pre-payment scheme to support physician associate students preparing for their national examination 

Understand the latest updates to the FPA pre-payment scheme – September 2023

The Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) is launching a pre-payment scheme that will help to support hundreds of physician associate (PA) students during their journey to qualification.

The FPA runs the Physician Associate National Certification Examination (PANE) – the examination that all PA students must pass to become a qualified PA and be listed on the FPA Managed Voluntary Register (MVR). The MVR is currently the only way for PA employers to verify that a PA has passed both components of the PANE and is fit to practise.

The Assessment Unit at The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) operates the PANE and, together with the FPA, understands the financial pressures placed on PA students during their journey to qualification. To help alleviate those additional pressures, the FPA is pleased to announce a new pre-payment scheme available to all FPA PA student members who start their PA course from January 2023.

The PANE pre-payment scheme will allow PA students to pay for their PANE in either 12 or 20 monthly instalments – avoiding the need to pay one lump sum when registering to sit the PANE at the end of their 2-year PA programme. The new scheme will launch in January 2023 and be available to all new FPA PA student members. The FPA is also pleased to announce that FPA student members who joined from September 2022 will qualify for the pre-payment scheme.

Speaking about this exciting development, FPA president Jamie Saunders said: ‘We have continued to monitor the climate closely and understand that the cost-of-living crisis will be concerning for PA students. By introducing this new scheme, we hope to remove any additional strain from students at what is an already stressful time as they continue to work hard to reach their goal of becoming a qualified PA.’

Jamie continues: ‘We’re proud to support PA students and help guide them during their journey to qualification. We hope that the launch of this pre-payment scheme also helps support prospective PA students who may be thinking of joining the profession but are worried about the cost implications.’

Immediate past FPA national student representative and qualified PA Alana Hart commented: ‘I am so pleased that the FPA have developed a new scheme for the PANE. This scheme will enable students to pay their national exam fees in bite-sized amounts throughout their course, rather than trying to keep a large sum of money aside to fund the PANE, which can prove quite challenging. I hope that this will relieve some financial pressure on students through these difficult times.’

While the pre-payment scheme is optional, PA students must be an FPA member to qualify for access. For just £1 a month, PA students receive several benefits that include discounted rates to FPA/RCP conferences and events, regular updates from the FPA president regarding the profession, access to RCP journals, library materials and more. To become an FPA student member, visit PA student membership.

For additional queries or concerns, please contact [email protected].

January 2023