The Physician Associate National Examinations

The Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) runs the Physician Associate national certification and recertification examination (PANE).

The national exam is made up of an OSCE component (a 14 station OSCE) and a written component (a 200 single best answer (SBA) exam) and is sat by students who have qualified from UK physician associate programmes.

Once PA students have successfully completed their PA studies course, they are then required to pass their national exam before they can be declared fit to practice in the UK. On successful completion of the PANE, 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.

PA National Certification and Recertification Assessments – changes to the application process 2022

As part of the RCP Assessment Unit’s continued commitment to enhancing the support provided to those taking the PA National Certification and recertification assessments, we are making a number of changes to streamline the application process for the September/October assessment period, which opens for applications on Monday 27 June 2022.

The application process will still be accessed via the FPA website, but will then automatically redirect to the Orzone website, where candidates will firstly need to create an account in order to then proceed to the application process, select the assessment component(s) they wish to apply for, and provide the relevant details. Click here for more information. 

Changes to the delivery of the PA National Exam (written)

From September 2021 the PA national certification and recertification examination (written) will be delivered online through the RCP’s new online exam platform provider, Orzone. Orzone have many years of experience in delivering bespoke online medical exams and we are delighted to be able to work with them on the PA national examinations.

Online delivery means that exam candidates will not have to travel to attend the exam but will undertake the assessment virtually in their own home or an appropriate place of their choosing.  The exam will take exactly the same format as in previous years, but with the questions displayed and answered online, rather than in pencil and paper format.

Any reasonable adjustments that are required, will be accommodated within the online platform.

Please note, the PA OSCE is not affected by any of these changes.

As you would expect with an online exam there are some requirements that candidates will need to have in place before the day of the exam, to allow them to access the online platform and to complete the exam successfully. Orzone do have a well-developed support network to help with any issues before or during the exam however our advice is to start preparations early, leaving plenty of time to troubleshoot effectively.

In terms of technical requirements, Orzone recommend the following:

  • A computer or laptop running Windows 10, or a Mac running iOS 10.13 or later (2015+ devices with an up to date OS will support this software)
  • A computer or laptop with a functioning internal camera (external cameras/webcams are not recommended but can be used if absolutely necessary)
  • A computer or laptop with full administrative rights to install the required software (if you are using a work or university based computer you should check with your IT department well in advance to see if the software can be installed)
  • A computer or laptop connected to a fully working and stable internet, ideally via a wired connection
  • Any VPN connections you may be using are disabled before installation.
  • On the day of the exam you should remove any extra screens connected to the computer and close all other programs (the software will detect if any additional programs or windows are open during your exam)

The Orzone system uses a combination of live proctoring and AI monitoring to track candidate activity during the examination. We recognise that disruption is sometimes unavoidable but the AI monitoring and live proctoring is there to differentiate between the accidental and the intentional. It is therefore important that candidates chose a room to test from that is suitable and will ensure the best possible test experience. In terms of test environment, the following is recommended:

  • A room where you will not be disturbed for the duration of the examination
  • A plain background
  • No backlight or glare on your screen (from windows or lights)

Full details of the requirements can be found here: along with frequently asked questions here:

In the week leading up to the exam you will be sent all of the relevant information required to install the software and register both yourself and the computer to the Orzone online examination portal. You will also receive an individual password and access key that allows you to download and install everything that is needed for the day of the exam. We advise that you start the installation process as soon as you receive instructions so that any issues can be resolved within the installation window.

The Orzone software WILL need to be installed on your chosen PC or laptop and whichever device you install the software on MUST be the device you use on the day of the exam.

Further details and instructions regarding the online examination and the onboarding process will be provided through the application and registration process.

In the meantime if you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Exam Fees

Please be aware that from September 2021, the national examination fees will be:

Examination type

Examination fee




PA certification examination (written)




PA clinical examination (OSCE)









For further information on the new fees can be found here

The recertification fee is £275

The RCP reserves the right to review the examination fees annually.

The Physician Associate Naitional Exam Board

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


Current vacancies 

  • Member of the Physician Associate National Examination Question Group
  • Member of the Physician Associate Scenario Writing Group

Please find more information on both roles here and the terms of reference here

How to apply

Individuals are welcome to apply for one or both of the advertised roles. Applicants should note the anticipated time commitment in terms of attendance before applying (see the advert linked above for more information).

To apply, submit a CV and short statement outlining your suitability for the attention of Steven Ansty via [email protected]. This is an ongoing recruitment process which will be reviewed regularly and may close without prior notice. Those interested in the advertised role(s) are advised to apply as soon as possible.

For an informal discussion regarding the role please contact Steven Ansty, deputy head of assessment at the above email address, or via 0151 318 1888.

Become a PA National examiner

If you are interested in becoming a PA National OSCE examiner 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). Please provide your registration number.

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

Please note that the position of PA National OSCE examiner is a voluntary one, examiners do not receive honoraria or other remuneration for their services to the College. We do however cover all travel and accommodation expenses for attending each OSCE (held in Liverpool), as well as the training session you attend, and CPD points are available via your membership organisation each time you examine.