ARC-PAAccreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
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The ARC-PA began operation as a free-standing accrediting agency in 2001.
The ARC-PA has raised the accreditation standard for programs by requiring all programs accredited prior to 2013 that do not currently offer a graduate degree to transition to conferring a graduate degree, which should be awarded by the sponsoring institution upon all physician assistant students who matriculate into the program after 2020.
The organization states in their accreditation standards, ARC-PA Standards, fourth edition, "The [physician assistant] profession has evolved over time to one requiring a high level of academic rigor.