Eligibility Pilot Program Requirements for the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam

The Certifying Board (CB) of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) is proud to announce the launch of a pilot program, which opens a new education pathway for medical assistants to become eligible to sit for the CMA (AAMA)® Certification Exam.

This three-year pilot program, begun August 2019, allows graduates of postsecondary (college-level) medical assisting programs to take the CMA (AAMA) Exam if the program meets certain requirements listed below, including the program being part of an institution accredited by an accrediting body recognized by either the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

This will not be replacing the current certification exam eligibility categories for candidates who have graduated from a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Instead, it will function alongside them as a time-limited alternative to those who are unable to qualify under any of the existing eligibility categories.

Am I Eligible?

In order to be eligible for this pathway to certification, candidates must have graduated from a postsecondary medical assisting program which 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 160-hour practicum/externship (or 1,000 hours of medical assisting experience following program completion) completed in an outpatient 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

Knowledge and application of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and mathematics must be demonstrated to the extent and degree necessary to reasonably ensure practices that meet or exceed the current standard of care. Injection and phlebotomy must be performed successfully a sufficient number of times, detailed below, to demonstrate clinical competence and reasonably ensure practices that meet or exceed the current standard of care.

What Do I Need to Submit?

At a minimum, the following documentation will be required:

1. Transcript (an unofficial transcript may be submitted for initial review, but if approved, an official transcript will be required) documenting successful meeting of all the above academic criteria, including the curriculum requirements.

2. Attestation Letter from a program director confirming successful completion of a postsecondary medical assisting program that met the above criteria and that included:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Infection control
  • Pharmacology
  • Applied mathematics
  • Successful preparation and administration of a total of at least 10 intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections in any combination
  • Successful performance of phlebotomy a minimum of 10 times

If curriculum requirements and other criteria are not sufficiently documented, additional documentation will be needed.

Cost of documentation review: free.*

*CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam fees will apply if approved to sit for the exam.

Once your submission materials are approved, all policies within the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam application will apply. See Sample Attestation Letters for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Exam Eligibility Pilot Program for examples on how to tailor the attestation letters specific to externship, medical assisting experience, and/or knowledge and application.

 

Submit Online for the CMA (AAMA) Examination Eligibility Pilot Program.