Canadian Certification Council of Pathologists’ Assistants


  1. If I am a member of the Pathologists’ Assistant Section of the Canadian Association of Pathologists (PA Section of the CAP-ACP), do I have to apply for certification via the CCCPA-CCCAP in order to become certified?
    Yes, you will have to apply for certification (and remit payment) via the CCCPA-CCCAP even if you are a member of the PA Section of the CAP-ACP.
  2. The certification criteria to become certified via the CCCPA-CCCAP are the same as the membership criteria to the PA Section of the CAP-ACP. Can I use the same paperwork I used to apply for the PA Sectioin of the CAP-ACP to apply for certification with the CCCPA-CCCAP?
    Yes, if you applied for membership of the PA Section after the 2014 AGM then you can submit the exact same paperwork to apply for certification via the CCCPA-CCCAP. Please change the first page of the application as the title is different.
  3. I already wrote the PA Section of the CAP-ACP membership exam.  Do I have to write the certification exam?
    No, if you already passed the membership exam to the PA Section of the CAP-ACP, you do not have to write the certification exam. Submit proof of passing the PA Section membership exam when you submit your application for certification via the CCCAP-CCCAP.
  4. Do I have to be a certified PA to work in Canada as a PA?
    Right now, Patholgists’ Assitants are not regulated in Canada. This means that at this time, PAs are not legally required to be certified in order to perform PA job duties. However, some employers may request that their PAs be certified, and may state that they require certification as a condition of hire of a PA. That decision is that of the individual employer’s.
  5. Do I have to be a member of the CAP-ACP to maintain my credentials once I am certified?
    Yes, you must first be a member of the Association and maintain your annual membership.
  6. If I am required to send a core competency checklist, is it acceptable to have a field that is not signed/or marked with N/A by a pathologist?
    Unfortunately we cannot accept “N/A”.  All fields must be signed by a pathologist.
    (Please note that the autopsy competencies are not required if you are applying as Complete Surgical Subject PA– this area can be left blank.)
  7. Why is a completely signed Core Competency Checklist required?
    The Core Competency Checklist was created to ensure that a certified PA is not only employable at their current institution, but anywhere in Canada. The Credential Review Committee needs to see evidence that the applicant has a basic theoretical knowledge of each core competency; such that the applicant could easily be trained to perform those duties (if required).
    The applicant is not required to be technically proficient in each competency. If the pathologist is confident that the applicant can provide a basic definition of each competency and could easily perform each competency after training, the pathologist may sign off on those competencies. The pathologist may also confer with a technical supervisor who may be more familiar with the applicant’s abilities.

Please see the CCCPA-CCCAP website for more information at:

- last updated July 2018 -