Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education to Include Optometry


CHICAGO—Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education announced a new collaboration with the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) and the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry’s Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (ARBO/COPE). The new collaboration expands Joint Accreditation, giving jointly accredited interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) organizations the option to include optometrists and physician assistants (PAs) in their education programs, without needing to attain separate accreditation with AAPA and COPE. Since 2009, Joint Accreditation has offered organizations the opportunity to be simultaneously accredited to provide continuing education for physicians, pharmacists and nurses through a unified accreditation process and set of accreditation standards, the organization said in a statement.

“ARBO is honored and thrilled that COPE has become a member of the Joint Accreditation team. This is the culmination of over 20 years of work to advance and promote high standards and quality in optometric continuing education. It is also a recognition that optometrists are vital members of the health care team,” stated Richard Orgain, OD, president, Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry.

“AAPA and the PA profession are committed to team practice and collaboration, which are critical to improving patient outcomes,” stated L. Gail Curtis, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, president and chair of the AAPA Board of Directors. “We are excited to work with ACCME, ACPE, ANCC and COPE on the Joint Accreditation team, and through this effort, add the PA voice to valuable interprofessional conversations about improving team-based care and the patient experience.”

The accreditors collaborated to expand Joint Accreditation in response to requests from jointly accredited organizations and because of their commitment to team-based education, according to an announcement. The goal of the expansion is to increase the benefits that jointly accredited organizations already receive from the unified accreditation process and to support their efforts to deliver high-quality, effective IPCE that improves team collaboration and patient care, the statement said.

Joint Accreditation executive leaders are available for speaking engagements to discuss the opportunities for continuing education to advance interprofessional education and collaborative practice through the Joint Accreditation program. Questions can be directed to