To become a certified medical assistant, a person must complete a total of 73 credit hours in a medical assisting program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. In addition to completing the required credit hours, they must pass the CMA examination.
The CMA certification is not permanent. Medical assistants must recertify, either by completing a total of 60 points worth of continuing education units, with at least 10 points in each of the three core areas of the certification, namely clinical, administrative and general. Alternatively, a medical assistant can renew the qualification by taking the CMA Recertification Examination. Recertification must be performed once every five years.