Training Without Certification
Medical assistants are unlicensed individuals who perform non-invasive
routine technical support services under the supervision of a licensed physician
and surgeon, podiatrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife
in a medical office or clinic setting without the need of receiving a certification.
The supervisor must be on
the premises in order for the medical assistant to perform non-invasive technical
A medical assistant gains experience by training in one of two ways:
- Per Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations section 1366.3(a)(1), training
under a licensed physician or podiatrist, who shall ascertain the proficiency of
the medical assistant; or under a registered nurse, licensed vocational nurse, physician
assistant, or a qualified medical assistant acting under the direction of a licensed
physician or podiatrist who shall be responsible for determining the content of
the training and proficiency of the medical assistant except that training to administer
medication by inhalation shall be provided by a licensed physician or respiratory
care practitioner; or
- Per Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations section 1366.3 (a)(2), in a secondary,
postsecondary, or adult education program in a public school authorized by the Department
of Education, in a community college program provided for in Part 48 of Division
7 of the Education Code, or a postsecondary institution accredited by an accreditation
agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or approved by the
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education under Sections 94130 or 94311 of the
Education Code. A licensed physician or podiatrist shall serve as advisor to the
medical assistant training program. The instructor in a public school setting shall
possess a valid teaching credential issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
The instructor in a private postsecondary institution shall meet the requirements
of Sections 94310 and 94311 of the Education Code and any regulations adopted pursuant
to those sections.
Training With Certification
Qualified medical assistants, who are sometimes used for the purpose of initial
or teaching, must meet specific qualifications and pass an examination given by
a certifying organization in order to obtain certification as a qualified medical
Per Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations section 1366.3 (c)(1)(2)(3),
“qualified medical assistant” is a medical assistant who:
- Is certified by a medical assistant certifying organization approved by the Board
below for list of Board approved medical assistant certifying organizations);
- Holds a credential to teach in a medical assistant training program at a community
- Is authorized to teach medical assistants in a private postsecondary institution
accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the
United States Department of Health or approved by the
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
A list of "Frequently Asked Questions" addressing the appropriate training, supervision,
and scope of practice issues, is available to assist members of the public and profession
to understand the role of the medical assistant within the health care system.
A copy of the Business and Professions Code, the Health and Safety Code, and the
California Code of Regulations, relating to the scope of practice of medical assistants
in the State of California, may be obtained below.
Board Approved Medical Assistant Certifying Organizations