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Controlled Substance Education Course

Effective January 1, 2020, as a result of CAPA’s sponsored legislation, SB 697, PAs who have completed a one-time Controlled Substance Education Course may order or furnish a Schedule II drug pursuant to the Practice Agreement without patient-specific advance approval. CAPA's Controlled Substances Education Course meets requirements pursuant to California Code of Regulations Sections: 1399.610 and 1399.612

One must be a licensed PA to take the course and have it count as the course you take one time in your career that would allow you to provide or issue a drug order for controlled substances without advance approval by your supervising physician.

Official California Code of Regulations
§ 1399.612. Responsibilities of Course Providers and Attendees.
(b) A controlled substance course provider shall issue a certificate of completion to each licensee who has successfully completed the course. A certificate of completion shall include the following information:

  1. Name and license number of the physician assistant.
  2. Course title and each instructor's name.
  3. Provider's name and address.
  4. Date of course completion.

ACCREDITATION: 6 Hours Category 1 CME
This program has been reviewed and is approved for 6 hours Category I (preapproved) CME credit by the American Academy of PAs. It was planned in accordance with the AAPA’s CME Standards for Lecture-Learner Programs and for Commercial Support of Lecture- Learner Programs. In order to fulfill the requirements of the California Code of Regulations Sections: 1399.541(h), 1399.610, and 1399.612 you must attend the entire 6-hour course, take and pass the post-test.

Participants must use a laptop or desktop to join the meeting. A tablet or your phone will not allow you to take the test while on Zoom. CAMERAS MUST BE ON DURING THE ENTIRE EXAM. No exceptions will be made. 

The planners and sponsors reserve the right to change speakers and/or cancel the event due to unforeseen circumstances without penalty. The total amount of any liability of the planners and sponsors will be limited to a refund of the registration fees. CAPA’s minimum registrant policy for the course is 30 registrants. If the minimum threshold isn’t met, CAPA reserves the right to cancel or postpone the course to another date.


Q: Does this course satisfy the new DEA requirement (2023 MATE Act)?
A: Yes. The 6 hours of CME earned through the CSEC course does count toward the new DEA 8-hour training. Learn more about what this requirement means for PAs here. Effective October 2023, CAPA's CSEC registration will include an additional 2 hour virtual training to complete the total of 8 hours needed. If you have already completed the controlled substance education course in the past, click here to purchase access to the 2-hour training only.

​Q: I haven't taken my PANCE yet. Can I take the CSEC course?
A: No. One must be a licensed PA to take the course.

Q: I am an interim student member of CAPA. I graduated from my PA program and have received my California license, but I am unable to register for the course. What should I do?
A: Contact CAPA to upgrade your membership from interim student to either Fellow or Associate.

Q: I only have a phone to use for the virtual course. Is that okay?
A: Proctors must be able to see you during the entire exam. Zoom does not allow you to switch between apps with the camera on so unless you have another device that you can use to take the test, we highly recommend that you find a solution before taking the course.

Q: Now that I've completed this course, what's next? Do I contact the DEA?
A: The CSEC is NOT a DEA course. The course does not qualify nor disqualify you for DEA registration. You are qualified for DEA registration because you are delegated the authority to write for controlled substances by your collaborating physician. The purpose of this course is to give those individuals who complete it the option to modify the requirements for chart cosignature on an individual PA basis. Read More.

Q: Do I need to take this course?
A: Licensed PAs, under CA state law, must complete a one-time CSEC course in the following cases:

  • If you have been authorized by your practice and practice agreement to prescribe controlled substances.
  • If your practice and/or supervising physician wants to remove the administrative burden of physicians co-signing all PA prescriptions for controlled substances.

Read over your practice agreement. If your practice agreement does not authorize you to order controlled substances, you do not need to take the course.

Upcoming Courses:


Saturday, January 27
Sunday, March 10

Saturday, May 11
Saturday, September 14
Saturday, October 19

All courses are conducted via Zoom

Registration Fees*:

$250: CAPA Member
$650: Non-CAPA Member

*Effective October 2023, registration will include access to an additional 2-hour substance use disorder training available on-demand. The fee increase will be $250 for CAPA Members and $650 for Non-Members.

*If you are an interim student member who recently graduated and became a licensed PA, please contact the CAPA office via phone (714-427-0321) or email ( to upgrade your membership.