Core Knowledge and Skills


The following sections do not represent standalone domains on the CCMA exam.
Rather, these are fundamental skills and necessary knowledge for a medical assistant,
which could be used in the context of an assessment item, and are being provided for
preparation and review purposes.


1. Core Knowledge

  • Organizations and guidelines related to the medical profession, for example, CMS, CDC, OSHA, FDA, JC, National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), CLIA, COLA
  • Laws, for example, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Patients’ Bill of Rights, Good Samaritan laws
  • Scope of practice
  • Standards of care
  • Aseptic and sterile techniques
  • Communication methods and techniques
  • Patient education methods, adult learning styles, and instructional techniques
  • Collaborative relationships with providers
  • Electronic health records and electronic medical records (EHR/EMR); paper health records
  • Medical coding systems (diagnostic, procedures, and billing) and charting systems, including ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, and CPT
  • Patient portals and health system portals

2. Core Skills

  • Basic arithmetic
  • Measurements and conversions
  • Basic writing (grammar, spelling, punctuation)
  • Basic word processing and keyboarding
  • Basic computer literacy (for example, file directory structures, networks, information security, internet)
  • Using computers and general software programs (for example, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Using basic office equipment (for example, copier, scanner, fax, tablets, cameras)
  • Responsible behavior in social media
  • Professionalism (for example, appropriate dress, personal telephone/text usage, punctuality, respect for boundaries, motivation, work ethic, integrity, accountability, flexibility, open-mindedness)
  • Interpersonal skills (for example, establish rapport and display empathy)
  • Organization, time management, multi-tasking, and prioritization
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Conflict management
  • Leadership
  • Cultural competence
  • Interacting with patients and other healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds