You must complete a medical assistant program accredited by ABHES or CAAHEP to take the CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) exam. The CMA is the most valuable credential you can achieve as a medical assistant. Employers look for this credential when screening candidates. In fact, the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) claims that its staff receives more than 100 requests a day from employers to verify that applicants have earned the CMA credential. The AAMA provides more information about becoming a CMA here.
Accreditation proves that the school is being held to educational standards. To become accredited, the school will go through a process that can take 6 to 12 months. Accreditation is usually granted for a few years at a time, and then the school will need to repeat the application prove that it is maintaining its standards.