Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists

The FRCA examinations are an integral part of the College's programme of assessments.

The FRCA examinations test the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes as defined by the anaesthetic training curriculum.

Our examinations remain internationally recognised for their fairness and high standards. They have evolved to reflect contemporary best educational and assessment practice and developments in anaesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine.

New guidance on number of attempts at FRCA and FFICM examinations (applicable from August 2020)

In accordance with General Medical Council guidelines on managing examinations during the pandemic, any candidate’s first sitting of an examination in a new online format (online written with remote proctoring or online face-to-face clinical) will not have that attempt counted towards the overall total six attempts if they do not receive a pass.

This temporary change applies to all FRCA and FFICM examinations between August 2020 and 31 July 2021.


  • if a candidate fails the first attempt of an online proctored MCQ exam, the attempt will not be counted. Subsequent sittings of the same exam will then count towards the total overall number of attempts.
  • if a candidate sits the online face-to-face Primary OSCE and SOE and fails one component, the passed component will be held and the failed component will not count as an attempt. Any subsequent resit will count as an attempt.

Prioritisation of Applications for examinations during AY20/21

We will endeavour to examine as many candidates as possible during AY 20/21 however, due to reduced capacity when delivering the examinations virtually, eligibility criteria will be applied to all FRCA examinations for a temporary period - please refer to the examination regulations prioritisation of applications and the accompanying statement from the Chair of RCoA Education, Training and Examinations Board. In each sitting, individual circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis with support from a regional advisor or head of school. 

Additional Sittings

To ensure that we can sit as many eligible candidates as possible in this academic year, an additional week of exams has been arranged for the Final SOE in February 2021 (dates as per the exam calendar for this exam) and an additional week (limited spaces only) will be added to the Primary OSCE/SOE sittings. Candidates for Primary should apply for a particular exam sitting and will be allocated a date within a two-week period from the week commencing date. 

We are very grateful to our examiners for volunteering for these additional sessions, which will help us to increase the numbers of candidates we can assess within the year and reduce interruption to training progression. 

The FRCA examinations

The FRCA examinations provide anaesthetists in training with the opportunity to demonstrate the required outcomes of the curriculum and determine satisfactory progression at each critical progression point within their training programme. The FRCA examinations are also open to anaesthetic doctors who are not in an approved training programme (conditions apply).

As an exams candidate, you will sit the FRCA in two parts:

Each examination tests different outcomes and competencies using validated assessment methods to test a broad-spectrum of knowledge, understanding, skills, behaviours and attitudes. The exams are approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) for UK postgraduate medical training and follow the UK curricula and guidelines.

On successful completion of both Primary and Final FRCA examinations, you would become a fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists by examination and can use the letters FRCA after your name.

Fellowship is also a valued professional distinction for the many international students who come to the UK to sit the FRCA exams.