Final FRCA SOE
About the SOE
The Final FRCA Structured Oral Examination (SOE) assesses a candidate’s clinical knowledge, understanding, and decision-making abilities in clinical anaesthesia, and the applied clinical science underpinning it. It is the last component of the FRCA examination and successful candidates are awarded the Fellowship by Examination of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
The Final FRCA Structured Oral Examination (SOE) is delivered in person at the College.
The Final SOE assesses clinical anaesthesia and is aligned to the intermediate level curriculum. At least two topics are taken from the general duties unit, at least four from the six essential units and up to one topic from optional units of the curriculum.
Structure of the Final SOE
The Final SOE comprises two parts, SOE 1 and SOE 2:
SOE 1 contains two parts, part A and B, which are taken consecutively. Each part is 26 minutes long and comprises two clinical short cases, each with a linked clinical science question. The clinical science question may come before or after the clinical short case. Candidates have 13 minutes to complete each short case and linked question. it is followed by the SOE 2.
SOE 2 comprises a two-section clinical long case followed by two clinical short cases, unrelated to the clinical long case. This SOE is 36 minutes long, with 10 minutes to view clinical material, 13 minutes for the two-section clinical long case, and 13 minutes to answer the two clinical short cases.
How it is marked
The SOE is marked by two examiners, marking independently.
There are twelve questions in total. 2 marks are given for a pass, 1 mark for a borderline performance, and 0 marks for a fail. Each examiner can award a total of 24 marks across the 12 questions, with a maximum score of 48 marks.
The pass mark is determined using standard setting methods approved by the GMC.
Candidates are awarded a pass or a fail.
A quick eligibility check is set out below. You must be:
|Final FRCA SOE - maximum six attempts|
|Registered with the GMC (UK) AND|
|Passed the Primary FRCA examination or exemption qualification and the Final Written examination AND|
To be eligible to sit the Final FRCA, candidates no longer need to be in receipt of the UK Core Level Training Certificate (CLTC) or Stage 1 certificate. Candidates must have passed the Primary FRCA examination, exempting qualification or NHS appraisal for non-UK trainee or sponsored under MTI. AND
Has not exceeded the maximum numbers allowed. Will have submitted an Additional Educational Training form (AET1) at least three months prior to applying at the sixth attempt. Paragraph 8, Appendix 8 of the Examinations Regulations refer.
The full eligibility for this exam is listed at Section 7 Paragraph 17 of the Examination Regulations.
Final FRCA SOE Examinations Calendar; 2023-2024
Application opening date
Monday, 13 March 2023
|Monday, 11 March 2024|
Application closing date
|Wednesday, 24 April 2024|
4 December 2023
Note that the Royal College of Anaesthetists has returned to face-to-face format for the OSCE and SOE components of the FRCA exam.
The online application process will be open for each exam from 0900 on the exam opening date to 1700 on the exam closing date (see dates and fees in the section above). Applications are not accepted outside the application window. Confirmation of exam bookings will be communicated with candidates once the booking window has closed.
Prioritisation of applications 2021-2022
Due to reduced capacity from the temporary virtualisation of the SOE, section 4 of the Regulations, Prioritisation of Applications will be applied to examination bookings. Please read our prioritisation policy before booking your exam.
Reasonable adjustments: Any applicant who has a physical or mental disability, specific learning difficulty (SpLD) or on-going or fluctuating medical condition may be entitled to reasonable adjustments. To apply for reasonable adjustments, you should check the ‘I have a disability’ and ‘I require exam adjustment’ boxes. You must do this at the time of booking your exam. Applicants requiring reasonable adjustments should book as early as possible to ensure that there is sufficient time to put in place any specific requirements. For more information on reasonable adjustments, please refer to the Examination Regulations.
Withdrawals: withdrawals before the closing date may receive the full fee paid. Candidates withdrawing after the closing date may be entitled to a full refund, providing the request is made within 14 days of receipt of the application. For withdrawals greater than 14 days, the refund is subject to an admin fee. A candidate who withdraws in any other circumstance within 7 working days of an exam date, including non-issue of entry visas or failure to appear for an examination, will not be entitled to any refund of fee. Exceptional circumstances will be considered on receipt of written evidence. Fees cannot be deferred from one exam to another.
Tax deductibility. The College and faculties are aware that trainees who sit examinations as part of a training programme can claim tax relief on their exam fees. Whilst in a training programme trainees can also claim tax relief on membership fees. Please visit HMRC for further information on how to claim.
Results from the June 2023 Final FRCA SOE exam will be released by email by 5pm on Wednesday 5 July 2023.
No results will be given or confirmed by telephone.
All candidates who pass or fail FRCA exams will receive receive the same feedback, which will be sent out with the result letters.
A full list of the type of feedback provided for each exam component is set out in the Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations - feedback policy.
Additionally, candidates who have been unsuccessful in the SOEs, may request examiner comments on their performance. Examiner comments are not available for the Final Written examinations. Requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A candidate who has failed any of the following examination components more than once may request a guidance interview. Guidance is limited to one interview per examination component.
Guidance is not provided for the Final MCQ. Candidates seeking advice on the Final MCQ should contact their college tutor.
Candidates are not required to attend guidance interviews up to the fifth attempt for each examination component but at the sixth attempt, guidance interviews are mandatory.
Please note that no special consideration will be given in respect of refunds following guidance interviews.
Interviews are usually arranged locally but where this is not possible or if local trainers and examiners are not available, interviews can be arranged at the College. To arrange a guidance interview, please contact the Examinations Department email@example.com.
Candidate resources are a consolidation of the various example questions, videos, courses and guides, any of which may guide a candidate in their preparation for the various FRCA examination components.