Primary FRCA OSCE

About the OSCE

The Primary FRCA Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a summative assessment of a candidate’s clinical and communication skills together with applied technical knowledge of anaesthetic equipment, clinical monitoring and measurement.  The OSCE is taken together with the SOE and is aligned to the core level training curriculum. 

A successful candidate in the OSCE will have demonstrated the clinical skills and applied technical knowledge required of a competent core level anaesthetic trainee across multiple clinical scenarios.

The OSCE is the only component of the examination where the candidate is tested in a simulated clinical environment including communication with simulated patients. The OSCE complements the Primary SOE and the candidate is required to pass both parts before they can be awarded the FRCA Primary. These components, together with a portfolio of workplace-based assessments are required for a core level trainee to progress to intermediate level anaesthetic training.

The Primary FRCA OSCE consists of sixteen exam cubicles (stations) in a circuit.  candidates must complete each station in succession. For example, if there are 16 stations, a candidate starting at station one will rotate through the circuit, finishing at station 16. Candidates are allowed one minute to move between stations and read the relevant information posted outside each cubicle. After one minute a bell will sound and candidates will enter their stations, each station takes five minutes. The station may feature an examiner asking questions on a subject, a candidate may be required to make a technical demonstration, interact with a patient, either played by an actor or it could be a high fidelity mannequin.There are also unmanned station where a candidate answers questions on a touch screen computer.

How it is marked

Each station is marked out of 20 with the pass mark (the Angoff score) for each station/question being determined by the examiners before the examination using modified Angoff referencing. The Angoff score for each of the 16 live stations are summed to obtain the pass mark for the whole examination.

Further information on the types of question scenarios that are used in an OSCE circuit are set out on the interactive diagram below.

Primary OSCE SOE – maximum six attempts – component pass valid for three years
Registered with the GMC or other National Medical Council

Either:

  • Currently registered with the College as a UK trainee in Anaesthesia or ACCS or registered with the Faculty as a trainee in ICM, OR
  • An Anaesthetist who is registered with the College in a recognised membership category (not affiliated) (see Related Information) OR
  • Has previously successfully applied for Temporary Examination Eligibility (TEE) AND
Passed the Primary FRCA MCQ in the last three years

Awarded the Initial Assessment of Competence in Anaesthesia or recognised equivalent.

Has not exceeded the number of attempts allowed for each component (six).  Has submitted an Additional Educational Training form (AET1 form).  Paragraph 8, Appendix 8 of the Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations provides full details and a copy of the AET1 form.

The full eligibility for this exam is listed at Section 6 Paragraph 15 of the Examination Regulations.

Language

All FRCA examinations are conducted in English. Where a candidate’s first language is not English, the College recommends that an applicant’s communication and written skills in English are at least equivalent to the level at which a doctor could successfully pass the PLAB (Professional Linguistics Assessment Board) tests or at a level where they would expect to gain an average score of approximately 7.5/9 across all bands of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). However we do not require you to provide us with a certificate proving competency in English.

Primary OSCE/SOE Examinations Calendar; August 2019 to July 2020

Application opening date

Monday, 19 August 2019

Monday, 14 October 2019

Monday, 17 February 2020

Application closing date

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Examination date
(week commencing)

Monday, 4 November 2019

Monday, 27 January 2020

Monday, 18 May 2020

Examination fees
Both

OSCE

SOE

 

 

£615
£335
£305

 

 

£615
£335
£305

 

£615
£335
£305

 

Primary OSCE/SOE Examinations Calendar; August 2020 to July 2021

Application opening date

Monday, 24 August 2020

Monday, 19 October 2020

Monday, 1 February 2021

Application closing date

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Examination date
(week commencing)

Monday, 2 November 2020

Monday, 25 January 2021

Monday, 17 May 2021

Examination fees
Both

OSCE

SOE

 

 

TBC
TBC
TBC

 

 

TBC
TBC
TBC

 

TBC
TBC
TBC

Apply and pay online.                                                                                                                 

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.

The Primary clinical exams (OSCE and SOE) are held at the RCoA, Churchill House, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4SG.

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. When applying online, check the ‘I have a disability’ and ‘I require exam adjustment’ boxes . 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.  Fees cannot be deferred from one exam to another.

The result date for the Primary OSCE/SOE Examination is on the admission notice. 

Results are published in the form of a pass/fail list. Candidates will be identified using a three figure candidate number. This is an exam specific number issued to candidates on their admission notice.  Please do not call the College to confirm your candidate number. 

Candidates can choose to opt out of the pass/fail list by contacting the exams department exams@rcoa.ac.uk at least 48 hours before the release of results date.                                   

All candidates will be sent a breakdown of their results within seven working days after the pass/fail list has been published. 

No results will be given or confirmed by telephone.

Feedback

All candidates who pass or fail FRCA exams will receive the same feedback, which will be set out on their 'results letter' this is despatched to all candidates using first class post within seven working days of the release of the pass/fail list. Full detaiils of the type of feedback provided for each exam component is set out in the Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations - appendix 9 - feedback policy.
 

Guidance
There are no mandatory requirements for candidates to attend Guidance Interviews up to the fifth attempt for each component.  At the sixth attempt candidates must have attended a Guidance Interview.

A candidate who has failed any of the following components more than once may request a guidance interview.  Guidance is limited to one per examination component:

  • Primary OSCE/SOE

Please note that no special consideration will be given in respect of refunds following guidance interviews.

Interviews are arranged locally wherever possible although interviews can be arranged at the College if local trainers and examiners are not available.
To arrange a guidance interview, please contact the exams office, exams@rcoa.ac.uk.

For a more detailed look at each individual station please visit Primary OSCE Video Resources.