FRCA examinership application form
The application window for examiner recruitment 2021–2022 is now open.
To check whether you are eligible, please read the Person Specification before submitting your application form. CVs are not required.
Further information on eligibility criteria is available in the Primary and Final FRCA selection and appointment of examiners regulations.
Selection is based on eligibility, the number of examiners retiring, as well as geographical distribution, numbers from individual hospitals, subspecialty interests, clinical and basic science examiners, representation of teaching and district general hospitals and experience. The College does not discriminate on grounds of protected characteristics.
If your application is successful, you should expect to attend:
- compulsory training day in October (Primary) or November (Final)
- sim-man training in March (Primary board only).
As an examiner you can expect to complete a term of at least six years and will be engaged to work at the College two-to-three times a year. If you are recruited to the Primary board, you will normally be required to attend two out-of-the three Primary OSCE/SOE exams. These run from Monday to Friday. Final examiners are expected to attend both SOE exams and two Constructed Response Question standard checking online meetings. Examiners do not attend written examinations.
A full job description is available and all new examiners will be subject to a probationary period.
- An Insider’s View: why become a College FRCA Examiner – read an interview with Dr Jason Walker from the July 2020 issue of the College Bulletin here.
Notes to applicants
The Fellowship examination was restructured to the present two-part examination (the Primary and Final FRCA) in August 1996. A major change to the examination structure and marking system took place in 2009. The last examination review took place in 2015. Two changes to the Final FRCA exam were agreed:
- changes to the structure and format of the SOE from December 2018, and
- a change to the format of the Final Written exam from September 2019. Further details of exam changes can be found here.
A further review is planned for 2021.
The regulations of the examination are published and are available here.
There are three sittings of the Primary FRCA OSCE and SOE: November, January and May each academic year, and two sittings of the Final FRCA SOE: December and June.
In addition; the Primary FRCA MCQ is held in September, November and February and the Final Written exams are held in September and March each academic year. Examiners are not required to attend Primary or Final written examinations.
The number of examining days for both parts is not expected to exceed five days at each sitting. Primary examiners; normally are not expected to participate in more than two examinations per year. Final examiners are expected to make themselves available for both Final SOE examinations and in addition, attend a post standard setting meeting following the Final Written exams (September and March).
Once the probationary period is completed, all examiners can expect to become a member of a core group – attendance at these meetings, and associated additional work, is considered an essential part of an examiner’s commitment. The exam board make every effort to hold meeting during exam week but additional attendance may be required.
Therefore, after successful completion of the probationary year, examiners should be prepared to commit at least 12 days per academic year to examination and core group activities, as well as some additional work in their own time, such as question writing and marking of exam papers.
The published Examinations Calendar provides the appropriate dates and may be accessed via the examinations pages.
Selection and appointment process
All details regarding selection and appointment can be found in the Primary and Final Examinations (Selection and Appointment of Examiners) Regulations 2018 (the Regs). The Regulations are available here.
Applicants shall be assessed against the FRCA Examiner Person Specification (Appendix A of the Regs) and if selected are expected to adhere to the duties and responsibilities set out in the FRCA Examiner Job Description (Appendix B of the Regulations).
Examiners will be recruited to the Final and Primary examinations. Precise numbers of vacancies in each board are not known at this time but normally reflect the number of retirements from the current Boards of Examiners. Examiners may not always be allocated to their exam board preference at the first instance but can request to change to Final or Primary once they have completed their first (probationary) year.
The Education, Training and Examinations Board (the board) expects all examiners to make a full commitment to the examination to which they have been appointed, with the minimum time commitment identified above. It is expected that this duty will take precedence over all other commitments unless there are exceptional circumstances when any such leave of absence must be approved by the Chairman of the appropriate examination.
Please note that any examiner retiring from clinical practice during an academic year is normally required to retire from examining. Although the board may approve continuation of examining or exam duties, to the end of the academic year in which an examiner retires, conditions apply.
FRCA examination structure and marking systems
The structure and marking systems of all FRCA examination components can be found at Appendix 1 and 2 of the Primary and Final FRCA Examination Regulations.
Before taking up their appointment duties all successful applicants are required to attend an examiner training day at the College. This includes principles of assessment and taking part in mock exams. This takes place on a Friday in October prior to the November sitting. New examiners who are unable to attend this training day will have their appointment deferred until the following year. Before examining independently, the examiner elect must observe the examination and will therefore be invited to visit the Primary OSCE/SOE at the May sitting. All examiners are expected to undertake annual exam specific equality and diversity training.
If you require any other information, please do not hesitate to contact the Head of Examinations, Fiona Daniels.