Final FRCA CRQ exam update from Dr Fiona Donald

Published: 15/09/2021

I would like to offer my personal and heartfelt apologies for the serious issues members experienced during the Final CRQ examination yesterday, 14 September.

As incoming President – I formally take up my role today – I want you to know that this is not the standard we have set ourselves, nor what we expect from our suppliers. I, along with all College members and staff involved in delivering yesterday’s examination, were deeply concerned and disappointed that this happened.

I do truly understand the difficulties you have endured over the past 18 months and the immense amount of time that you have put into preparing for this and upcoming exams. The sacrifices you and your families have made in pursuit of your career in anaesthesia makes the situation even more heart-breaking.

We will commence a detailed investigation of TestReach’s activities to understand exactly what led to the problems you faced. We will do this in order to provide the fairest solution for the whole cohort of candidates for this exam. Whilst we do not yet know exactly what the solution will be, it will be developed in the best interests of you, the candidate.

As soon as we have an agreed solution, the College’s Examinations Team will be in contact but in the meantime the MCQ exam will go ahead as planned.

In order for us to understand the full range of issues you faced, if you have not done so already, please email details of your experience to

I am sincerely sorry, and I will work with my team to understand what went wrong, provide a solution to your immediate situation, and agree a way forward for the delivery of online examinations which meet the standards expected of our College.

Dr Fiona Donald
President, Royal College of Anaesthetists