Assessment Strategy for 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum

Published: 10/01/2023

The Final FRCA examinations

The Final FRCA examination consists of two components:

1.  The Final FRCA Written examination

The Final FRCA Written examination has two parts, the Final FRCA MCQ examination and the Final FRCA Constructed Response Question (CRQ) examination.

The Final FRCA Constructed Response Question (CRQ) examination contains 12 questions which are blueprinted to the Stage 2 curriculum. Each question is tagged to the Primary and Final FRCA syllabus.

The CRQ paper assesses the mandatory areas of training. These areas may appear as stand-alone questions or as part of a question, for example pain management within a perioperative case. In addition to specific knowledge-based competences, examination material may be developed from guidance or recommendations published by healthcare organisations. The public expects doctors to keep up-to-date with important developments and such material may be examined under the collective umbrella of ‘professionalism’.

The Final FRCA MCQ contains 90 MCQs: 60 MTF questions and 30 SBA questions.

The 60 MTF questions assess the following areas:

◼ 20 questions on advanced sciences to underpin anaesthetic practice

◼ 40 questions covering generalist and specialist topics within Stage 2.

The 30 SBA questions divide as follows:

◼ 15 questions on generalist topics

◼ 15 questions from specialist topics within Stage 2

The Final FRCA Written examination is a summative assessment, blueprinted to Stage 1 and 2 training curriculums. The examination assesses the knowledge required of an anaesthetist in training at the end of Stage 2 training in anaesthetics. The CRQ examination complements the MCQ paper, and whilst both parts test factual knowledge and understanding, the CRQ assesses judgment and the ability to prioritise information. The Written examination forms a gateway to the Final FRCA SOE, which assesses application of this knowledge.


2. The Final FRCA Structure Oral Examination (SOE)

The Final SOE assesses clinical anaesthesia and comprises 2 parts, SOE 1 and SOE 2:

◼ SOE 1 contains parts A and B, which are taken consecutively. Each part 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.

◼ SOE2 comprises a two section clinical long case followed by two stand-alone clinical short cases taken in one sitting which are . 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 on clinical anaesthesia, unrelated to the clinical long case. The SOE tests generalist and specialist topics from within Stage 2.

The Final FRCA SOE is a summative assessment of a candidate’s knowledge, understanding and decision-making abilities in clinical anaesthesia and the applied underpinning clinical science. It is the last component of the FRCA examination to be taken, and successful candidates are awarded the Fellowship by Examination of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. The SOE complements formative assessments undertaken in the workplace and provides assurance that candidates have reached the accepted national standard of knowledge and competence to progress to Stage 3 of anaesthetic training.