Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations

Published: 26/07/2019

Section 6: Eligibility for the Primary FRCA OSCE and SOE

The College strongly recommends that candidates should not sit the Primary FRCA OSCE and SOE until they are at least halfway through their Core level/Stage 1 training programme in anaesthetics.


A person is eligible to enter the Primary FRCA OSCE and SOE who meets the criteria A, B, C described below:


is eligible to enter the Primary FRCA MCQ paper as prescribed in Regulation 13, with the exception that foundation trainees are not eligible for this exam;†


has passed the Primary FRCA MCQ paper‡ within three years before the published starting date of the sitting applied for



(i) has been awarded the Initial Assessment of Competency in Anaesthetics (IAC);


(ii) has been awarded the College of Anaesthetists, Ireland equivalent of the IAC;


(iii) a doctor practising anaesthesia in the UK in a non-UK training post who has not been awarded the IAC, may submit a satisfactory NHS appraisal at a standard equivalent to that of a Deanery ARCP;


(iv) is currently sponsored under the RCoA MTI and has a written report from the college tutor (see paragraph 1e);


(v) has been awarded an overseas anaesthetic competency in anaesthetics which is comparable to the UK IAC;§ and (d) satisfies the requirements of these Regulations with regard to application procedures and other matters.


A person shall not be eligible to enter for the Primary FRCA OSCE and/or SOE who has attempted and failed either the OSCE and/or SOE section of the Primary FRCA examination six times. Or where a matter under review or appeal remains unresolved. However, in accordance with General Medical Council guidelines on managing examinations during the pandemic, any candidate’s first attempt at an examination in a new online format (online written with remote proctoring or online face-to-face clinical  will not have that attempt counted towards the overall total six sittings, if they do not receive a pass. This temporary change applies to all FRCA examinations between August 2020 and 31 July 2021.


* On receipt of application, ACCS and Foundation trainees will be given temporary registration with the College for examination purposes. ICM trainees will be accepted under their Faculty registration.
† Foundation trainees are eligible for the Primary MCQ only (see paragraph 1(d)). ACCS and ICM (single programme) trainees are eligible for all Primary FRCA components.
‡ A pass in the CARCSI/CAI Primary/MCAI MCQ examination does not give exemption from the FRCA Primary MCQ examination.
§ Overseas anaesthetic competency certificates must be provided on application and prove clinical competency comparable to the UK Initial Assessment of Competency (IAC) in anaesthetics. Certificates must be accompanied by a letter of authentication in English from a senior anaesthetic consultant or notary. The final decision on comparability of overseas IAC certificates lies with the Chair of the Primary Examination.