Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations
Section 7: Eligibility for the Final FRCA Examination and Exemption Qualifications
To be eligible to sit the Final FRCA, candidates no longer need to be in receipt of the UK Core Level Training Certificate (CLTC) or Stage 1 certificate. Candidates must have passed the Primary FRCA examination or an exempting qualification. However, to ensure that candidates are best prepared for this examination, the College recommends that candidates are in receipt of a stage 1 training certificate or equivalent and strongly recommends that trainees do not attempt the Final FRCA SOE until they have started Stage 2 training.
Candidates should note that sitting the Final Written in stage 1 will not become part of the recruitment portfolio score for ST4.
[updated March 2022]
A person is eligible to enter for the Final FRCA Examination who meets the criteria A, B, C, D and E described below:
holds full registration without limitation with the General Medical Council (UK)¶
(i) is currently registered with the College as a trainee in a Deanery approved training post on a GMC approved training programme in anaesthetics (as defined in these Regulations);
(ii) is currently registered with the College/Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine as a trainee in a Deanery approved training post on a GMC training programme in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine,
(iii) is currently registered as a trainee in Anaesthetics with the College of Anaesthetists Ireland or is a member of their respective College;
(iv) left an approved training post in the United Kingdom or Ireland no more than five years before the published starting date of the sitting applied for;
(v) is currently registered with the College in a recognised membership category (not an Affiliate grade); is a former UK trainee or a non-UK anaesthetic trainee applicant who has been employed continuously in a UK NHS post as a practising anaesthetist for at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of the exam applied for;
(vi) is currently sponsored under the RCoA MTI scheme; and been employed as an anaesthetist in an NHS post for six months immediately prior to the date of the examination applied for (see paragraph 1e);
(vii) is a Specialty/SAS grade doctor who:
- left approved training more than five years before the published start date of the sitting applied for;
- is currently practising anaesthesia in the UK;
- is a member of the College;
- holds a satisfactory NHS appraisal, and:
(i) has passed the Primary FRCA examination or an exempting qualification listed at paragraph 19 within seven years before the published start date of the sitting applied for;
(ii) satisfies the conditions stated in Regulation 19 even if they have failed any part of the Primary FRCA examination by the maximum number of attempts allowed,
(i) If they are currently sponsored under the RCoA MTI scheme, has received at least one satisfactory supervisor’s report at a standard equivalent to that of an Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) before the published closing date of the sitting applied for;
(ii) if they have not been in a UK or Irish anaesthetic training programme in the last five years; and is not sponsored under IP; has received at least one satisfactory NHS appraisal at a standard equivalent to that of an ARCP;
If applying for the Final FRCA SOE, has passed the Final FRCA written exam within 3 years of the date of the sitting applied for.
Satisfies the requirements of these Regulations with regard to application procedures and other matters
A person shall not be eligible to enter either section of the Final FRCA examination who has attempted and failed either section of the Final FRCA examination six times. 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.
A candidate for the Final FRCA Examination shall be exempt from passing the Primary FRCA examination (see paragraph 1(f)) who, within the seven years preceding the published start date of the sitting applied for, and only in such years as are specified, and subject to annual renewal of approval by the ETE Board:
A. has passed:
(i) the Primary or Membership examination for the Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists, Ireland (provided it was sat in the Republic of Ireland) before April 2015; or
B. has obtained any of the following national qualifications:
(i) The Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists;
(ii) The European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care of the European Academy of Anaesthesiology or the European Society of Anaesthesiology;
(iii) Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists of Ireland;
(iv) Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesiology) of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka;
(v) Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) University of the West Indies before May 2014;
(vi) Fellowship of the College of Anaesthetists of South Africa;
(vii) Certificate of the American Board of Anesthesiology;
(viii) Fellowship in Anaesthesia of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada;
(ix) Fellowship in Anaesthesia of the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons, before October 2019;
(x) Fellowship of the Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists.