Assessment Strategy for 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum

Published: 12/01/2023

Standard setting

The FRCA examinations are high-stake summative assessments that have the potential to impact on trainee careers and patient safety. The format of the examinations was approved by the GMC in September 2009, and they have continued to be used as a means of ensuring anaesthetic anaesthetists in training have the appropriate minimum level of knowledge and skills to progress to the next stage of their training programme. With this purpose, the processes that underpin pass/fail decisions must be robust, consistent and fair.

The principle of standard setting is to set the pass mark for an examination against a criterion-referenced standard by determining the minimum level of knowledge and/or skills required to pass an examination. There are several recognised standard setting processes used in high-stake medical examinations, and different examination formats lend themselves to different standard setting methods. The FRCA examinations use a mixture of test-centred and examinee-centred standard setting methods.