About the SOE

The Final FRCA Structured Oral Examination (SOE) assesses a candidate’s clinical knowledge, understanding, and decision-making abilities in clinical anaesthesia, and the applied clinical science underpinning it. It is the last component of the FRCA examination and successful candidates are awarded the Fellowship by Examination of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. 

The Final FRCA Structured Oral Examination (SOE) is delivered in person at the College. 

The Final SOE assesses clinical anaesthesia and is aligned to the intermediate level curriculum. At least two topics are taken from the general duties unit, at least four from the six essential units and up to one topic from optional units of the curriculum.

Structure of the Final SOE

The Final SOE comprises two parts, SOE 1 and SOE 2:

SOE 1 contains two parts, part A and B, which are taken consecutively. Each part is 26 minutes long and 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. Candidates have 13 minutes to complete each short case and linked question. it is followed by the SOE 2.

SOE 2 comprises a two-section clinical long case followed by two clinical short cases, unrelated to the clinical long case. 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.

How it is marked

The SOE is marked by two examiners, marking independently. 

There are twelve questions in total. 2 marks are given for a pass, 1 mark for a borderline performance, and 0 marks for a fail. Each examiner can award a total of 24 marks across the 12 questions, with a maximum score of 48 marks. 

The pass mark is determined using standard setting methods approved by the GMC.

Candidates are awarded a pass or a fail. 

A quick eligibility check is set out below. You must be:

Final FRCA SOE - maximum six attempts
Registered with the GMC (UK) AND


  • currently registered as a UK trainee in Anaesthesia, or registered as a trainee in Anaesthesia with the College of Anaesthetists, Ireland OR
  • currently sponsored under the RCoA IP and employed as an anaesthetist in a NHS post for six months.  Appraisal required OR
  • currently registered with the their respective College; a former UK trainee UK or Ireland and left training no more than five years. Or Specialty/SAS grade who left training more than five years and has RA support  OR
  • currently registered with the College; a former trainee (more than five years) or a non-UK anaesthetic trainee who has been employed in a UK NHS post as an anaesthetist for 12 months.  Appraisal required, AND
Passed the Primary FRCA examination or exemption qualification and the Final Written examination AND

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, exempting qualification or NHS appraisal for non-UK trainee or sponsored under MTI.  AND

Has not exceeded the maximum numbers allowed.  Will have submitted an Additional Educational Training form (AET1) at least three months prior to applying at the sixth attempt.  Paragraph 8, Appendix 8 of the Examinations Regulations refer.

The full eligibility for this exam is listed at Section 7 Paragraph 17 of the Examination Regulations.

Final FRCA SOE Examinations Calendar; 2024-2025

Application opening date

Monday, 26 August 2024 Monday, 10 March 2025

Application closing date

Monday, 21 October 2024 Wednesday, 23 April 2025

Examination date

(week commencing)

Monday, 2 December 2024

Monday, 16 June 2025

Examination fees

£700 £700

Apply Now

The online application process will be open for each exam from 0900 on the exam opening date to 1700 on the exam closing date (see dates and fees in the section above).  Applications are not accepted outside the application window. We do not confirm a place on an examination until after the booking window has closed.  

Prioritisation: Where exams are oversubscribed, we will apply our policy for the Prioritisation of Applications. Please read our prioritisation policy before booking your exam.   

Reasonable adjustments: Any applicant who has a physical or mental disability, specific learning difficulty (SpLD) or on-going or fluctuating medical condition may be entitled to reasonable adjustments. To apply for reasonable adjustments, please complete the relevant section on the online examination application form. Applicants requiring reasonable adjustments should book as early as possible to ensure that there is sufficient time to put in place any specific requirements.  For more information on reasonable adjustments, please refer to the Examination Regulations.

Withdrawals: If withdrawing an application for admission to an examination before the closing date for applications, you may receive back the full amount of the fee paid, providing the withdrawal request is within 14 days of booking the exam.

If greater than 14 days or after the booking window has closed, the refund is subject to an administration fee (the 14-day rule). 

If withdrawing in any other circumstances within 7 working days of an exam date, including non-issue of entry visas (with the exception of those described in Section 9, Special Arrangements), you will not be entitled to any refund of fee. This rule also applies to candidates who do not appear for an exam on the exam day.

Fees cannot be deferred from one exam to another and candidates must prove their eligibility for each exam sitting they apply for.

Tax deductibility.  The College and faculties are aware that trainees who sit examinations as part of a training programme can claim tax relief on their exam fees. Whilst in a training programme trainees can also claim tax relief on membership fees.  Please visit HMRC for further information on how to claim.        

Results from the June 2024 Final FRCA SOE exam will be released by email by 5pm on Wednesday, 10 July 2024.  

No results will be given or confirmed by telephone.



All candidates who pass or fail FRCA exams will receive receive the same feedback, which will be sent out with  the result letters.
A full list of the type of feedback provided for each exam component is set out in the Primary and Final FRCA examinations regulations - feedback policy.

Additionally, candidates who have been unsuccessful in the SOEs, may request examiner comments on their performance.  Examiner comments are not available for the Final Written examinations. Requests should be emailed to

Guidance interviews

A candidate who has failed any of the following examination components more than once may request a guidance interview.  Guidance is limited to one interview per examination component.

Guidance is not provided for the Final MCQ. Candidates seeking advice on the Final MCQ should contact their college tutor.

Candidates are not required to attend guidance interviews up to the fifth attempt for each examination component but at the sixth attempt, guidance interviews are mandatory. 

Please note that no special consideration will be given in respect of refunds following guidance interviews.

Interviews are usually arranged locally but where this is not possible or if local trainers and examiners are not available, interviews can be arranged at the College.  To arrange a guidance interview, please contact the Examinations Department


Guide to sitting the OSCE and SOE in person at the RCoA

Getting to Churchill House: Map and Directions 

Arrival at the College. Please arrive at the Royal College of Anaesthetists at least 30 minutes before the first call time on your Admission NoticeThe timetable and marking system do not allow late admissions. Please note that the earliest time you will be admitted to the College is 07.30.   

Dress Code:  The same dress code for day-to-day clinical practice/contact with patients applies to the FRCA examination e.g. suit and tie.  The form of dress should not constrain a candidate’s ability to demonstrate recognised skills including effective communication with simulated patients or examiners. There is no requirement to wear clinical/theatre clothing during any of the examinations.

Candidates are requested not to wear forms of dress that cover the face to ensure easy verification of the candidate’s identity.

Water bottles: Help us to reduce the use of single-use plastic in the College by bringing a water bottle to your exam. Water bottles may be taken onto the OSCE and SOE exam floors and refilled at points around the College.  

On arrival at the College. Please report to the reception desk and present your Admission Notice and ID. You will be given clear instructions on when and where to report for each examination component. We will issue you with a label bearing your candidate number. Your candidate number must be visible at all times when you are in the College. You must sign in and out at reception when leaving/returning throughout the day.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices. Switch off your phone and store in secure locker/luggage for duration of time in College. A Pound coin is needed for the lockers.
Under no circumstances should mobile phones or smart watches be taken to the exam floor. Candidates will be disqualified if phones or smart watches are found on their person once they have entered the exam floor.

Changes: We do not envisage making changes to exam dates and times set out in admission notices but if there is a ‘National Emergency Situation’ that is likely to affect a majority of College examiners or candidates, there may be a need to implement a contingency plan to deal with the situation.  If this happens and there is sufficient time available to us, we will inform you personally. In the unlikely event of this happening at short notice, then an urgent announcement will be published on the College website – homepage (

Candidate resources are a consolidation of the various example questions, videos, courses and guides, any of which may guide a candidate in their preparation for the various FRCA examination components.