Becoming a FRCA examiner

Applications to FRCA examinership

The College invites applications to the FRCA Board of Examiner Anaesthetists once a year. Examiners are recruited to Primary or Final examinations depending on the requirements of each board.

The application window for examiner recruitment 2024-2025 is now closed.
Applications for the academic year 2025–2026 will open in January 2025.

Selection and appointment process

All details regarding eligibility, selection and appointment can be found in the FRCA selection and appointment of examiners regulations.  

Applicants shall be assessed against the FRCA Examiner Person Specification (Appendix A of the Regs) and if selected, are expected to adhere to the duties and responsibilities set out in the FRCA Examiner Job Description (Appendix B of the Regulations).

Selection is based on eligibility, the number of examiners retiring, as well as geographical distribution, numbers from individual hospitals, subspecialty interests, clinical and basic science examiners, representation of teaching and district general hospitals and experience.  The College does not discriminate on grounds of protected characteristics.


The Education, Training and Examinations Board expects all examiners to make a full commitment to the examination. 

There are three sittings of the Primary FRCA OSCE and SOE: November, January and May each academic year, and two sittings of the Final FRCA SOE: December and June.

After successful completion of the probationary year, examiners should be prepared to commit to at least 10 days of examining plus 3 days for core group meetings/working parties per academic year. There will be some additional work in your own time, such as question writing and marking of exam papers.

It is expected that this duty will take precedence over all other commitments unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Before taking up their appointment duties, all successful applicants are required to attend an examiner training day , which includes principles of assessment and taking part in mock exams. Training typically takes place on a Friday in October.

New examiners who are unable to attend this training day will have their appointment deferred until the following year. 

All examiners are expected to undertake annual exam specific equality and diversity training.

Examiner contracts

Most examiners are engaged on the standard contract but we also accept applications for Less Than Full Time or Flexi

Retirement from clinical practice

Please note that any examiner retiring from clinical practice during an academic year is normally required to retire from examining. Although the board may approve continuation of examining or exam duties, to the end of the academic year in which an examiner retires, conditions apply.

FRCA examination structure and marking systems

The structure and marking systems of all FRCA examination components can be found at Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the Primary and Final FRCA Examination Regulations.

The regulations of the examination are published and are available here.

If you require any other information, please do not hesitate to contact the Head of Examinations, Fiona Daniels.


Insider's View 

  • Why train to be an examiner – read the blog by Dr Jason Walker here.

Update: work for wider NHS England

A letter signed by Amanda Pritchard, NHSE CEO, has been sent to NHS organisations in England about the release of doctors for work for the wider NHS, including college activity. The letter writes to encourage NHS organisations and their Board to look favourably on requests from doctors wishing to undertake national or regional work for the wider benefit of the public and of health services. 


Simply put, becoming an examiner has been the single most satisfying and rewarding role I’ve ever undertaken. It has involved a lot of commitment and hard work but as a result I’ve gained a huge amount of personal and professional satisfaction, and equally rewarding has been the knowledge that I’m helping the next generation of anaesthetists.

Dr Kevin O'Hare
Chair of the FRCA Final Examination (2019 - 2022)