Exemption qualifications as part eligibility towards the Final

The European Diploma is not accepted for training progression in the UK Training Programme in Anaesthetics.  Trainees entering the Training Programme with the full European Diploma in Anaesthesia must sit and pass both sections of the Final FRCA to successfully progress.  In this case they would be recommended for a CESR(CP) and not a CCT.  There are a number of other 'exempting' qualifications and the full list is available in the FRCA Examination Regulations, paragraph 19.  It is only the FCAI that has a reciprocal status with the FRCA for the Final FRCA.  The GMC is clear that any exempting qualifications must be appropriately mapped to the Curriculum.  Senior FRCA examiners regularly visit overseas examinations and provide reports to the College's Examinations Committee.  Furthermore, the Committee is currently undertaking a significant Quality Assurance process of overseas examinations to ensure that the standards and the curricula are of an acceptable standard.  The College of Anaesthetists of Ireland undertook a significant piece of work in 2010 to seek approval for the FCAI to be accepted as a test of knowledge for the UK CCT and the RCoA was intrinsically involved in this work.  However, the CAI decided not to fully pursue this as it would have meant a potential shift of emphasis from their own regulator's standards.  Work was done however, to map the exam syllabus to the UK Curriculum.  The Examinations Committee has recently agreed an improved QA visiting format between the two Colleges which will enable visiting examiners to report on examinations' standards by reporting on the components of ‘Utility’ (Van der Vleuten (1996).  This will enable a more robust QA process.  The FRCA is rigorously quality assured and has recently undergone a comprehensive review and the report can be found on the College website.  The Examination has also been visited by the GMC.  Further queries on this can be addressed to the Examinations Department at exams@rcoa.ac.uk or by contacting Richard Bryant directly.

Graham Clissett
Examinations Manager

20 September 2012