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The FRCA

In order to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, doctors must pass both the Primary and Final FRCA examinations – allowing them to use the post-nominal FRCA, on the proviso that they are a current Member or Fellow.


The RCoA

Senior consultants and specialist experts from the Royal College of Anaesthetists are responsible for the setting and also the supervision of the FRCA examinations. They are responsible for maintaining the standards for the examinations themselves, and therefore the standards of the profession. The Examinations Directorate is the body responsible for ensuring that the RCoA meets its standards of quality.

The Primary FRCA

Trainees in the UK on the following programmes are eligible to sit the Primary FRCA examinations:

The Primary FRCA is taken in two separate sessions – the Multiple-Choice Question Examination, and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination and Structured Oral Examination.

The Primary FRCA Examinations are blue printed to the Basic Level Training Curriculum. This includes Intensive Care Medicine (Annex F).

Multiple-Choice Question Examination

The MCQ Exam is made up of 90 questions, 60 of which are true/false answers, with the remaining 30 requiring the candidate to choose the single best option for each question.

Doctors must pass the Primary examinations, or present a recognised exemption before applying for the Final FRCA. Applicants have seven years after the date of completion of the Primary FRCA before their qualification becomes invalid. Exemptions have the same period of validity. Candidates may only attempt the exam six times, but must also submit an AET Form 1 ahead of the final attempt.

The exam is held three times per year, running from 2-5pm on a date in March, September, and November. There are also multiple exam venues across the UK in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast.

OSCE SOE

Before sitting the OSCE SOE, candidates must

The Final FRCA

Trainees in the UK on the following programmes are eligible to sit the Final FRCA examinations:

The Final FRCA is taken in two separate sessions – the Multiple-Choice Question Examination and Short Answer Question Examination (FRCA Final Written), in addition to the Structured Oral Examination.

Doctors must pass the Primary FRCA, or present a recognised exemption, before applying.

The Final FRCA examinations are blueprinted to the Basic Level Training Curriculum and also the Intermediate Level Training Curriculum. This also includes Intensive Care Medicine (Annex F).

Multiple-Choice Question Examination

The MCQ Exam is made up of 90 questions, 60 of which are true/false answers, with the remaining 30 requiring the candidate to choose the single best option for each question.

Short Answer Question Examination

The SAQ Exam is made up of twelve compulsory questions to be answered over three hours – normally comprising

The exams, together called the FRCA Final (Written), are held twice a year, running from 9.30am to 12.30pm (SAQ) and 1.30-4.30pm (MCQ) on a date in March and September. There are multiple exam venues across the UK in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast. The results are valid for three years, and candidates are only permitted to attempt the FRCA Final six times – with a requirement to submit an AET Form 1 at least three months before the final attempt.

Structured Oral Examination

The SOE is a standalone exam comprising two sections:

In order to be eligible to apply for the SOE, candidates must have successfully completed the FRCA Final (Written) Exam, hold GMC registration, have been awarded the Basic Level Training Certificate, and be either

The Final SOE is held in June and December at the RCoA. The results are valid for three years, and candidates are only permitted to attempt the FRCA Final six times – with a requirement to submit an AET Form 1 at least three months before the final attempt.

Current Examination Dates

Examination dates have been known to change, and will therefore vary slightly year-on-year. Full information may be found on the RCoA website. However, the next dates given for FRCA examinations are as follows:

Primary MCQ

Application Opening DateApplication Closing DateExamination Date
11 June 201826 July 20184 September 2018
3 September 201811 October 201813 November 2018
29 October 201810 January 20195 March 2019

Fees: to be confirmed.

Primary OSCE/SOE

Application Opening DateApplication Closing DateExamination Weeks Begins
21 August 20184 October 20185 November 2018
16 October 20186 December 201821 January 2019
19 February 201911 April 201913 May 2019

Fees: £590 (OSCE & SOE), £325 (OSCE), £295 (SOE).

Final Written

Application Opening DateApplication Closing DateExamination Date
11 June 201831 July 201811 September 2018
29 October 201815 January 201912 March 2019

Fees: to be confirmed.

Final SOE

Application Opening DateApplication Closing DateExamination Date
3 September 201816 October 20183 December 2018
18 March 201923 April 201917 June 2019

Fees: to be confirmed.

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