College message to candidates sitting new SCA
Publication date: 15 November 2023
The College has apologised to candidates who were unable to complete the new Simulated Consultation Assessment component of the MRCGP examination on Tuesday afternoon following a temporary technical outage.
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RCGP Chief Examiner Professor Rich Withnall said: “The new Simulated Consultation Assessment (SCA) is a key component of the MRCGP examination, enabling candidates to demonstrate their clinical and communication skills remotely from their surgeries across the UK. Sittings began last week, and hundreds of candidates have already completed the SCA successfully.
“Unfortunately, we experienced a temporary outage yesterday afternoon and a small number of candidates were unable to complete the assessment. This was not caused by our College systems, but an unprecedented outage by a global third-party component which impacted across Europe.
“Normal services were resumed very quickly, but we cannot apologise enough to those candidates affected. Our Examinations team is contacting those trainees to put individual arrangements in place, including offering free re-sits.
“A huge amount of stakeholder engagement, effort and preparation has gone into the development and introduction of the new SCA, which replaces the Recorded Consultation Assessment that the GMC approved as an emergency measure during the pandemic. The move to the new surgery-based arrangement is the result of direct feedback from current and past trainees.
“We are extremely grateful to the GP trainees who put themselves forward for the first sittings of the SCA. We recognise the additional stress and strain that has been placed on colleagues unable to complete yesterday afternoon’s SCA. We are doing everything we can to make amends.”
RCGP Press office: 0203 188 7659
Notes to editors
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.