Requirements that were suggested guidance for the emergency summer exam diets are now becoming mandatory

15 September 2020

As you will be aware, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the RCGP, in collaboration with SEBs, COGPED and deanery educators, developed an alternative form of examination to replace the Clinical Skills Assessment of the MRCGP.

The Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) has been designed to allow our trainees to obtain a CCT, while ensuring patient safety, for as long as the disruption caused by the pandemic lasts.

By necessity, the RCA was developed at speed to enable thousands of ST3 trainees to finish in August.

Now we are refining the guidance for RCA submissions from November onwards to provide trainees with further clarity on how to prepare for the assessment.

Requirements that were suggested guidance for the emergency summer exam diets are now becoming mandatory in order to give trainees further understanding of the key requirements of the new exam and on the key cases to submit, including the appropriate spread of cases and how to avoid submitting cases that could be seen to be ‘low challenge’.

The refreshed guidance, which will be published shortly, has been developed with the full collaboration of COGPED and incorporates feedback from trainees who took the RCA exam in the summer.

We recognise that, in some exceptional circumstances, the required case mix might be difficult for some trainees to address due to restrictions within their practices.

If you are a trainee who is concerned about this, please discuss it with your Educational Supervisor and TBD in the first instance.

Finally, we would again take this opportunity to thank all our trainees. It has been a difficult time for everyone in the NHS, but your continued commitment and engagement during the pandemic are a credit to our profession.


Post written by

Dr Michael Mulholland, Vice Chair (Professional Development)

Michael Mulholland is a GP at Unity Health, a five-site practice for 22000 patients across the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border where he has practised for nearly 20 years.

He also works for Health Education England with roles in GP training, quality Improvement and workforce planning. At the RCGP, he has been part of the GP at scale programme and a GP Forward View Regional Ambassador.

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