Updated guidance and clarifications for the RCA

16 December 2020

The Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) has replaced the CSA as the clinical assessment component of the MRCGP examination. It was set up as a response to COVID-19 and has subsequently been developed in liaison with the GMC and following feedback from candidates and GP educators.

From September 2020 additional guidance was issued on the RCA website and circulated to you all. Feedback from candidates at the November sitting has helped us to further develop this guidance to the mandatory requirements.

RCA guidance and clarifications.

Your attention is drawn in particular to:

  1. The guidance on clinical examination - in relation to exposure on camera of defined 'swimsuit area' of skin after clothes have been removed. This is expressly forbidden.
  2. Mandatory case selection guidance - the requirements remain the same but definitions have been expanded and linked to the appropriate areas of the RCGP Curriculum.
  3. Guidance on continuous recording (essential) and editing (expressly forbidden).
  4. The sanctions which will be applied to breaches of mandatory guidance.
  5. Changes to requirements within the workbook:
    - A statement is now required to justify your choice of a linked mandated criterion.
    - You are allowed to link two recordings to each mandated criterion (i.e. maximum four cases involving clinical examination and two cases for each other criterion).
    - It is recognised that many consultations cover more than one clinical topic area, the RCA asks you to choose the main one covered in that particular consultation.

We appreciate that this is a stressful time for you all. If you need further clarification on the guidance on cases to submit and whether they fit any of the criteria, you should discuss with your ES or TPD as a priority.

The RCGP Examination Team are not clinicians and can therefore only refer you to the relevant section of the GP curriculum, your ES or TPD. Everyone is under pressure and it is important that any calls to the RCGP Examination Team are polite and considerate.

We hope that you will find these clarifications helpful in your preparation for the RCA.

Post written by

Dr Michael Mulholland, RCGP 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. Within the RCGP he has been part of the GP at Scale programme and a GP Forward View Regional Ambassador.

He was elected to the post of Vice Chair (Professional Development) in November 2018.


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