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

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, says Dr Michael Mulholland, RCGP Vice Chair for Professional Development.

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, RCGP collaborated with SEBs, COGPED, and deanery educators to create a new type of exam as a replacement for the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA).

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.

The suggested guidelines for emergency summer exam diets are now mandatory to give trainees a better understanding of the new exam requirements. They must submit key cases with appropriate spread and avoid submitting cases that may be deemed "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.

About the writer

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.