Recorded Consultation Assessment candidate handbook and exam policy update

I wanted to update you on the work that has been going on over the past couple of weeks since the College was tasked with developing a new assessment to temporarily replace the Clinical Skills Assessment during COVID-19. This is now known as the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA).

Today, we are publishing our new candidate guidance and examination policy, which we hope you will find useful in explaining the main changes and requirements for the MRCGP, brought about as a result of the pandemic.

Over the next few weeks we will be publishing more resources, including updated FAQs, case studies, vlogs and webinars so that you have as much information as possible to help you prepare.

Our proposals for the RCA received approval in principle from the General Medical Council on 13 May and we have now contracted with FourteenFish to develop a bespoke IT system to securely record and store video and audio consultations. We are working hard to make the new system live for candidates to use from early June.

The RCA will be the method of assessing consultation skills within the MRCGP for at least six months.

As you know, the MRCGP has three components overall and earlier this week we announced additional sittings for the Applied Knowledge Test, which should mean we can accommodate around 1,950 candidates during July and August, with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

The test centres are not permitted to run at maximum capacity, both for your safety and the safety of their staff. Due to this reduced capacity, there will be a priority booking system which will be co-ordinated by your local deanery and LETB GP Education team.

We have also updated our guidance on requirements for Workplace Based Assessment during COVID-19, including FAQs for ST3s who might not have the CSA and/or AKT.

We appreciate that you have a lot of questions, not least on costs, and we will give you more details as the assessment is further developed. However, you should be aware that the College remains committed to the principle that we will not make a profit from exam fees. We would also like to remind you that exam fees are tax deductible for those trainees who are meeting the cost themselves.

Thank you again for all your patience and professionalism during this uncertain and difficult time. Your College is working hard to support you and help you complete your training as planned, despite the extraordinary circumstances in which we all find ourselves.

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.