Update for trainees on fees for new Recorded Consultation Assessment

You will know from my previous updates to you that the College is working hard to develop a new Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) which can be undertaken remotely and so will enable you to complete the MRCGP during this period of Covid-19-related disruption and social distancing. Information about the RCA and FAQs are available in the MRCGP section.

The booking window for the July sitting of the RCA will open on 11 June and the national Statutory Education Boards that oversee GP training will be implementing a prioritisation system to ensure that those who are due to complete training at the beginning of August have the opportunity to complete their training programme on schedule.

I know you will have been wondering what the fee will be for the new RCA and I can confirm that this will be £1050.

While there are still significant delivery costs (particularly given the need to double mark this sitting of the exam to ensure reliability), this is cheaper than the fee for the CSA, and reflects the fact that the direct cost of running this examination will be lower, in the main part because we will not need to use an examination circuit or role players.

For those who paid to sit the CSA in March, April or May and carried their fee forward, we will begin to process the refunds with immediate effect and get the payment to you as soon as we can.

I understand that those of you who have already sat and passed the CSA may feel disappointed that the CSA fee was higher. However, the College made a commitment when the new MRCGP was introduced in 2007 that we would not seek to make a profit from the MRCGP examination and we feel it is important to maintain that principle.

Likewise, there are also significant costs related to delivering the CSA earlier in the year which we cannot write off, or pass on to the wider membership. We will keep the fee level under review to ensure it is pitched appropriately to deliver the examination through a cost neutral approach.

I am pleased to be able to tell you that those of you who are due to complete training in August should be able to access the IT system that will support the RCA by Friday 5 June. Our developer, Fourteen Fish, will be emailing you directly and you will be able to start recording consultations straight away. Support videos and information is available on the Fourteen Fish website.

I am extremely grateful to you for your continued hard work, commitment and understanding during this difficult and worrying time and I will keep you updated as work develops.

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.