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Trainee Surgery Guide for the SCA

This section is a comprehensive guide to preparing your examination room and your IT set up for the SCA examination. We have created it to guide you through the requirements of preparing for the new SCA examination. Please use this guide to check that your room and technology meet the examination requirements.

Booking a suitable room

Have a discussion with your trainer and wider surgery team to find a suitable space. The room you decide upon needs to be somewhere you can remain undisturbed for the duration of the examination.

Opening hours

Your examination will be scheduled in either a morning or afternoon session so we ask that you have access to your GP surgery between the hours of 08:30 and 18:30. Each session allows for additional time at the beginning and end of the examination. The scheduled running time is 08:45 to 13:25 for the AM session and 13:20 to 18:05 for the PM session. Within these times we have included 45 minutes for reruns. You will be informed of your examination day and session at least one month before your examination date.

Setting up your room

The room you select in your GP surgery will need to meet certain requirements to be SCA ready. Follow these guidelines to ensure your room is set up correctly for your examination. 

  • Please only use one monitor, unplug all other monitors.
  • If the room you are using has a landline telephone in it, please disconnect this.
  • Please ensure that the room is free from noise and distractions e.g. music, notifications, radio, announcements.
  • Clinical guidance documents, medical charts or posters on your wall should be covered or removed.
  • Consider placing an 'examination in progress' sign outside your door on examination day.

What to bring: "Do"s and "don't"s

This information guides you through what you can and cannot bring into the examination room. 

Please bring:

Your mobile phone, placed out of arms reach and on silent.

  • A paper copy of the BNF and child BNF (optional).
  • A blank white board and pen on your desk to take notes (optional). We provide functionality within the platform to take notes, and you will not be allowed to bring paper or a notepad into the examination. 
  • A drink bottle or glass of water (optional).

Please do not bring: 

  • Personal electronic devices e.g. tablets, iPads, camera, recording device.
  • Any preparation materials or notes.

Some comfort aids are permitted in the examination room without prior permission from the RCGP SCA Comfort Aid List. All items will be subject to visual inspection by an invigilator. 

If you require any additional necessary items not stated within the SCA Comfort List, please stipulate this as a reasonable adjustment. See our reasonable adjustments section to apply.

IT set-up

For your upcoming examination you will be using Osler Online, a world-leading online medical examination programme. Osler Online is an online application which requires no download or installation, and is simply run through your web browser. 

Your computer set-up must meet the following technical requirements for it to work:

  • A laptop or PC only – currently Osler Online will not work with tablets or mobile devices. 
  • Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 
  • Windows or Mac operating systems only (Windows 10 or newer, Sierra 10.12 or newer). 
  • A built-in camera on a laptop or monitor or an external webcam attached to a monitor.  In instances where the webcam is bolted on or embedded in the monitor, the invigilator will ask you to perform the environment check using a combination of your webcam and the camera on your mobile phone.
  • A built-in microphone and speaker, or external wired headphones and microphone. Bluetooth headsets are not permitted.

Please note, you are not required to purchase any additional equipment to sit the SCA.

Internet requirements

The College has been conducting testing with GP surgeries across the four nations to measure their internet speed and bandwidth in preparation for the examination. 100% of surgeries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 99.5% of surgeries in Scotland meet the internet requirements. The minimum recommended bandwidth for Osler Online is 10mbps download and 4mbps upload. Please check your internet speed from the device and room you intend to use for your examination. Visit SpeedTest to find your download and upload speeds.

Checking your browser

Osler Online is only compatible through Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. 

Checking your browser is up-to-date

Normally updates happen in the background when you close your browser. It would be a good idea to update your browser, if required, well ahead of examination day to avoid any issues.  Please check the device you will be using to sit your examination. 

To update: 

  • Open your surgery browser.  
  • At the top right, click 'More'.  
  • Click 'Update'.
    • If you can’t find this button, you are already on the latest version.
    • If you did find and click the button, click 'Relaunch' to install the update.

Connection check and platform walkthrough

As part of preparing for your examination we will ask you to complete a connection check and platform walkthrough. Both the connection check and the walkthrough must be completed on the same device and in the same location that you will use on your examination day. You will receive instructions to complete these tasks two weeks prior to your examination date.