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Applying for the SCA

Trainees are eligible to sit the SCA examination from ST3 onwards. However, some may prefer to sit earlier in the training year than others, depending on your circumstances. 

It is vitally important to take the examination only when ready. It is always recommended that you discuss your desired timeframe for taking the SCA with your GP Trainer and/or Educational Supervisor ahead of reserving a spot.

Exam diets and dates

We will now be providing nine sittings of the SCA, available throughout the year. You will have the ability to reserve your place up to 12 months in advance of your intended sitting, and will book and pay seven weeks ahead of your examination date.

Find out more information on exam diets and dates.

Reservations and bookings

With our new reservation system, trainees can now reserve a spot on the SCA up to 12 months in advance of your planned examination date. You can also view the spaces available on a diet in real-time and look at the overview of examination diets in the year, enabling you to plan to sit the examination at a time which suits you. You can cancel and adjust your reservation date at any time up to seven weeks prior to your examination date.

Please note that a reservation does not constitute a booking. This process must be done separately and you must reserve to be eligible to book.

Reserve your place on the SCA examination diet on your trainee portfolio. Trainees in ST2 and ST3 will see the option to reserve an SCA examination from the trainee portfolio. Trainees are reminded to check your portfolio is correct and up-to-date, to ensure the reservation system is visible on your portfolio dashboard.

When you click on the link from the portfolio, you will be taken to the exam reservations page where you can reserve their place. An availability indicator will display whether availability for each diet is good, limited, last few or full. The examinations team will monitor bookings and trainee demand for each diet. Where possible, if diets get booked quickly, the exam teams will consider the option to extend the number of examination days and increase capacity.

Those who have reserved a place will be sent a unique booking link seven weeks in advance of the examination date. From here you will be required to complete your booking information and pay the examination fee. Once trainees have paid you will be notified that your booking has been confirmed and your place on the SCA will be secured.

Fees

The examination fee for the SCA is £1,180. See the full exam fee breakdown and explanation.

Reasonable adjustments

Trainees will take the SCA in a local GP surgery via the Osler examination platform. In most cases, this will be your own surgery and so it would be expected that any reasonable adjustments required to enable your day-to-day work (such as special seating, aids, IT equipment and software etc.) would already be in place. Physical examination will not be assessed within the SCA, and instead will be covered within WPBA.

In addition to personal workplace-based adjustments, all trainees will benefit from the accessibility features of the Osler examination platform. These include:

  • Keyboard-only navigation
  • Optimised colour contrast
  • Enlargement/zooming of instructions

Examples of reasonable adjustments that will require approval for the SCA are:

  • Additional reading time before each case
  • Additional consultation time
  • Additional rest breaks

Applications for reasonable adjustments will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In addition to your disability assessors report, trainees may need to submit supporting evidence from your educational supervisor and/or a hospital specialist report.

Further information on reasonable adjustments will be shared via the reasonable adjustments page.

SCA comfort aid list

The below items are comfort aids and do not require pre-approval. They will be allowed in the examination room upon visual inspection by online invigilators. 

Food and drink 

Small discreet snacks and drinks in addition to water are permitted in the examination room at the discretion of the Surgery/Practice you are sitting. Please check Surgery/Practice in advance of your examination. 

Medicine & medical devices 

  • Auto-Injector, such as EpiPen* 
  • Bandages 
  • Braces - Neck, Back, Wrist, Leg or Ankle Braces 
  • Casts - including slings for broken/sprained arms and other injury-related items that cannot be removed. 
  • Cough Drops* 
  • Eye Drops* 
  • Eye Patches 
  • Eyeglasses, without the case, including tinted lenses – must be removed for visual inspection. 
  • Glucose Tablets* 
  • Hearing aids/Cochlear implant** 
  • Inhaler* 
  • Medical Alert Bracelet** 
  • Medical device: 
  • o Continuous Glucose Monitor** 
  • o Insulin Pump** 
  • o Spinal Cord Stimulator** 
  • o TENS Unit**
  • Nasal drops/spray* 
  • Oxygen Tank – Must be self-contained and silent. If the oxygen makes noise, or if power is required, then an accommodation approval is needed. 
  • Pillow/Cushion 
  • Pills - i.e., paracetamol or aspirin*

Additional information

*All medicine and medical devices must be unwrapped and without their packaging. Blister packs accepted. Can be brought in a clear container. 

**If the medical device includes an accompanying external remote-control device, the remote-control device may not be taken into the examination room. If there is a need to take the external remote-control device into the testing room, including a mobile phone, candidates must apply and be approved for accommodation to do so. 

Candidates are not permitted to plug any device into the computer workstation. 

Mobility devices 

  • Canes 
  • Crutches 
  • Motorized Scooters/Chairs 
  • Walkers 
  • Wheelchairs

Other approved items 

  • Face mask and/or gloves – face mask will need to be removed for ID checks. 
  • Tissues/Kleenex 
  • Menstrual products 
  • Incontinence products