Examining for RCEM: A call for new examiners for the 2021 curriculum exam schedule

Our Exams team at the College are always busy but are now busier than ever. The pandemic has posed numerous problems, there are changes to the curriculum, and availability of examiners have all been, and continue to be, significant key challenges.

The last of these is something we’re keen to solve with greater member involvement and help, but first some context about where we’re at. The RCEM curriculum 2021 programme of assessment includes the following changes to exams:

  • MRCEM – The primary SBA remains, the Intermediate SAQ id replaced by an SBA exam and the situational judgement paper is removed, with the MRCEM OSCE returning.
  • FRCEM – There are now two papers- an SBA paper that replaces the SAQ and the FRCEM OSCE remains, albeit adjusted to blueprint to the new curriculum.

The need for examiners is broadly similar, with more OSCE and SBA question writing, but no SAQ question writing or marking, no CLA papers or QI projects to mark.

How many examiner days do we need per year?

  • SBA question writing:         150
  • OSCE question writing:        30
  • MRCEM OSCE examining:  575
  • FRCEM OSCE examining:   540
  • TOTAL:                                 1295

How many examiners have we got?

  • 674 on the books
  • 454 have examined in the past two years
  • 346 have examined since November 2020

Examining five days in two years (recommendation) would mean we need 518 fully signed up examiners.

Examining for RCEM has been really challenging through the COVID pandemic. No new examiners have been recruited and examiner training suspended. The demands on the existing pool of examiners from many quarters have grown, and RCEM have had to make arrangements with short notice as COVID guidance changed.

It is now time to re-open examiner recruitment and welcome in the next cohort. There will be training for all for the new examination schedule of the next months. The regulations regarding who is eligible to examine have been updated in line with the new exams.

Who can examine?

  • Exam regulations updated July 2021
    • MRCEM
      • Trainees with FRCEM
      • SAS doctors with MRCEM and two years in a substantive post
      • All FRCEM positive consultants
    • FRCEM
      • Only FRCEM (including ad eundum) positive consultants two years in a substantive NHS post.

How do I sign up?

  • Complete this form from the RCEM examiner web page
  • Send back to exams@rcem.ac.uk
  • Receive confirmation and take the online training
  • Make sure mandatory ED&I training up to date
  • Prepare to enjoy yourself!
  • FRCEM OSCE: 1 to 10 November
  • MRCEM OSCE: 19 to 29 November

Examining for MRCEM and FRCEM are a really good use of CPD time and professional leave. Question writing sessions are lively, interactive and exacting. OSCE examination is sociable, collegiate and an opportunity to use all you have learnt to ensure the next generation are properly ready to join the speciality and registrar and consultant level. We will ensure there is opportunities to socialise if you so wish, and to help with accommodation arrangements.

Contact exams@rcem.ac.uk for any questions or feel free to fill in an application form and send it back.

Dr Will Townend

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