Becoming an Examiner

The FRCA Examiner application window for academic year 2020 - 2021 is now closed.  The next application window opens in July 2020.

Applicants must meet all essential requirements as set out in the Person Specification (see related downloads). 

The College invites applications for vacancies to the Board of Examiners in the Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists annually.  Examiners will be recruited to the Primary and/or Final examinations depending on the requirements of each examiner board.  The number of Examiners required will reflect the number of retirements from the current Board of Examiners.  


The FRCA Examiner Application form will be available from July 2020 for recruitment in academic year 2021 -2022.  Applicants are advised to read the details below and the FRCA Primary and Final Examinations (Selection and Appointment of Examiners) Regulations, (see related downloads).

There have been some changes made to the examiner regulations:

  • Examiners will be recruited to the Primary and Final examinations to meet the requirements of the examiner boards
  • Has the expectation of completing no less than 6 years and no more than 12 years as an examiner
  • After the 1st (probationary year) examiners can choose 'Flexible working' routines, see paragraph 8 of the examiner regulations on related downloads.
  • Must have at least three years-experience as a substantive consultand/SAS grade doctor in the NHS
  • Will have visited the Primary or Final FRCA examinations within the last five years at the time of being short-listed. (The February following the recruitment round)

Applications to become an FRCA Examiner are considered by the Examination Committee every year. New examiners are normally appointed, subject to a probationary period, to the Board of Primary FRCA Examiners. The Boards of Examiners normally comprise:

  • 80 –84 Primary Examiners
  • 68–72 Final Examiners

However, the size of each board can vary from year to year.

A successful applicant can expect to complete at least six years as an FRCA examiner. Normally Fellows by examination, they should hold a substantive Consultant or SAS appointment in the NHS and have at least three years-experience  Primary examiners are normally required to attend two out of three diets of Primary OSCE/SOE exams. These normally run from Monday to Friday. Examiners are not required to attend written examinations.  Final examiners are normally required to attend both SOE exams (December and Jue) and attend two CRQ standard checking days, one in September and one in March.

The Examinations Calendars list the dates of all FRCA examinations.

Eligibility for Examinerships
A Full list of essential and desirable Examiner specifications can be found in the Examiner Person Specification which is available on related downloads (at the bottom of this page) and can also be found at Appendix A of the Primary and Final FRCA Examinations (Selection and Appointment of Examiners) Regulations June 2014.

  • Applicants are appointed in the light of the composition of the examiner boards. The Committee aims to produce a balance amongst examiners of geographical distribution, the numbers from individual hospitals, subspecialty interests, clinical and basic science examiners, representation of teaching and district general hospitals, experience, and similar factors.
  • The College does not countenance discrimination on grounds of protected characteristics.
  • All applicants are expected to be Fellows of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, whether by examination, ad eundem or by election, in good standing with the College and holds full registration, without limitation with the GMC.  Applicants must have been a substantive consultant anaesthetist for at least three years at time of applications.
  • Applicants must be working in the NHS..

New Examiner applications are invited between July and October each year.  At the closing date, the completed application forms are collated and summarised and are circulated to all members of the Examination Committee in November, with personal information removed. Short-listing is carried out using the following scoring system:

  • 10 – Meets essential criteria and excellent in ALL aspects.
  •  6 – Meets essential criteria and good/excellent in SOME aspects.
  •  2 – Meets essential criteria.
  •  0 – Fails to meet essential criteria.

Please note that applicants must meet all essential criteria as set out in the Person Specification (see related downloads) at the time of submission of the application form or the applicant will be scored 0 by the selection panel.  Visiting FRCA exams within 5 years is an essential requirement.  Applicants' scores are summed and ranked. The cut-off score depends on the expected number of vacancies.  Following short-listing, requests for references are posted. These are considered at the Examination Committee meeting in mid-February where the final selections are decided upon. The recommendations from the Examination Committee are considered by ETE Board at their meeting in mid-March.

The Application Form
The following information is requested on the application form:

  1. Qualifications
  2. Current and previous relevant appointments.
  3. Evidence of active involvement and commitment to training and assessment in medicine.
  4. Formal education and training positions held.
  5. Special interests.
  6. Publications: It is desirable if the applicant is able to demonstrate the involvement in written and electronic publications taht are of particular relevance to training/education and basic sciences of Anaesthesia
  7. Attendance as a visitor to an FRCA examination within five years by the February following the year of application. Mandatory requirement.
  8. Name and address of Clinical Director and Regional Advisor, who will be asked to completed a structured reference form. Your CD will be asked if you can be released for the 12 day examiner committment

The applicant should complete the application form in order  to demonstrate that they meet all essential criteria as set out in the Person Spec .  The role of an examiner is set ou in the Job Description, copy available on related downloads and can also be found at Appendix B of the Primary and Final FRCA Examinations (Selection and Appointment of Examiners) Regulations.

A CV is not required.

Successful applicants

  • will be informed in March 
  • must attend a Council ceremony in the College during June/July
  • recommended to attend a day as an observer at the May Primary OSCE/SOE or June Final SOE as applicable to their recruitment.
  • must attend a compulsory training day in October 
  • attend a Sim-man training course in March of their first year if recruited to Primary.

Key dates for the 2021-2022 examiner recruitement are:

Application window   July 2020 - October 2020 (dates to be confirmed).  Successful applicants will be informed in March 2021. They must be formally admitted at a meeting of Council in July or September 2021 when they will be sworn in and sign the declaration. Examiners-elect will also be invited to attend a day shadowing an examiner at the May/June 2021 Primary of Final exam as applicable.  The compulsory examiner training for both examiner cohorts will be Friday 1 October 2021 at The Royal College of Anaesthetists, 35 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4SG.