Note that because of Covid -19 the CSA exam has been temporarily suspended. The RCGP has intruduced a new exam called the RCA (Recorded Consultation Assessment) has been introduced This requires candidates to submit 13 recorded consultations, which may be any combination of audio, video or face to face encounters. These consultations will be recorded directly onto, or submitted onto a single central digital platform via Fourteen Fish eportfolio. These will then be assessed by RCGP examiners trained in CSA examination.
The RCA has been designed to test the same competencies and curriculum areas as the CSA and will be assessed at the same standard. As you will be aware there are strict legal regulations in place around the standards necessary to allow entry onto the GP register. The college and RCA Core Group has therefore worked with the GMC to ensure that the RCA displays the necessary reliability and validity to be approved as equivalent to the CSA. Upon successful completion of the RCA (along with the AKT and WPBA) you will be awarded the MRCGP and CCT in line with your peers who have previously completed the CSA.
Non-urgent advice: What is the CSA
The CSA (clinical skills assessment) is one of the three components of the MRCGP qualification – necessary to complete GP training in the UK. It aims to test various aspects of General Practice through the form of clinical stations with simulated patients.
Non-urgent advice: Aim of the CSA
“Test a doctors ability to gather information and apply learned understanding of disease processes and person-centred care appropriately in standardised context, make evidence-based decisions, and communicate effectively with patients and colleagues.”
Non-urgent advice: Structure of the CSA
– On desk will be an iPAD with all the cases for that session as well as peak flow chart, prescriptions, med 3s, tuning fork and tongue depressors.
– Examination couch as well
– Buzzer rings to mark start and end of consultation
– 2 minutes between each case
– Break of 10-15 minutes after 7 cases, water coffee and tea. With all other candidates and cannot speak about exam
– At the end they will knock on your door and leave
– Could well include home visits and children simulators over 11
– Need to bring your own BNF, Stethoscope, Ophthalmoscope, Auroscope, Thermometer, Patella Hammer, Tape measure, PEFR meter and disposable mouth pieces (EU standard)
Non-urgent advice: Marking Schedule
– 13 cases
– Marked on the 3 domains of data gathering, clinical management and interpersonal skills.
– Each domain has an equal numerical score
– Marked as clear pass ( 3), pass ( 2), fail (1) and clear fail (0)
– Total 9 for each case- 117 overall
– Examiner also marks whole case as pass, fail or borderline
– For borderline cases score is added and averaged
– Based on this they will integrate the scores and produce the pass mark – around 72 +/-2
Non-urgent advice: Top Tips
– Get a revision group together- minimum 4 people, start at least 6 months before the exam
– Have a consultation plan
– Videoing – do lots, watch with trainer.
– Practising cases with your trainer
– Courses: most CSA courses are pretty good.
– Practise from CSA books with have a marking schedule
– Be yourself and try to relax a little. Tell yourself “This is going to go well”. The consultation will flow better.
We run regular ‘CSA Trio’ sessions at HDRC during the ST3 year where we provide cases foryou to try and sit in to provide feedback. We also run two ‘Mock’ CSA sessions using the boxes at Doncaster Rovers Football ground where you will see cases under exam conditions and with experienced actors playing the part of patients, feedback is provided after each case and summarised for you after the day.