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Statement on the May 2021 FRCEM OSCE

The FRCEM OSCE was held online, 17-28 May 2021, the fourth time the exam had been delivered virtually. The results for the exam were published on 2 July 2021 and the candidate feedback was prepared and sent the week commencing 19 July 2021.

Following receipt of their feedback, a candidate contacted the Examinations Teams to inform them that they were missing a mark for one of their stations. The omission was reviewed by the Examinations Team who established that nine candidates had data excluded in the calculation of their results. As part of the quality assurance process followed, the Examinations Team check all marksheets have been correctly completed and that there are no missing examiner marks. This review was completed as per the process and all data was correctly entered. However, the report extracted to complete this process does not include the numerical station total, this is only visible within each individual candidate’s record. Some of these totals had not been calculated correctly, a problem that was invisible during the QA process.

The pass mark (borderline regression cut score plus one standard error of measurement) for the FRCEM OSCE is calculated on a per day basis, based on the mix of stations a candidate has been assessed in. Once the QA Team had manually entered and checked the excluded data and total scores, they recalculated the cut scores and standard error of measurement data for all candidates. After recalculation, four candidates result changed from a fail to pass, having scored above the cut score and above one standard error of measurement. Ten candidates who had previously passed the exam, having scored above the cut score and above one standard error of measurement, now fell above the cut score but within one standard error of measurement.

The RCEM Dean convened an extraordinary sitting of an Appeals Panel to review the affected candidates results. Having considered the available evidence and discussed the risks to patient safety and candidate wellbeing, the Panel recommended to the President that the results of the four candidates be amended from a fail to a pass and that the original results of the ten candidates be upheld. The President accepted the Appeal Panel’s recommendations.

As per the Appeals Procedure, a candidate wishing to submit an appeal must do so within 20 working days of the publication of results on the College website. That deadline would fall today for the May 2021 FRCEM OSCE but is extended for a further ten working days (13 August 2021) to permit any candidates that wish to consider an appeal to do so.

The results for all previous online FRCEM OSCEs have been reviewed. This issue has not occurred for any earlier sittings and the results for all previous online FRCEM OSCE are therefore confirmed to be correct. The College is working closely with its IT Supplier to continue investigating this problem to ensure it is not replicated again.

Emily Beet
Deputy Chief Executive
30 July 2021

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