The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) is transitioning from a two qualification system (MRCEM and FRCEM) to a one qualification system. The RCEM has provided a comprehensive overview on it's excellent website refresh:
Essentially, the exams follow the following structure:
This replaces the MRCEM Part A (with effect from August 2016).
It will change from a true/false MCQ paper to a single best answer question (SBAQ) paper of 180 questions in 3 hours. Previous passes in the MRCEM Part A examination remain valid.
FRCEM Intermediate Certificate
This replaces MRCEM Parts B and C for UK trainees. It consists of the following methods of assessment:
Short Answer Question (SAQ) paper (replaces MRCEM Part B) consisting of 60, 3 mark questions in 3 hours. The subject matter and level of the examination remains unchanged to that of the current MRCEM Part B. Previous passes in the MRCEM Part B examination remain valid.
Situational Judgement Paper (SJP) - replaces MRCEM Part C for UK trainees - consisting of 120 single best answer questions (SBAQ) in 2 hours.
For candidates in a UK recognised training programme, the MRCEM Part C will remain a GMC approved qualification for the purposes of CCT if passed up to and prior to August 2018. After this time, all candidates will be required to pass the FRCEM Intermediate Certificate SJP (plus the FRCEM Primary and Intermediate Certificate SAQ) in order to be eligible to sit the FRCEM Final examination components.
After August 2018, candidates who have passed the MRCEM Part A and B but not the Part C will be required to pass the FRCEM Intermediate Certificate SJP in order to be eligible to sit the FRCEM Final examination components.
You will still be able to get the MRCEM!
After August 2018 the College will continue to run the MRCEM OSCE (currently called MRCEM Part C) for non-trainees (UK and International) and interested UK trainees which will result in the award of MRCEM.
Candidates will be required to pass the FRCEM Primary (or have passed MRCEM Part A prior to August 2016), the FRCEM Intermediate SAQ (or the MRCEM Part B prior to August 2016) and the MRCEM OSCE. Candidates will be permitted a maximum of six attempts for the MRCEM Part C/OSCE from August 2016. Attempts at the MRCEM Part C examination prior to August 2016 will not count towards the number of available attempts.
Final FRCEM Critical Appraisal
The format remains unchanged and can be sat from CT3/ST3.
Final FRCEM SAQ
This will consist of 60, 3 mark questions in 3 hours.
With effect from August 2016, candidates will no longer be required to pass the FRCEM OSCE and FRCEM SAQ in the same sitting.
Final FRCEM OSCE
Candidates will be required to pass the FRCEM OSCE within seven calendar years of the date they pass the FRCEM SAQ. The method of assessment for the Final FRCEM OSCE is unchanged.
Current FRCEM Management Viva
The existing FRCEM Management Viva will remain part of the FRCEM Final examinations until August 2018. All candidates sitting FRCEM up to and including the Spring/Summer 2018 diet must sit this component. Non-trainees who have not passed the management viva by 2018 and wish to apply for specialist registration via CESR will be required to provide additional evidence of the competences currently tested within the management viva.
New Management Portfolio
The Management Portfolio will be required for trainees in an approved UK training programme who started ST3 from August 2015 onwards. The Management Portfolio will be completed as a workplace based assessment (WPBA) and therefore assessed within the workplace. Completion of the Management Portfolio is a requirement for the completion of training and will reviewed annually via the ARCP process.
Current FRCEM Clinical Topic Review
The existing FRCEM CTR will continue to run until Spring/Summer 2018 and all candidates sitting up to and including the Spring/Summer 2018 diet must sit this component (which includes a viva).
Therefore all existing trainees who are preparing a CTR (or permitted to submit a QIP to fulfil this requirement) will be required to submit their CTR and pass the viva by the Spring/Summer 2018 diet.
For candidates who have taken time out of training the College will facilitate the early submission of CTRs in 2017 to ensure such candidates have the opportunity to complete the CTR prior to the final sitting in Spring/Summer 2018. Candidates will continue to be permitted a maximum of five attempts for the FRCEM CTR up until August 2018.
New FRCEM Quality Improvement Project
The FRCEM Quality Improvement Project will be introduced from August 2018 to permit sufficient time for candidates to complete their projects. Trainees who are at ST4 and below in August 2016 will therefore be required to submit a Quality Improvement Project. QIPs will be centrally assessed by the College using a domain-based marking scheme. From August 2018 candidates will no longer be required to attend for a viva.
Candidates sitting the current FRCEM Clinical Topic Review (or submitting a QIP to fulfil this requirement) prior to August 2018 are still required to attend for a viva (unless passed outright on their written work).
The direct route for entry to the FRCEM examinations based on previous experience will be discontinued from August 2018. Existing and recently approved candidates permitted direct entry to the FRCEM examinations (without completion of MRCEM) are required to pass all components for the existing FRCEM (Critical Appraisal, Management Viva, Clinical Topic Review, Short Answer Paper and OSCE) prior to August 2018. Candidates who have not passed all the FRCEM examinations by this date will be required to complete the full suite of examinations, starting with the FRCEM Primary and including the FRCEM Intermediate Certificate and post-August 2018 FRCEM Final examinations, irrespective of previous successes.