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FRCOphth Part 2 Oral and Refraction Certificate Examinations are changing

24 June 2020

We live in unprecedented times and the pandemic has affected the workplace and our personal lives.  Measures, such as social distancing are impacting not only the way we deliver our ophthalmology services but also the way the College operates, and the examinations that it provides.

As a result, the FRCOphth Part 2 Oral examination is changing due to personal contact and social distancing measures required to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

We fully recognise the impact that the pandemic has had upon trainees and the continued disruption that is likely to ensue. The College has been managing interim clinical service guidance during the pandemic and the affect it has had on our membership services, including examinations.  Due to the pandemic and measures in place, we have been forced to modify some of the examination processes. The decisions we have taken are designed to support trainee ophthalmologists’ progress and to reduce disruption as far as is practically possible.

Social distancing now means that clinically based examinations have to take place without real patients. An alternative arrangement (below) has been proposed and the General Medical Council (GMC) have given their conditional approval to the temporary solution, whereby the five clinical OCSE stations will now utilise video excerpts of real patient examinations rather than the examination of real patients.  This has also meant introducing a new temporary work-place based examination entry requirement to confirm candidate clinical examination skills.

Trainees and candidates have been fully informed of the changes and particularly those candidates who will be immediately affected by these alterations.  We have included comprehensive details of the examination and the temporary examination entry requirements.  All information can be found on the examinations section.