IBSCE, Dublin
5th July 2019

On the 5th July 2019 I represented BOTA at the Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations (ICBSE) meeting which was held at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The IBSCE are responsible for the structure, standard and quality assurance of the MRCS and DO-HNS examination. There are a number of subgroups within the ICBSE, we heard reports from these meetings. A lot of interesting topics related to the MRCS examinations were discussed. The key points most pertinent to orthopaedic trainees are as follows :

Changes to the exam:

  • There is plan to modernise the exam – a business case has been written for computer-based testing
  • Prosections should be utilised in preference to anatomical models
  • The question bank is in the process of being extended

Reasonable adjustments:

  • Candidates with a diagnosis that requires extra time for the examination will have reasonable adjustments made, which will be the same between all of the colleges. A register of adjustments will be kept.
  • For individuals with a late diagnosis of dyslexia ( defined as an individual that has run out of attempts and then has a diagnosis made) 1 extra attempt will be allowed. Previous attempts will not be expunged.

Equality & Diversity Training:

  • All examiners must complete E&D training at the start of their term as an examiner. Training will be repeated if there are changes in legislation or if the examiner wishes to undertake a second term.

Examiner eligibility:

  • The Association of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) have provided guidance that examiners must have been working as a consultant for a minimum of 2 years.