Report from JCIE meeting

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 13th October 2016

I attended the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations (JCIE) meeting at RCSEd on behalf of BOTA.  JCIE is the committee that oversees the Intercollegiate Exam Boards for all surgical specialities across all four colleges.  This meeting contained representatives from the exam boards of all of the surgical specialities.  There were a few matters that I would like to bring to the attention of the membership.

FRCS Examiners

There have been instances recently where people passing section one of the FRCS have had to be put on a waiting list for section two places.  This is due to the limitation of places available for section two due to a shortage of examiners.  This is not a problem isolated to Orthopaedics and is also an issue in other specialities.  The JCIE are trying to increase the numbers of available examiners and there was discussion at this meeting about various ways to do this.

My advice on exam places remains the same as previously:

Please be aware that in the event of there being more candidates than places for part 2 that places for the clinical section will be allocated on the basis of when they applied for the exam as per section 5 of the application guidelines (https://www.jcie.org.uk/Utils/DocumentGenerator.aspx?Type=CMS&docID=386bbc69-2612-4727-8ed5-a0d8808ba9e7).  My advice would therefore be to get your application finished and submitted as soon as possible to try to maximise your chances of being able to sit the exam.

Additionally, during the ‘Where are all the women?’ session at the BOA congress it was raised that there are a lack of women in positions of responsibility (including FRCS examiners).  The JCIE are also aware of this and they are trying to increase the number of female examiners as well as the overall number of examiners.

If there is a good trainer in your region, who you think would be a good examiner then you should encourage them to consider being an examiner.  This also brings knowledge and experience back to your region helping trainees preparing for the exam.

Costs of the exam and JCIE

The JCIE are aware that their costs need to be kept to a minimum wherever possible.  They have confirmed that the JCIE does not make a profit from running the FRCS exams and that our fees only cover costs.  There is a lot of effort that we do not see that goes into preparing and running the exam process which explains the associated costs.