Report on Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations meeting 17 January 2018

I attended the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations (JCIE) meeting on the 17th of January 2018 as the BOTA representative. The following matters were discussed which I would like to bring to the attention of BOTA members.

Exam Courses

There are no exam review courses that are accredited by the JCIE. As an examination body, this is not the role of the JCIE. However, it is also recognised that courses can be variable in quality. It is important that course organisers understand how the exam works. In order to assure this, the JCIE will encourage representatives from the specialty associations to observe exams and subsequently observe and feedback to or participate in courses (under the regulations of a confidentiality agreement similar to examiners where they cannot conduct mock examination).

Section 1 questions

The JCIE are considering removing Extended Matching Item questions  and replacing these with Single Best Answer questions which are likely to be superior for discriminating performance.

Section 2 results

The JCIE are working towards providing improved feedback to all candidates This will help all candidates understand areas where their knowledge may need further attention.

Reasonable Adjustments

Any medical conditions that may require reasonable adjustments should be declared when applying for the FRCS exam. Candidates are advised to consider if they may have a condition requiring reasonable adjustments.

Female Examiners

The subject of increasing female examiners is considered not just at the JCIE but at all surgical specialty examination boards. Orthopaedics has seen the number of female examiners rise by eight examiners from two in 2015 to ten currently. No applicants who satisfy the criteria to become an examiner are denied. The number of female examiners is likely to increase as increasing numbers of female trainees and new consultants fulfill the criteria to become examiners (one of which is to be consultant for at least five years).

Standard Setting and Calibration

It was reassuring to see and understand how much deliberation and effort is put into ensuring that there is consistency, accuracy and clarity in the information provided to candidates, establishment of correct answers and examination findings as well as the questions themselves. In cases of outlying marking, the priority is to protect candidates.

Deadline for full forfeit of exam fee for Section 2 withdrawal

The JCIE Internal Quality Assurance Committee will be reviewing a number of policies including the fees and penalties guidance in order to maximise exam capacity and minimise waiting list waits.

Email the SAC Committee Rep