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Examinations

Part 1 Fellowship

No previous experience in ophthalmology is necessary for candidates to sit the Part 1 FRCOphth but candidates will be required to pass this examination before they enter into the third year of ophthalmic specialist training.

The structure is based on the learning outcomes from the curriculum for the first two years of training. This includes basic sciences but also theoretical optics and some pathology. There is no clinical component and the syllabus is assessed by a theoretical written section.

From August 2013, candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts in which to pass the Part 1 FRCOphth examination.  Part 1 FRCOphth examination attempts prior to August 2013 do not count towards the number of attempts available.

Refraction Certificate

No previous experience in ophthalmology is necessary for candidates to sit the Refraction Certificate but candidates are unlikely to pass this assessment if they have not undertaken a large number of clinical refractions in the clinical settings of either the hospital workplace or in optometric establishments. Candidates in OST are required to pass this examination before they enter into the fourth year of ophthalmic specialist training.

The assessment consists of a 12 station Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Six of these stations are retinoscopy stations during which candidates will examine three patients, performing retinoscopy on each eye. The time allowed will be ten minutes for each double retinoscopy station during which time both eyes must be assessed. Candidates are permitted to divide the ten minute period between the eyes as they wish. After ten minutes there will be a one minute change over period. A five minute OSCE will then follow. Each station will be timed precisely.

From August 2013, candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts in which to pass the Refraction Certificate examination.  Refraction Certificate examination attempts prior to August 2013 do not count towards the number of attempts available.

Exemption – Candidates who have been registered with the General Optical Council as an optometrist in the last five years are exempt from this certificate. Candidates intending to apply for exemption should therefore ensure that they do so within this period. Candidates in ophthalmic specialist training are advised to apply for exemption before the end of year three.

Part 2 Fellowship Written Component

This examination is open to candidates who have passed the Part 1 FRCOphth and the Refraction Certificate and is held twice a year.

The structure is based on learning outcomes from the curriculum in its entirety. The syllabus is assessed by a 180, single best answer, multiple choice question paper.

From September 2014, the currency of a pass in the written examination is limited to seven calendar years.  Candidates are permitted a maximum of four attempts at the Part 2 FRCOphth written component.  Part 2 FRCOphth examination attempts prior to August 2014 do not count towards the number of attempts available.Candidates who have not successfully completed the Part 2 FRCOphth oral examination within seven calendar years of their pass in the written examination will be permitted to re-sit the written examination on the proviso they have not exhausted four attempts at the written component and retain at least one attempt to sit the oral component.

Candidates in OST are required to pass this examination by the end of year seven of ophthalmic specialist training.

Part 2 Fellowship Oral Component

This examination is open to candidates who have passed the Part 2 FRCOphth Written Component and is held twice a year. Candidates in OST are required to pass this examination by the end of year seven of ophthalmic specialist training.

The structure is based on learning outcomes from the curriculum in its entirety. The syllabus is assessed by a structured viva and an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).  Candidates are permitted a maximum of four attempts at the Part 2 FRCOphth Oral Component.  Part 2 FRCOphth examination attempts prior to August 2014 do not count towards the number of attempts available

Success in the Part 2 FRCOphth examination leads to the award of Fellowship and the post-nominals FRCOphth. International Medical Graduates (IMG) should note that the award of FRCOphth does not permit exemption from the PLAB test.

Diploma in Ophthalmology Examination

Following a decision at the July 2016 Examinations Committee, the College will no longer deliver the Diploma examination.

 

Membership

From 2010, the College is pleased to offer a new classification of Membership of the College for examination candidates who have successfully completed the Refraction Certificate and Diploma examinations, which has previously been referred to as the Diploma Plus.

The MRCOphth is a postgraduate ophthalmic qualification for doctors which assesses core ophthalmic knowledge and skills. Further details are available here.

Please note: the College previously ran a three-part Membership examination, assessing the entire curriculum for Basic Specialist Training. This concluded in 2008.

Fellowship Assessment

This examination has now ceased. The final date for first submission of Fellowship Assessment casebooks was 24 December 2014.   This assessment was designed as an exit requirement for trainees completing Higher Specialist Training. The assessment took the form of a presentation of an agreed number of cases which have been studied during HST and which include cases reflecting the trainee’s special interest or research subjects.

Certificate in Laser Refractive Surgery

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists offers an assessment in laser refractive surgery which leads to a certificate of competence to practice, subject to satisfactory yearly appraisals and continuing professional development.  Success in this certificate confers the post-nominals CertLRS.

This certificate applies only to refractive procedures performed by laser.

Full details of the structure of the assessment are available here.

Duke Elder Undergraduate Prize Examination

The Duke Elder Undergraduate Prize Examination takes place once a year in Medical Schools throughout the British Isles. The next examination is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 8 March 2017. The closing date is 12 December 2016, by which candidates have to submit their names to their Medical School. Further information can be obtained from the organiser within your Medical School.

Applications will only be accepted from candidates who apply through their medical schools.

Admission Ceremony

The next Admissions Ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday 8 September 2017 in London. Further details will be sent to those eligible to attend in July 2017.