Examinations Terms & Conditions

The booking terms and conditions tell you how your exam can be paid for and what the cancellation fees are.

Booking and payment

Payment for all events can be made by Switch Maestro, Solo or Credit Card (Mastercard/Visa/Delta).

Bookings will not be accepted unless the appropriate fee has been received.

Please note that your booking is provisional until you receive an email confirmation from the Examinations Department confirming an examination slot has been allocated to you, within a maximum of ten working days after the closing date. You will not be informed as to whether you have a place on the exam until after the closing date. Please do not contact the College chasing exam confirmations before the end of this ten working day period.

The College reserves the right to change the examination calendar at any time and without prior notice.

All fees quoted are exclusive of VAT at the prevailing rate unless otherwise stated.

Cancellation policy

Applicants wishing to withdraw their entry for an examination must notify the Examinations Department by email to [email protected] prior to 17:00 on the closing date for receipt of applications. Fees cannot be refunded after this time.

Candidates unable to attend an examination will forfeit their examination fee.  In exceptional circumstances, the Examinations Committee will consider requests to withdraw a candidate’s entry to the examination sitting subject to receipt of written supplementary evidence (e.g. a detailed medical certificate, a death certificate for a close family member) and subject to a 20% administration charge.  Written exams will also incur an additional £50 cancellation charge which is levied by the online exam provider. Please note that lack of preparation is not considered a suitable reason to withdraw an examination entry.

Code of conduct for examination applicants and candidates

Candidates are advised that by virtue of applying to sit any College examination they are deemed to have understood and agreed to respect and abide by all relevant regulations, including the Code of Conduct – Examination candidates and applicants 2017

Late arrival to an examination

Candidates are advised that if they arrive late for a practical examination (Refraction Certificate, Part 2 FRCOphth Oral and CertLRS), they will not be permitted to sit it under any circumstances. It is the responsibility of the candidate to manage their time accordingly when planning to arrive for their examination. Examinations run to a strict time and circuit-driven schedule and late arrivals cannot be accommodated.

Oversubscription Policies

Refraction Certificate

UK examinations:

In the event that the number of applications received for a UK sitting of the Refraction Certificate examination exceeds the number of examination spaces available, the following criteria will be applied:

  • Priority will be awarded, in the first instance, to applicants in years 2-3 of Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) OR years 5-6 of Medical Ophthalmology training
  • Should additional spaces be available, second priority will then be awarded to candidates who have applied in the preceding 12 months but not been allocated a place. Please note that any candidate not given a place in a UK exam within the preceding 12 months will be given second place priority for the next UK exam for which they apply. This priority will only apply to UK exams and will not apply to overseas exams where the overseas exams priority criteria below will apply.
  • All remaining places will be awarded on a first come first served basis, based on the date that the candidate applied for the exam.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: It is the candidate’s responsibility, if in OST, to ensure that their OST year is listed accurately in their e-portfolio as this is the information we use to issue priority places at an exam. We cannot be held responsible if a candidate fails to get an exam place because they provided an incorrect OST year in their e-portfolio.

Overseas examinations (Singapore, India, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago):

In the event that the number of applications received for an overseas sitting of the Refraction Certificate examination exceeds the number of examination spaces available, the following criteria will be applied:

  • Priority will be awarded, in the first instance, to candidates who have applied for the same exam in the same country in the preceding 12 months but not been allocated a place. For example, a candidate who was not given a place in the India exam will have first priority for the next India exam.
  • All remaining places will be awarded on a first come first served basis, based on the date that the candidate applied for the exam.

Part 2 FRCOphth Oral

UK examinations:

In the event that the number of applications for a UK sitting of the Part 2 FRCOphth Oral examination received exceeds the number of examination spaces available, the following criteria will be applied:

  • Priority will be awarded, in the first instance, to applicants in years 5-7 of Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST).
  • Should additional spaces be available, second priority will then be awarded to candidates who have applied in the preceding 12 months but not been allocated a place. Please note that any candidate not given a place in a UK exam within the preceding 12 months will be given second place priority for the next UK exam for which they apply. This priority will only apply to UK exams and will not apply to overseas exams where the overseas exams priority criteria below will apply.
  • All remaining places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, based on the date that the candidate applied for the exam.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: It is the candidate’s responsibility, if in OST, to ensure that their OST year is listed accurately in their e-portfolio as this is the information we use to issue priority places at an exam. We cannot be held responsible if a candidate fails to get an exam place because they provided an incorrect OST year in their e-portfolio.

Overseas examinations (Singapore, India, Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago):

In the event that the number of applications for an overseas sitting of the Part 2 FRCOphth Oral examination received exceeds the number of examination spaces available, the following criteria will be applied:

  • Priority will be awarded, in the first instance, to candidates who have applied for the same exam in the same country within the preceding 12 months but not been allocated a place. For example, a candidate who was not given a place in the India exam will have first priority for the next India exam.
  • All remaining places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, based on the date that the candidate applied for the exam.

Candidates who are unsuccessful in securing an examination slot will be reimbursed with their full examination fee.  Candidates should not make travel or hotel arrangements until final confirmation of their examination entry is received, after the closing date for receipt of applications.  The College is unable to refund any candidate travel and/or accommodation costs that have already been incurred by the candidate, or any administration charges relating to cancellation of travel tickets or accommodation.

Entry Visas

Applicants must apply for entry visas for the United Kingdom in good time prior to the date of the examination.  In exceptional circumstances, if written evidence of the refusal of a visa is provided, the Examinations Committee will consider requests for candidates to withdraw their examination entry, subject to the receipt of a 20% administration charge.

Accessibility

Please advise the Examinations Department, at the time of application, if you wish to apply for additional examination requirements. We cannot accept additional time requests after the exam closing date.

Travel and Accommodation

The College is unable to arrange travel or accommodation for examination candidates. Candidates are strongly advised not to book any travel or accommodation until after they have been given an exam place. The College will be unable to reimburse any costs if such bookings are made before the candidate has been informed of their exam place.

Data Protection Act

Examination results for UK Trainees, who are in Ophthalmic Specialist Training, will be forwarded to the appropriate Training Programme Director.

If you are registered or anticipate being registered with the GMC then your personal data, including data about your examination results, will be passed to the GMC for quality assurance and research purposes and to facilitate the awarding of certificates of completion of training (CCT). The GMC will add this data to the UKMED database.

Online booking security

Bookings for RCOphth events taken through this website are handled through a secure webserver with a 128 bit SSL certificate. Payments are handled by SagePay, a third-party payment service provider with the highest levels of security. During the online payment process, no credit card details are stored by The Royal College Ophthalmologists.

SagePay Security policy

Our Payment Service Provider is Sage Pay (formerly Protx) – the largest independent payment service provider (PSP) in the UK and Ireland. Sage Pay provides a secure payment gateway (Level 1 PCI DSS), processing payments for thousands of online businesses, including ours. It is Sage Pay’s utmost priority to ensure that transaction data is handled in a safe and secure way.

Sage Pay uses a range secure methods such as fraud screening, I.P address blocking and 3D secure. Once on the Sage Pay systems, all sensitive data is secured using the same internationally recognised 256-bit encryption standards.

Sage Pay is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant to the highest level and maintains regular security audits. They are also regularly audited by the banks and banking authorities to ensure that their systems are impenetrable.

Sage Pay is an active member of the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) that defines card industry global regulation.

In addition, you know that your session is in a secure encrypted environment when you see https:// in the web address, and/or when you see the locked padlock symbol alongside the URL. So when buying through our site, you can be sure that you are completely protected. More information about shopping securely with Sage Paycan be found at www.sagepay.com/shoppers.

What is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)?

The Secure Sockets Layer protects data transferred over http using encryption enabled by a server’s SSL Certificate. An SSL Certificate contains a public key and a private key. A public key is used to encrypt information and a private key is used to decipher it. When a browser points to a secured domain, an SSL handshake authenticates the server and the client and establishes an encryption method and a unique session key. They can begin a secure session that protects message privacy and message integrity.

Photographs and filming

The College and its representatives, or external agencies acting on behalf of RCOphth, may take photographs, video footage and voice recordings of the examination for future training or promotional purposes in print or online. Please inform the examinations organiser on the day if you do not wish your image to be used in this way.

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