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Independents' Day

RCGP and BAPIO collaborate to address pass rate discrepancies

The RCGP and representative bodies for international doctors have announced they will be working ‘in close collaboration’ on identifying and supporting the training of international medical graduates, following the row over the MRCGP exam.

The college, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and the British International Doctors Association announced in a joint statement they would be developing initiatives to help struggling international and black and minority ethnic trainees so they were better prepared for the exam and independent practice, following a joint meeting between the groups.

Options currently being considered include developing new e-learning resources for the Clinical Skills Assessment exam, and reviewing ways to enhance feedback from the CSA exam for candidates.

The announcement comes after a high court judge said ‘the time has come to act’ on differentials in the pass rates between white and non-white trainees taking the CSA exam, but ruled there was no evidence that these were due to racial bias. BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta told Pulse last month that the organisation would be willing to challenge the RCGP ‘if no solution is found’ to the disparity in pass rates for non-white groups.

RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker said: ‘We are very pleased to now be working in partnership with BAPIO, BIDA and other key stakeholders to look at solutions and find the best way of supporting the small number of trainees who fail the CSA component of the MRCGP licensing exam to give them every chance of passing.’

“The college is not at all complacent and we are keen to move forward in a number of areas - not just those that were raised in the Judicial Review - for the benefit of patients and trainees. We discussed this with BAPIO and BIDA and received their support.’

Dr Mehta said he had had a ‘fruitful discussion’ with the college. He said: ‘We are pleased that the college has identified several steps to implement the equality impact assessment.’

‘We also discussed the issue of those trainees who have been removed from the training and the possibility of them getting back in to general practice. We are looking forward to working constructively with the Royal College for fairness and professional excellence in the interests of doctors and patients.’


Readers' comments (7)

  • why wasn't this done at the start?

    the whole episode has been an embarrassment to GPs everywhere especially for a so called 'caring' profession.

    the RCGP handled this episode so badly and there should be accountability - why did it take a legal case and recruitment crisis for the RCGP to finally act with some decency?

    why do they go on about 'benefit to patients' - the RCGP is supposed to represent GPs - if you want to represent patients join the media, become a politician or join the numerous patient advocate groups.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Something good needs to come out from this . This is essential in an extraordinary time of the history of our profession. We have enough enemies from the outside world .........

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  • Una Coales

    There was no evidence to prove racial bias as no CCTV cameras were placed in each of the 39 CSA exam rooms and therefore without videorecording, candidates may not request evidence for appeal challenges.

    Motorists seem to have more legal rights as they may request access to CCTV footage to appeal convictions.

    Approx £8k is all that is needed to install CCTV cameras in fhe 39 rooms to record digitally and store indefinitely or at least until the next diet.

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  • Would you believe candidates repeatedly fail by one mark based on the magical statistics of borderline group method for standard setting!! What a waste of resource!

    Surely, they are able candidates who would have passed in other Royal college exams if they were on the borderline score as those regulators use their common sense.

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  • Una Coales

    Yes @8:44pm many candidates still write me asking whether to fork out another £800 to appeal a fail by one mark out of 117 marks. Without access to video station evidence there is no point in appealing as it will always be one person's word against another. Such a waste of subsidised tax payers' 3 year NHS training to then release a GP trainee at the end for failing by 1 subjective mark out of 117 so he can never continue to help out his training practice as a locum, salaried or GP partner af a time when 60 million UK patients need GPs who are dropping out like flies, retiring early, emigrating, going private, changing careers to banking, going into pharma, or just quitting as theirs is a secondary home income.

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  • If the RCGP wants to do anything positive is good news and such measures should be welcome with cautious optimism to put an end to this disgraceful matter.
    Having said that out right refusal to video the exam for appeals is highly suspicious and reasons are obvious to a person with average intelligence. Surely there may be worrying reasons to consciously deprive transparency of the conduct of the exam to outside world. Is it the major inconsistencies examiners demonstrate during their assessment? Are the candidates paying the ultimate price for examiners failures? These are valid and common sense questions RCGP may need to answer.
    In my opinion, deliberate deprivation of evidence for appeals may not reflect well on the RCGPs image as a fair organisation which is serious about finding solutions to this disgraceful situation which has been dragging for so long!!

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  • ccvt prices and hard drives prices are extremely low. cost of the equipment is not an issue. the key is how do you police a very subjective exam where 5 gp's may do differing things for the same patient?

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