By Gareth Iacobucci
The RCGP has rebuffed claims it is profiting from increased failure rates in its MRCGP clinical skills assessment by revealing it is running the exam at a loss.
Pulse recently reported that the pass rate for the new CSA crashed from 81% last year to just 46% this year, fuelling speculation among frustrated registrars that the college could profit from a surge in re-sits, which costs £1,445 per person.
The college is still investigating the fall, but a spokesperson said last week: ‘The RCGP does not generate any profit from the examination and [the] explicit aim is that the MRCGP simply covers its costs. During its first three years it has actually been run at a loss.’
The college said financial support for registrars who failed the exam was the responsibility of deaneries, which had been ‘fully involved in the debate about the standard-setting changes’.
Dr Antonio Perez-Nunez, a GP in Hull, said he failed the test despite being a GP for 20 years and said: ‘I didn’t reapply for a second oral attempt because I felt disillusioned with the RCGP, and I thought that the re-sit fees were too high.’
The college has suggested the fall was largely the result of a poor cohort, with a large number of re-sitters, although it has emerged that even among those taking the CSA for the first time, the pass rate was only 62%.
GP consultation with student Read our new series on passing the CSA