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RCGP will ensure examiners are ‘representative of race and ethnicity’

The RCGP has said it will prioritise ensuring that examiners for the MRCGP exam are ‘representative of the UK’s broad mix of race and ethnicity’.

The college also said it will work with training bodies to provide support for struggling candidates and those needing more exposure to UK culture and systems.

It today released its response to the written judgement from the recent judicial review on the differentials in pass rates between white UK graduates and international medical graduates and non-white UK graduates.  

Dr Maureen Baker, the chair of the RCGP, also said the college is involved in ‘ongoing dialogue’ with the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, who instigated the judicial review.

Mr Justice Mitting released his written judgement, which found that the exam was lawful, but said ‘the time has come’ for the RCGP to act on the issue.

In a statement in response to the written judgement, the RCGP said: ‘[We will] work closely with deaneries, local education and training boards (LETBs) and other associated organisations, to address training quality standards and to provide support for struggling candidates and those who need more exposure to UK culture and systems; develop examiner panel profiles that are fully representative of UK doctors.’ 

RCGP chair Maureen Baker said the RCGP would take urgent action to implement the recommendations.

She said: ‘We welcome the written judgement and are in ongoing dialogue with BAPIO, the GMC and other relevant organisations as to how we can move forward. We are keen to work proactively on a number of areas to the benefit of patients and trainees, rather than simply on those that were raised in the Judicial Review.’

BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta said: ‘It was hard work bringing the judicial review, and the result is disappointing. But I’m pleased that the RCGP has initiated dialogue with BAPIO to ensure that the CSA is fair, and not discriminatory against BME doctors.

‘The judge said he was satisfied that BAPIO brought the claim in good faith, and that it was in the public interest. There does seem a willingness by the RCGP and GMC to sort out this issue.’