The FRCR Examination
The FRCR examination is split into two parts.
Part I is theory based focusing on the underpinning basic sciences for oncology and radiotherapy (physics, statistics, cell biology/radiobiology and pharmacology) and most registrars sit this at the end of the first year. The exam is held twice a year in March and September and consists of 4 modules with one single best answer question paper for each module. All 4 modules must be passed within a maximum of 4 consecutive sittings of the exam but once passed a module does not have to be re-sat in a subsequent sitting.
To provide the teaching for Part 1 all registrars take part in the University of Birmingham’s MSc. course in Clinical Oncology for at least the first year. In addition to exam preparation, if you successfully complete all the modules you are awarded a diploma in clinical oncology and if you complete a dissertation then you achieve a masters degree.
Part II is clinically based, involves both written and viva examinations and is sat after 3 - 3½ years. It is split into Part A (single best answer papers) and part B (viva and clinical). This are again held twice a year (spring and autumn). It is not possible to proceed to Part B until Part A has been achieved. Once Part A is achieved it is valid for 5 consecutive sittings at Part B, starting from the sitting at which it was passed, before having to be re-sat.
In the run up to the Part II exam, many of the consultants take an active role in providing you with tutorials and practice vivas.
The full examination regulations are detailed on the Royal College of Radiologists website www.rcr.ac.uk