istorically, the Department of Surgical Affairs
at RCSI has been very active overseas, providing
Membership examinations, surgical skills
courses and other surgical training/consultancy
services for individuals and organisations in
countries such as Bahrain, Egypt, India, Jordan,
Malaysia and Sudan.
RCSI Membership examination (MRCSI) has always been at the
core of the department's overseas offering. The MRCSI examination
syllabus is an intercollegiate one and is common to all four surgical
Royal Colleges of Great Britain and Ireland.
The examination offered domestically and internationally by RCSI in
recent years has consisted of two parts:
Part A a written two-paper examination that uses Multiple
Choice Questions and Extended Matching Questions to assess
candidates' knowledge of Applied Basic Sciences and the
Principles of Surgery, and;
Part B an Oral, Clinical and Communications Skills (OCC)
examination that assesses candidates' clinical knowledge and their
ability to examine and communicate with patients.
In early 2013, RCSI began offering the new intercollegiate OSCE
format for the MRCS Part B examination in Ireland. As an assessment
methodology, the OSCE examination is considered to be more valid
than the OCC format as it offers more comprehensive coverage of
the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme. The OSCE
format permits rigorous standard setting which is carried out
intercollegiately using data from all examination centres running the
OSCE within a single diet of the exam.
The candidate experience of the MRCS Part B OSCE examination is
very uniform due to the high level of structure within and across the
various active stations. Candidates benefit also from being able to take
the entire MRCS Part B OSCE examination in one 3.5 hour sitting,
rather than having to undertake the Oral exam and the Clinical/
Communication Skills examinations on different days.
RCSI is rolling out the MRCS Part B OSCE format in Bahrain and
Malaysia in 2014. This exciting initiative will allow the College to
provide a very robust examination and an enhanced candidate
experience. Other international centres will begin offering the Part B
OSCE early in 2015.
For more information on this and other College Membership
examinations, please visit www.rcsi.ie/professional_exams
Any enquiries from intending candidates should be directed to
There are many opportunities for Fellows of the College (and Fellows
of Surgical Royal Colleges in the United Kingdom), who are based
in Ireland, Bahrain or Malaysia, to act as RCSI examiners during
Membership examinations. Such engagement would be most valuable
to the College and its existing Faculty and, more importantly to
the candidates participating locally in examinations. Examining on
behalf of the College will usually allow examiners to accrue CPD/
CME points. Should you wish to find out more about opportunities
to become an RCSI examiner, please contact the College by email at
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