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ASIT BOTA MRCS Examination Results Response
ASIT BOTA MRCS Examination Results Response
ASiT BOTA letter in response to announcement of errors in results processing for MRCS Part B examinations - May 2017.


Initial announcement from the Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations (ICBSE):

Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations RESULTS OF THE MAY 2017 MRCS PART B EXAMINATION 

The Intercollegiate Committee for Basic Surgical Examinations (ICBSE) has identified an administrative error in the processing of results for candidates sitting the MRCS Part B examination in RCS Edinburgh, RCS England and RCS Ireland centres on the following dates: Saturday 13 May; Wednesday 17 May. 

All candidates who sat the examination on the above dates and have been affected by this error are being contacted directly by the College with which they sat the examination. The Colleges have informed each candidate of any implication this error has had on the examination results previously communicated. 

ICBSE can confirm that the administrative error affected only the results as communicated to the candidates concerned; neither the results determination nor the standard setting processes were affected. Moreover, the error did not affect the results determination or standard setting processes for any other days of the May 2017 diet of the examination. 

ICBSE would like to apologise for this error and for the fact that it was not identified prior to communication of results to candidates sitting the examination. A full investigation into why the error occurred has been undertaken and measures have been put in place to ensure it will not happen again. 

Should candidates wish to obtain any further information or discuss this matter further, they are advised to contact the Head of Examinations at the College with which they sat the examination. 


ASIT / BOTA response, sent to all UK & Ireland Surgical college presidents:

7th July 2018 

Dear College Presidents, 

We have been made aware of the recent issue with the MRCS Part B results, with some candidates being told they had passed when in fact, they had failed and vice versa. We are sure you share our sympathy for the affected candidates and are as keen as we are to ensure this does not happen again. 

We wish to highlight the distress this has caused affected candidates. Indeed, some candidates may have already had ARCP’s based on the outcome, as well as making future personal and professional plans based on the exam result. 

We urge the Colleges to undertake the following, which we trust you already are in the process of doing: 

  1. Commit to a full investigation, with an independent chair, into how this occurred and how to ensure it will not happen again. 

  2. Have full and open disclosure to candidates and the membership about the outcome of this investigation and the steps taken to prevent recurrence. 

  3. Provide appropriate pastoral support to those affected; specifically, a named individual for each College should liaise with the candidates and organise appropriate mentoring for their next sitting of the exam. 

  1. Reimburse candidates for the failed attempt in May and ensure their next attempt at the exam is free of charge to the trainees affected. 

  2. Provide a letter detailing the error, to be uploaded to a trainee’s ARCP portfolio, to provide evidence that no misconduct has occurred on their behalf. 

  3. For those whose ARCP will now be an outcome 3, that appropriate posts are found. 

  4. Leniency should be applied if those candidates ever reach their maximum number of attempts at the exam so that consideration of this event is applied. 

We trust you already have many of the above in progress and will undertake to support those candidates affected as much as possible. 

Many Thanks, 

Helen Mohan Simon Fleming ASiT President and BOTA President 


Professor Peter Brennan, ICBSE Chair
Professor David Croke, IQA Chair
Professor Derek Alderson, President Elect RCS England 

CMR Surgical
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