Regulations for clinical oncology examinations

Fellowship of The Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) may be obtained following successful completion of the First and Final Clinical Oncology examinations. Training may be undertaken within UK or non-UK training schemes.

 

Medical qualifications

  • Candidates must have obtained a medical degree from a university acceptable to the General Medical Council.
  • Candidates must be registered as a medical practitioner with the appropriate national authority.

Training period

  • No minimum period of clinical experience needs to have been completed prior to the commencement of clinical oncology training leading to the FRCR examinations.

Absence from training 

  • Absence on sick leave or maternity leave reduces the time spent in oncology training and may affect examination eligibility. 
  • Candidates should contact the Examinations Office prior to applying with any queries regarding sick and/or maternity leave.

RCR membership

  • Candidates undertaking specialty training in the UK are required to be enrolled with the RCR as trainees, to maintain membership throughout their training and must be up-to-date with their subscription in order to enter any part of the FRCR Examination.

GMC registration

  • Candidates must have appropriate General Medical Council Registration for any periods of training undertaken in the UK.

Candidate identification

  • Candidates who are registered with the GMC must enter the examination using the format of name in which they appear on the GMC Medical Register. 
  • Candidates who are not registered with the GMC must register with the name that appears on their passport.
  • Candidates must use exactly the same format of name each time they enter any part of the FRCR examinations.
  • Candidates are required to bring their candidate timetable together with photographic identification to the examination. Details on identification documents must match those supplied at application.

Confirmation of training

  • Candidates who are undertaking specialty training in the UK must obtain approval from their training programme director prior to applying for any examination.
  • Candidates who are not training in the UK should confirm the current location of training (or previous location if training has already been completed).

Exemptions

  • No exemption is granted from any part of the FRCR Examination on the basis of experience or other qualifications.

First FRCR examination

Eligibility and content

  • Candidates are permitted to attempt the First FRCR Examination upon completion of courses covering the syllabus in the subjects listed below.
  • There is no requirement to have held a clinical oncology training post in order to attempt the First FRCR Examination.
  • The First FRCR Examination is divided into the following four subjects orientated towards their clinical applications in clinical oncology:
    1. Cancer Biology and Radiobiology
    2. Clinical Pharmacology
    3. Medical Statistics
    4. Physics

Attempts

  • For each subject, there is a single examination of single best answer questions. Candidates may enter any number of subjects per sitting and may attempt the examination at six sittings. 
  • An attempt is any occasion when a First FRCR examination paper is taken (i.e. any of the four subjects listed above), not six attempts at each subject.
  • There is no requirement to re-sit a subject once a pass in that subject has been achieved; a candidate will be deemed to have achieved success at the First FRCR once all four modules have been passed.
  • Following a regulation change in 2014, attempts do not have to be taken consecutively.
  • Candidates who have exhausted their six permitted attempts at the examination will not be eligible to enter on a seventh occasion, and there is no mechanism to request an additional attempt at the examination. 
  • Candidates whose final consecutive attempt occurred prior to, or at, the Autumn 2013 sitting will not be permitted to re-enter the First FRCR under the new regulations.

Frank Doyle Medal

  • Eligibility for this medal is restricted to those candidates passing all four subjects at the same sitting, at their first attempt at the examination. 
  • The Frank Doyle Medal is awarded to the candidate with the highest overall score in the examination.

Final FRCR examination

The Final FRCR examination is a two part examination: Part A and Part B. 

  • The Final FRCR Part A examination comprises two single best answer question papers.
  • The Final FRCR Part B examination comprises an oral and a clinical examination.

Eligibility and content

  • Candidates must have passed the First FRCR examination and have completed three years of supervised clinical oncology training covering the examination syllabus.
  • In exceptional circumstances, with support from the Training Programme Director and at the discretion of the Medical Director (Education and Training), this minimum training period may be reduced to two years and six months.
  • Candidates must pass Final FRCR Part A in order to be permitted to attempt the Final FRCR Part B examination. 

Attempts

  • Candidates are permitted six attempts at Part A examination. In order to attempt this examination for a seventh, or further, time candidates will have to demonstrate additional educational experience.
  • Candidates are allowed up to three years to complete Part B, starting from the sitting at which the Part A examination is passed. 
  • If success in Part B is not achieved within this time, candidates will be required to take Part A again.
  • The specialty inevitably evolves over time and after such a period re-examination will be required to ensure the appropriate currency of a candidate’s knowledge. On this basis, no extensions will be made to the validity period of a pass in the Final FRCR (Part A) examination.

Gold Award

  • Eligibility for this award is restricted to those candidates who have passed all sections of the Final FRCR at their first attempt and all in one round. 
  • The Gold Award is given to the candidate who has highest combined placing in both the Part A and Part B examinations with the highest overall score.

Candidate conduct

  • Candidates are expected to behave in a reasonable and respectful manner throughout all RCR examinations. 
  • Candidates must comply with the instructions and requirements of the examination invigilators, examination proctors, RCR staff and examiners at all times. 
  • Candidates attempting to make a copy of, or transmit, any examination materials will be disqualified.  This includes writing details of the cases shown. 
  • Candidates found with any electronic device during the examination will be disqualified.
  • Candidates refusing to stop typing after the examination has ended will be disqualified.

Examination results

  • The list of successful candidates by RCR number only (including modular passes if appropriate), will be published on the RCR website. 
  • Results will not be available by telephone. 
  • All candidates will be sent their examination results via email as soon as possible after the results have been published.
  • Pass list publication dates are available.
  • Candidates undertaking specialty training in the UK will have their results copied to the relevant TPD and Regional Specialty Adviser (RA) for information.

Admission to the Fellowship 

  • Before being permitted to use the title of Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (or the abbreviation FRCR), Final FRCR successful candidates must be formally admitted to the Fellowship.
  • Those who are not already members of the Royal College of Radiologists must become members before their admission can occur.
  • Admission ceremonies are held twice a year, normally in May and November.
  • In order to preserve the entitlement to use the letters FRCR after their names, those who have been admitted to the Fellowship must maintain good standing with the Royal College of Radiologists by continued payment of the annual membership subscription.

Changes

  • Changes to the regulations, content and format of the examinations are made from time to time.

Last updated March 2021