Regulations for clinical radiology examinations

Fellowship of The Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) may be obtained by examination after 34 months of full-time clinical radiology training. Training may be undertaken within UK or non-UK training schemes.

Clinical Experience

  • No specific duration of clinical (non-radiological) experience is required to enter the examinations.

Flexible (Part-time) training

  • All periods of time specified in this document are whole time equivalent (WTE).

Absence from training

  • Absence on sick leave or maternity leave reduces the time spent in radiology training and may affect examination eligibility.
  • Candidates should contact the examinations office prior to applying online, to ascertain their eligibility for the examination.

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.

Attempts

  • No candidate will automatically be permitted more than six attempts at any FRCR examination or examination module. In order to attempt an examination or examination module for a seventh, or further, time candidates will have to demonstrate additional educational experience.
  • Any examination or examination module a candidate has previously taken counts towards his or her six attempts i.e. the rule is backdated to include previous attempts.

First FRCR examination

Eligibility and content

The First FRCR Examination comprises two modules: physics and radiological anatomy. 

  • The physics module covers UK ionising radiation legislation, patient safety and the physical principles that underpin diagnostic medical imaging and is examined by a single multiple choice question (MCQ) paper. 
  • The anatomy module covers radiological anatomy across all body systems and imaging modalities and is examined by an image viewing session. 
  • There is no requirement to attempt or pass the modules in any order, nor any restriction on the number of modules that can be attempted at a single sitting.
  • Candidates need to pass both modules in order to be deemed to have achieved overall success in the First FRCR Examination.
  • Applicants need to hold a formal clinical radiology training post, in which they are actively receiving clinical radiology training, (or to have held such a post in the past) in order to enter the First FRCR Examination. 
  • No minimum period of clinical experience or clinical radiology training is required in order to enter. 
  • Trainees following the UK curriculum for Nuclear Medicine which includes clinical radiology are eligible for entry to the First FRCR. 
  • There is no requirement to provide confirmation that a candidate has undertaken formal training or lecture course attendance covering the examination syllabus for the modules to be entered. 

Final FRCR examination

The Final FRCR Examination is in two parts: Part A and Part B. Candidates are not permitted to attempt both Part A and Part B at the same sitting. Candidates must have passed the Final FRCR Part A Examination prior to entering the Final FRCR Part B Examination.

Final FRCR Part A examination

Eligibility and content

The Final FRCR Part A Examination comprises six topics:

  1. Cardiothoracic and Vascular
  2. Musculoskeletal and Trauma
  3. Gastro-intestinal (including liver, biliary, pancreas and spleen)
  4. Genito-urinary, Adrenal, Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Breast
  5. Paediatric
  6. Central Nervous and Head & Neck (including spine, eyes, ENT, salivary glands and dental)
  • There are two examination papers (each paper is three hours in duration) examined by single best answer (SBA) covering all imaging modalities, and including some anatomy and techniques.
  • Candidates need to pass both examination papers at one sitting in order to be deemed to have achieved overall success in the Final FRCR Part A Examination.
  • Applicants must have acquired 24 months in a formal clinical radiology training post by the month which the examination is taken and to have passed the First FRCR Examination in order to enter the Final FRCR Part A Examination. 

Final FRCR Part B examination

Eligibility and content

The Final FRCR Part B Examination comprises:

  1. A reporting session
  2. A rapid reporting session
  3. Two oral examinations
  • The three components of the Final FRCR Part B Examination are held during a single week twice a year, normally in April and October.
  • In the oral examinations, each candidate is examined by two pairs of examiners, all of whom are clinical radiologists.
  • Candidates who have passed the Final FRCR Part A Examination are permitted to enter the Final FRCR Part B Examination upon completion of 34 months in a formal clinical radiology training post.
  • Candidates who are unsuccessful overall will be required to resit all three components when attempting the examination again. After two unsuccessful attempts at the Final FRCR Part B Examination, the performance of a candidate who is undertaking specialty training in the UK will be reviewed and information provided to the candidate's training programme director to assist with preparation for a further attempt.

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, 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.
  • All candidates will receive details of scores achieved and the level of performance that was required to achieve success.
  • 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), successful candidates in the Final FRCR Part B Examination must formally be 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.
  • 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 January 2022