Role description: First FRCR Examiner (Specialist) in Clinical Oncology

Role description and person specification

First FRCR Examiner in Clinical Oncology

We are recruiting for specialists in: 

  • Medical Statistics
  • Radio Biology
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • And Cancer Biology

Applications will close on 14 May

Apply for this role

Responsible to: First FRCR Examination Board

Term of office: The term of office for examiners is normally five years and examiners are expected to remain in employment for the duration of their term of office.

The acquisition of the FRCR examination is a requirement for all clinical oncology trainees to gain the award of a certificate of specialist training in clinical oncology. The First FRCR examination assesses the knowledge essential to clinical oncology practice and must be completed during Core Clinical Oncology Training (ST3 and ST4).

Each clinical oncology examination committee writes questions, sources images, moderates and classifies material, selects content for individual sittings, identifies passing standards and evaluates candidate performance to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the composition and format of their particular examination. Every committee also reviews the performance of individual questions, and patterns of examination performance overall, and makes recommendations on changes to structure and content where appropriate.

The First FRCR Examination Board is responsible for ensuring, on behalf of the Fellowship Examination Board, that the examination provides an appropriate assessment of the knowledge of the sciences that underpin clinical oncology practice (physics, medical statistics, clinical pharmacology, cancer biology and radiobiology) as defined in the syllabus section of the Specialty Training Curriculum for Clinical Oncology. The Board ensures that the examination meets the GMC’s ‘Standards for curricula and assessment systems.’

The First FRCR Examination Board reports to the Clinical Oncology Fellowship Examination Board and will have tasks delegated to it by that Board.

Working Practices

Examiners need to devote time to the writing of questions,and contribute these between meetings.

The Board meets twice a year, in late March or early April and in late September for a full day combining examination Board business in the morning and question review and writing in the afternoon.

Examiners will be the ‘designated’ examiner for one of the four modules at every second or third sitting. This involves reviewing a preliminary selection of questions from the established bank (the selection is made by one of the clinical oncology examiners) and attending a meeting, usually in late May or late November, in order to finalise the question papers.

Role Tasks

Participating in the business of the Board, including:

  • Reviewing the performance of individual examinations to ensure that they meet the standards expected, identifying any shortcomings and making recommendations for the future
  • Reviewing the pattern of performance of the examination over to time to ensure standards are maintained and identifying areas for improvement
  • Writing, reviewing and editing questions, ensuring that they are based on the approved curriculum
  • Reviewing selected questions for each examination paper, ensuring that they provide a representative sample of the relevant sections of the syllabus and are factually correct
  • Reviewing and agreeing the final examination papers

Person Specification

Knowledge and qualifications

Members of the First FRCR Examination Board must:

  • Able to demonstrate that they have undergone appropriate equality and diversity training and are willing to abide by good practice in these areas
  • Attend an induction day prior to joining the Board


  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate previous involvement in teaching and training, and, if possible, assessment

Personal qualities

  • Commitment to the aims and charitable objectives of the College
  • Commitment to equality and valuing diversity and understanding of how this applies to delivery of own area of work
  • Able to devote time to material preparation, question and standard setting and attending meetings
  • Prepared to undertake training in the examination procedures of the RCR


  • Must be supported by a senior colleague (if appropriate), or other colleague
  • The College strives for membership of the Board to be as representative as possible of site specialised interests, clinical practice backgrounds and the distribution of UK training schemes