Trainee exams online for the first time

Trainees taking CASC in September will be the first ever to be tackling the scenario-based exam online.

Working to tight timescales – but very aware of the need to provide core trainees with a way of progressing towards specialist certification – the College is putting on web-based CASC exams during 7-11 September and an extra set, to meet the unprecedented demand, during 20-22 October.

The first ever running of an online version of the written papers is also taking place in October when trainees will be tackling a web-based version of Paper B.

An enormous amount of thought has needed to go into the logistics of running the exams online, including how to make sure it is conducted fairly, how to help applicants check whether their IT set up is suitable for taking the exam in advance, and even what to do during the written paper if a candidate needs a toilet break.

The RCPsych’s Chief Examiner, Dr Ian Hall, said: “We appreciate the detrimental impact cancelling exams has on trainees’ ability to progress through national recruitment and so have greatly accelerated this digital transformation project to ensure trainees can progress towards specialist certification.

“The Coronavirus pandemic means we’ve been working to very tight timelines to deliver the exams on online platforms. This means that the platform candidates will see when sitting their exams this autumn will not be the feature-rich, highly refined iteration a 12-18 month digital transformation project would be able to produce, but the important thing has been to enable candidates to take the exams in a timely way, while ensuring the process is fair.”

Dr Hall added: “We will continue to refine our online exams systems in collaboration with its business partners who are supplying the online exam platforms.”

For more information, please see this webinar recording and frequently asked questions.

The College is also working with its online exams business partners to produce other materials (such as demos) which will appear on the website shortly. Should your questions not be answered via these resources, the College’s Examinations Unit are always happy to hear from you at

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