College successfully delivers first ever virtual CASC exams

The College’s first ever virtual Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competences (CASC) examination has been successfully delivered, with 98% of almost 500 candidates completing the exam from remote locations between 7-18 September.

A total of 476 out of 488 candidates successfully completed the exam, despite the ongoing risks of IT glitches and the logistical challenge of getting so many people through a digital exam over such a short period of time.

Our remote CASC was developed in response to the challenges of the pandemic and is believed to be the largest virtual clinical exam yet run by a UK medical royal college.

During the two-week diet, some candidates and examiners experienced delays while they waited for the next simulated consultations to start, as a result of other candidates or examiners, as well as invigilators and role players, experiencing IT problems on the day.

However, many people taking part in the exam reported having an excellent user experience.

The online CASC was rapidly developed by the College as a result of the need to ensure social distancing while candidates take their exam.

Arranging the CASC in a physical setting has always been incredibly complex, but bringing it together online introduced extra challenges – and the project to rapidly deliver a digital CASC was complex and required the input of a huge team, comprised of members and staff.

Chief Examiner Ian Hall said: “Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we decided in the spring that a remote CASC needed to be delivered in time for the September diet so that trainees would not be experience delays in career progression. This meant we had just five months in which to execute a project that would normally have taken up to two years to complete.

“While some people certainly did experience delays and frustrations, especially in the first few days, we were very pleased that 98% of candidates completed what we believe to be the largest remote clinical exam yet run by a UK medical royal college. I would like to thank everyone involved in the examination for really going the extra mile to deliver the digital CASC for the next generation of psychiatrists and their future patients.”

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