Trainee welfare a must for RACP exam response

6 Feb 2019

The RACP report on the 2018 RACP computer-based test failure was released to members on 23 January 2019. Following the failure, the RACP Board had commissioned Ferrier Hodgson, a firm specialising in forensic investigations, to conduct a detailed study of the failure itself and the RACP’s response.

The RACP has accepted all 11 recommendations that Ferrier Hodgson made in the report. We welcome the report and commend the College on undertaking an independent review.

In the days following the exam failure the AMA worked closely with the RACP to minimise its impact on trainees professionally, financially and personally. It is pleasing to see the RACP has adopted the report's recommendations as well as those made by the AMA in the days following the exam failure: refunding exam fees, the release of the exam paper, and the exam not counting as an attempt for progression were well received by trainees.

Moving forward, it is imperative that RACP commit to reviewing its culture and engagement strategies with trainees. Trainee welfare is paramount and any response to this review must focus on processes that support that as a priority.

Further to the recommendations in the review the AMA would like to see:

  1. Greater formalised, safe engagement with trainees generally and through their representative structures to provide a voice to reasonably influence decision making. This would include searching for opportunities where trainees can value add and contribute to, or define, continuous improvement / innovation opportunities.
  2. Multiple exam sitting dates across a clinical year to enable individuals to target a date suitable to their personal circumstances, including the opportunity for a candidate to sit again, having failed, within same clinical year to minimise the pressure and stress that is otherwise associated with a single opportunity per annum to achieve a pass grade.
  3. Release for stakeholder comment any review recommendations and ongoing reporting about progress to address this.

The AMA submission to the review can be found at