Innovative scheme helps international GP trainees almost double their CSA pass rate

International medical graduate (IMG) doctors have almost doubled their success rate when retaking the CSA, for the third consecutive year in North West England.

Over the past three years, 50 IMG doctors sitting the exam for the third or fourth time achieved a pass rate of 76%, compared to similar national cohorts achieving a rate of 43%.

These doctors had received intensive support via the CSA SOX programme (Support On eXtension) pioneered in the region. UK graduates on the programme also achieved pass rates of 92% compared to a national pass rate of 58% for third and fourth attempts.1

All GP trainees offered support on CSA retakes

Dr Anne Hawkridge, CSA SOX lead for Health Education England North West (HEENW), said the first two years of the programme were reserved for those doctors requiring additional training time due to CSA failure, but in 2018 and 2019 all trainees retaking the CSA were offered the same support.

‘This resulted in 91% of our trainees passing at second attempt in 2019. We estimate that over the three years, the region has saved 25 doctors from being lost to the profession through exam failure and 20 trainees have avoided an extension to GP training time.’

Training provided for GP educators

Two other HEE regions (East of England and Yorkshire and Humber) have also introduced the CSA SOX programme, aiming to increase pass rates for both IMG and UK graduate doctors. All three regions now benefit from the use of the programme’s CSA Toolkit hosted online by FourteenFish

The North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions have further invested in exam support at structured teaching programme level and also in GP practices, with ongoing training of educators as well as trainees. As part of an initiative to prevent CSA failure altogether, a new CSA Rating Chart is due to be launched alongside the CSA Toolkit in March 2020.

References:

1. MRCGP Annual Report 2017/18 (PDF)

 

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