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We are pleased to be hosting the Clinical Assessments (CA) for the UK Foundation Programme (UKFPO) this year. This page gives you more information about what to expect.

What is the format of the Assessment?

It will be a Clinical Assessment (CA) – also known as OSCE.  CA’s are quite stressful, and we would encourage you to apply only if you are confident you can demonstrate your skills and competence.

In many of the stations, you will be talking to simulated patients. These are professional actors who play the role of the patient in a realistic manner. Please behave as you would normally in a clinical environment.

What is the standard required?

The Clinical Assessment (CA) provides candidates with the chance to prove your aptitudes within a fixed timeframe (e.g., carrying out a focussed clinical examination related to a specific presented complaint). This targeted application of knowledge is what you will be assessed on, to enable you to competently carry out your duties daily as part of your future clinical practice.

In Brief

  • The CA’s are a reliable, valid and fair assessment marked against standardised marking criteria.
  • By allowing you to demonstrate your clinical abilities within a fixed timeframe, the CA is preparing you for clinical practice.

This assessment is designed to determine if you have the skills and knowledge needed to start work as a Foundation Year 1 (F1) doctor. The level of clinical skills required to succeed in the assessment will be that of a recently qualified graduate from a UK medical school.

More information about the standard expected of these graduates can be found in the General Medical Council documents, Outcomes for Graduates, Achieving Good Medical Practice and Good Medical Practice. These are available from the GMC website.

Each station will have its own pass mark, determined in advance by a panel of expert teachers and assessors to reflect the degree of difficulty. This is set by the Angoff method. Neither you nor the individual examiners will be told the pass mark for a particular station in advance

What is the content of the assessment?

The focus of the assessment will be on practical procedures, prescribing and data interpretation.

The stations are designed to assess the following areas:

  • Focussed history-taking, including history-taking in difficult circumstances
  • Examination of patients with stable chronic disease
  • Safe prescribing
  • Recognition and management of acute illness
  • Surgical and peri-operative care
  • Discharge Planning
  • Teamwork
  • Challenging communication
  • Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Health promotion and patient education
  • Practical procedures

You will be expected to perform practical procedures, usually on an anatomical model connected to a simulated patient. These stations will assess both your practical skills and your professional behaviour towards the patient.

Practical procedures may include:

  • performing venepuncture and interpreting the results of blood tests
  • performing arterial puncture and interpreting the results
  • giving intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injections
  • inserting a cannula into a peripheral vein
  • setting up an intravenous infusion
  • performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) and interpreting the results
  • basic cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
  • demonstrating the safe use of a defibrillator
  • performing basic respiratory function tests
  • administering a nebuliser
  • administering oxygen therapy
  • performing suturing
  • performing urinary catheterisation
  • performing a rectal examination
  • examination of the breasts
  • examination of the testes

Please note that some stations will assess more than one area. Stations will predominantly focus on conditions that are either common in the UK population or important and serious.

How should I prepare for the assessment?

The assessment is designed to test whether you have the skills to perform safely as an F1 doctor in the ward environment. The best way to practise is therefore to gain as much clinical and practical experience as possible, receiving feedback from an experienced teacher.

It is important that you are familiar with UK resuscitation guidelines. More details are available from the UK Resuscitation Council.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence regularly develops and reviews guidelines for many aspects of medicine. These are available here.

The General Medical Council expects new graduates to be skilled patient-centred communicators. Again, this can only really be gained by experience under skilled supervision, but you may find the section of the GMC guidance on ‘Skills for communicating with patients’ of use.

We do not endorse any course or websites, apart from those listed here.

How do I pay for the assessment?

Your non-refundable fee is £850.

You can pay over the telephone with a Credit or Debit card between the hours of 09:00 – 15:30 (UK Local Time), via the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust cashiers office on the number below (the international dial code for the UK is +44): 0161 720 2161


Where can I find out the exact date for my assessment?

The dates will be posted on this website on 03 October 2024 when the final number of candidates is known.  Once these dates have been allocated, they cannot be changed.

When will I be able to access the registered area?

Once we have received payment and all allocations have been completed, you will receive a final information pack from the UKFPO Eligibility Office in which there will be a username and password.

Are there any day or weekend courses that would help candidates prepare for this assessment? 

The level of knowledge and clinical skills required to succeed in the assessment will be that of a recently qualified graduate from a UK medical school who is about to start work as an F1 doctor. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust do not recommend or endorse any training courses which might assist in preparation for the UKFPO Clinical Assessment.

Information on the recommended ways to prepare for this assessment can be found further up this page, or by clicking here.

How many candidates will be assessed per day?

We will accommodate eligible applicants sent to us via the UKFPO office.

COVID-19 information

We will post any relevant information and guidance relating to COVID-19 here two weeks before your assessment is due to take place.

It is the responsibility of candidates to follow the current UK guidance and if you have travelled from another country, it is your responsibility to adhere to entry rules so that you will be in time to attend your assessment.   Failure to do so will not be accepted as a reason for non-attendance.

Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.