Chapter 2: The FRCEM OSCE

Overview of the FRCEM OSCE

November 2021 will be the first sitting of the FRCEM Final OSCE following the switch to the RCEM 2021 curriculum. The table in the next section gives a blueprint of the stations linked to their SLO.

It is strongly recommended that you consult the exam regulation pack and the RCEM curriculum resources page for further details. Details regarding the statistical methods employed to determine the pass mark can be found in these documents. 

Based on the current RCEM guidance the OSCE will consist of 16 stations, each of eight minutes duration. There is an additional one minute provided for reading time between the stations.

Of note to achieve an overall pass in the OSCE candidates need to pass at least one of the resuscitation stations in addition to achieving the pass mark.

OSCE Stations

  1. Complex stable patient (SLO1)
  2. Complex stable patient (SLO1)
  3. Complex stable patient (SLO1)
  4. Emergency Physician in Charge (SLO7/8)
  5. Emergency Physician in Charge (SLO7/8)
  6. Supervision and teaching (SLO9)
  7. Resus (SLO3)
  8. Resus (SLO3)
  9. Resus (SLO3)
  10. Injured patient (SLO4)
  11. Injured patient (SLO4)
  12. PEM (SLO5)
  13. Management (SLO12)
  14. Management (SLO12)
  15. Management or research (SLO12/10)
  16. Management or research (SLO12/10)

Courses and books


This is just a sample of the most popular courses.


There are limited resources for the ‘Final FRCEM’, but other books are available covering the MRCEM OSCE.



  • Spend time looking into how you revise best. If you are someone who needs cribs sheets and repetition don’t underestimate the time this takes.
  • Review current OSCE advice regarding stations.
  • Buddy up with colleagues who are reliable and you don’t mind looking silly in front of. 
  • Get hold of old mark sheets, buy a book and/or go on a course.
  • Use the experience of examiners in your hospital. Ask them to do practice OSCEs. You may need to ask more than once (don’t give in!)
  • A lot of marks can be obtained from a good opening and closure. Developing a standard ‘patter’ will help you maximise those easy to get marks.
  • Practise, practise, practise. Time keeping is something people often fall down on. 

Examination day

  • Plan how you are getting there; leaving plenty of time to spare. If you need to travel any distance, particularly if your OSCE is in the morning, I would recommend travelling up the day before.
  • Ensure you bring correct identification. Normally this is a passport or a driving licence. Hospital ID is not usually acceptable.
  • Recommended dress is scrubs or professional attire.
  • Ensure you have eaten and drunk, and had a toilet break shortly before the start of your OSCE.

Tips for the OSCE itself

  • Each station will have a description of the scenario and what will be expected
  • The allocation of marks is displayed as a pie chart
  • Read the pie chart carefully AND answer what it asks, not what you want it to ask.
  • If you feel lost, stop, you can always ask for or say you want  to look at the pie chart. 
  • If one station doesn’t go well try to put a line under the sand, easier said than done I know!
  • The time is yours to gain marks. If you think of something else you would have asked or said and you still have time – say it!

What to expect

Sixteen stations

  • Candidates are briefed together.                                                                                  
  • Candidates are placed  outside their first station 
  • A bell will ring informing you of the start of your reading time
  • Another bell will ring signalling the start of the station
  • Depending on the scenario the examiner may ask you to present your findings or say nothing with the ending of the station being signalled by another bell. 
  • You will then be directed onto each further station until the exam is complete.                                                                       

Cite this article as: Trudie Pestell, "Chapter 2: The FRCEM OSCE," in St.Emlyn's, March 23, 2021,

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