Our MFSRH Exam - the move to digital delivery

Posted 01 Jul 2021

Date: 01 Jul 2021

Author: Niall Hamilton

As applications open for our MFSRH part 1 exam, Niall Hamilton, our Education and Development Officer, gives an overview of how we’ve transitioned to remote delivery, enabling us to widen participation internationally.

March 2020 caused the widest disruption to education in over 60 years. Primary schools closed, GCSEs were cancelled, Universities shut their doors, and across the UK, professional education found itself in front of some new hurdles.

To ensure the safety of our candidates, examiners and staff, we had to adapt the way we assessed our MFSRH exam. We scoped out many options and settled on online exam delivery as the safest, most attainable option for the MFSRH to continue and thrive.

The move to online assessment – challenges and opportunities

The move to online assessment provided a unique opportunity for us.  Unable to deliver face-to-face sittings, this created an opportunity to open our exams up internationally. With no fixed location, we could reduce the need for travel and study leave for our candidates, and without handling physical papers, we could improve the protection and security of results.

This, of course, came with many challenges. Working remotely, our FSRH exams team hasn’t met face-to-face in over a year. We had to learn more about technology-enhanced learning and scope delivery in a brand-new format, which had never before been considered.

But of course, under pressure, we pulled together and successfully delivered a full year’s menu of examinations remotely. We developed our digital literacy, adapted our processes and became more efficient and effective.

Three exams, four dates, two online platforms

So what did we achieve?  Since March 2020, we successfully ran three exams across four dates and two online platforms. We increased the number of candidates sitting these papers, with over 50 candidates participating across five continents and seven time zones.

We maintained our rigorous exam standards and protected the security and validity of our papers, despite being sat remotely. We also delivered two circuits of our Part II OSCE with candidates, role players, examiners and invigilators participating from over 50 different remote locations in one day.

We must get it right. Our MFSRH exam is one of our most stringent and significant assessments at FSRH. It is designed to produce the next leaders in SRH not just across the UK, but internationally. The importance of improving our assessments and continually developing SRH leaders is significant, not just for FSRH, but for our sector more widely.

Applications for our part 1 MFSRH exam are now open

We’re still learning, and with every sitting, we’re adapting our approach to improve the service we offer to our candidates. Behind the scenes, we have come on in leaps and bounds, digitising our exam management and utilising technology-driven advancements to improve the quality and validity of our questions.

And we’re still growing! Applications for our MFSRH Part I Exam are now open to all licenced practising clinicians with an appetite for SRH. You can find more information on our entry requirements and how to apply.

We‘re also expanding our MFSRH question writing team. We are looking for experienced FSRH members to contribute their knowledge and expertise to our question bank. As a question writer, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and learn with other members from across the world. You’ll be taught how to develop effective questions and be part of a highly specialised, passionate and supportive team.

If you do have any questions on our MFSRH exam, are thinking of applying, or getting involved, you can contact me at nhamilton@fsrh.org.