Redesigned FSRH Diploma (DFSRH) – what can you expect?

Posted 12 Aug 2020

Date: 12 Aug 2020

Author: Marnie Greenrod

Our redesigned DFSRH is now open for applications. In the first of a series of blogs, Marnie Greenrod, our education project manager, shares an overview of our diploma assessments and what to expect.

Our redesigned DFSRH is open to doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, physician associates and other healthcare professionals registered in the UK and Ireland.

Our qualification enables you to fully support patients with their contraceptive choices, as part of a comprehensive approach to SRH care.

Throughout this journey, we’ve been working hard to make sure that our redesigned DFSRH is useful, relevant to your workplace and educationally robust. This has involved extensive consultation and quality assurance with leading medical education experts, at every stage of the project.

We’ve worked closely with our Diploma Working Group throughout, which includes a range of clinicians and our Faculty Registered trainers (you can view a full list below). Their input has been invaluable in shaping both our assessment framework and curriculum content.

We also ran a pilot late last year where a group of GPs, nurses, and O&G doctors took our redesigned Diploma and shared their feedback throughout. This gave us valuable insights which we’ve used to inform further changes.

DFSRH assessments

I’ve spoken to many of you that are keen to find out more about our assessments and I've shared some information below.

Of course, once you apply and are accepted onto our qualification, we will share more detailed information with you.

There are four areas of assessment which can be taken in any order:

1. Independent Learning Portfolio (ILP)
This contains four areas of learning intended to be self-guided by the candidate with support from their primary Faculty Registered Trainer and other assessors:

  • Case-based discussion x 5
  • Topic investigation x 5
  • Self-guided learning (including e-learning, reading, videos) x 8
  • Patient feedback x 5

You can also get started now on some of the learning above, before our Diploma opens for applications in November.

2. Online Theory Assessment (OTA)
This online multiple-choice assessment will be made up of 50 questions and will take one hour to complete. All questions presented will relate to our DFSRH learning outcomes mentioned below.

Questions will require a single-best answer response and there will be a practice assessment available.

3. Summative Clinical Assessments (SCAs)
You will be expected to complete five SCAs within clinical settings. These are relatively unchanged from those in our current Diploma, although some topics have changed.

4. Assessment Half-Day (AHD)
The AHD is designed to assess your clinical knowledge and its application through both written and clinical assessments. There are two parts:

  • Part 1 – written paper, 60 minutes
    The written paper consists of six tasks, based on topics taken from the curriculum.

  • Part 2 – clinical stations, 60 minutes
    This includes four clinical stations: one role play station and three viva stations.

Our enhanced curriculum

We have reviewed our DFSRH curriculum to make sure that the topics covered are relevant to current practice. It covers the range of contraceptive choices and is based on our NICE-accredited CEU guidance.

Most of the assessments have been clearly mapped within the curriculum, to help you understand where your learning will be relevant. Topics are:

  • Basic anatomy and physiology
  • Consent and history taking
  • Contraceptive choices: UKMEC, contraceptive methods, barrier contraceptives, sterilisation, fertility awareness etc
  • Emergency contraception including quick start
  • Managing side-effects and complications of contraception use
  • Pregnancy: planning, unintended and abortion as well as early pregnancy
  • STIs: transmission, testing, management and partner notification
  • Needs of specific groups including women over 40, women with a raised BMI, young people etc
  • Adult and child/young person safeguarding
  • Psychosexual medicine
  • Cervical screening

We are really looking forward to welcoming you, as a new candidate, or as one of our FRTs, once our redesigned DFSRH is launched. We are proud of what we have created and feel that it will enable you to support patients with their SRH needs.

Find out more about our FSRH Diploma which is now open for applications. We'll be sharing future blogs which will cover information about our FSRH Training Hub and access to learning. 


This huge project could not have been achieved without the unending efforts and contributions of the following subject matter experts and FSRH staff:

DFSRH Medical Education Quality Assurance
Professor Nick Cooper, Associate Professor for Clinical Education at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

DFSRH board
Marnie Greenrod – DFSRH and e-SRH Projects Manager and Education Consultant 
Dr Theresa Laverty – DFSRH Clinical Lead, e-SRH QA Editorial Lead 
Dr Anne Lashford – FSRH VP, Education & Training, e-SRH Gold standard QA Lead
Dr Cindy Farmer – FSRH GTC Chair, e-SRH QA Build Lead 
Dr Jo Lawton – FSRH Director of Education & Training, e-SRH Gold standard QA Lead
Paul Casey – FSRH Education Development Manager (General Training)
Paige Rogan – FSRH Education Development Officer (DFSRH)

DFSRH working group
Ms Jude Hale, Specialist Practitioner, SRH 
Ms Julia Hogan, CaSH Nurse Consultant
Dr Vivian Iguyovwe (also Editorial lead, e-SRH), Associate Specialist, SRH
Dr Joanna Speedie, Consultant in Community SRH