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Royal College of General Practitioners


The Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) is one of the three assessments you will undergo in order to obtain your MRCGP. The other two are the Applied Knowledge Test and the Workplace Based Assessments on your e-portfolio. You have to pass all three to get your MRCGP. The CSA is sat in ST3. The RCGP website contains a lots of useful information and we would recommend you take sometime to read all of it thoroughly: MRCGP CSA

Every practice should have the three RCGP DVDs "A Guide to the CSA" and Rhona Knight's book "Essential nMRCGP CSA Preparation" and "Practice Cases". We would recommend watching all of these and reading the book. This will give you more ideas about the exam and how it is marked.

We feel it is important to practise in small groups using scenarios. The programme directors will help you with this.

As a group you can practise scenarios from the various books available or write your own using this template. Rhona Knight's book guides you on how to write scenarios. There are also CSA casecards.

The three domains used for marking the CSA are here and the grade descriptors are here. When practicing you can use this marking sheet. You can also use more effective feedback using this sheet

As a training programme what we do to help is:

  • Communication Skills Training over ST1 and 2. There is a rolling programme so everyone should go through this twice.
  • An OSCE at the end of ST1 to assess how you are progressing after your first year. There will be two consultations with simulators.
  • A residential communications course in ST3 when we invite simulators and CSA examiners.
  • A session in ST3 entitled "what I did in ST3" run by the recently qualified trainees who performed well in the CSA.
  • A mock CSA in ST3 at Brimington Surgery with 5 simulators.
  • There are also outside courses particularly from the Deanery and RCGP.

Being stressed during the CSA can be a problem. Here are some simple tips to relax. Remember 68% of trainees pass!

Other useful links:

From the Pennine Training Programme, The 1st five minutes:

From the Pennine Training Programme, The 2nd five minutes:

There are other tips and resources on the Pennine site:

and the Bradford Training Programme site:


Royal College of General Practitioners


Royal College of General Practitioners


Royal College of General Practitioners


Royal College of General Practitioners


Royal College of General Practitioners

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Royal College of General Practitioners

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