Dear candidates,

As you are aware the COVID-19 infection rates across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand have increased and many people across both countries are currently in various forms of lockdown with travel closed to most people. 

Ensuring the health and safety of candidates, examiners, support staff and the community is of utmost importance to RACS and therefore the extremely tough decision has been made by the President of RACS in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer, Censor in Chief, Chair of BSET and the Court of Examiners Executive to cancel the upcoming Fellowship Examination: the September written exam and the November clinical/vivas.

This decision was not made lightly, and many factors were considered. The health and safety of all those involved was at the centre of the decision, as the Delta strain is highly transmissible and there are people who are critical to the delivery of the examination who have not yet been fully vaccinated. In addition, the response to the pandemic is constantly evolving and changes are occurring at short notice. This creates huge challenges from a logistical perspective and a great deal of uncertainty. Governments have advised us that hospitals may need to cancel exams at short notice to maintain safe service provisions and to avoid risk to patients or exam participants. As it stands, today for example, our exams could not proceed in Aotearoa New Zealand or New South Wales. 

The Court of Examiners will be convening in the coming weeks to plan new dates for the Fellowship Exam. You will be prioritised for this exam and details will be communicated as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will require you to withdraw from the examination online. You will be provided with a full refund. 

We appreciate that this news will come as a shock and cause disappointment. We encourage you to reach out to your support networks. Please reach out to others around you and I urge you to consider our free and confidential counselling service -  Converge International

For SET candidates, we know this may have implications on your progression through training and your appointment next year, please contact your training board to discuss your options. For SIMGs, we will be providing an extension to honour this missed attempt. Letters of support for medical registration purposes can also be provided.

There is a webinar planned for tonight at 6pm where we will be able to answer questions you may have. We encourage you to attend. A recording will be made available approximately 48 hours after the webinar if you are unable to attend.  

Kind regards,

Dr Adrian Anthony, Censor in Chief
Professor Chris Pyke, Chair of Court of Examiners