New format of part 2 FRCPath Microbiology examination

Source: RCPath website

From Autumn 2017 onwards, the format of the FRCPath Part 2 Medical Microbiology examination has changed. The changes, which have been approved by the General Medical Council, are designed to make the exam more accurately reflect the role of the consultant microbiologist in modern NHS practice; to be in line with new, revised curricula in Medical Microbiology specialty training; and to strengthen the reliability of the examination.

The new-format examination will last two days and be structured as follows:

Structured essay paper and Short-Answer Questions (SAQs): 2 ½ hours

1 essay (from a choice of 2) followed by 10 SAQs.

SAQs to be based on clinical and laboratory scenarios and to include:

  • Data interpretation
  • Report validation
  • Laboratory management, including quality assurance, laboratory error/incidents, lab safety
  • Clinical investigation and management
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Anti-microbial stewardship

Critical Appraisal Paper and SAQs: 2 ½ hours

1 journal article to critically appraise (from a choice of 2) followed by 10 SAQs (as described above).

Practical Scenarios: 3 ½ hours

  • A series of images, data and other laboratory-based material will be presented with clinical scenarios for which candidates provide interpretation and construct management plans.
  • Clinical scenarios and laboratory material evolve with additional information during the exam to simulate day-to-day clinical practice

Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE): 3 hours

At least 15 stations.

6 thoughts on “New format of part 2 FRCPath Microbiology examination”

  1. Thanks Microregistar for resuming this website..I am one of the recent members to join you ..As I said before that I have done MD Microbiology from India and have recently moved in to Glasgow UK .i passed FRCPath part 1 in autumn 2017 but am not getting any help for preparing for Part 2 as the format here is entirely different from our format back home ..Please guide me for resources as to what books should I start reading ..I tried for observership in Glasgow but no department head replied back that means it is very hard to get into the system..I request any body who is preparing for autumn session to take me on board so that we can study together or at least discuss what should be done ..I wil really be greatful to you all..Thanks

    1. Hi Zahida,
      I am an MD in microbiology from India and have moved to the UK as well. I am looking to clear the FRCPath part 1 Spring examination. Can you please guide me towards the study material/ any courses for the same?
      Many thanks!

  2. Hi
    I am also microbiologist from india. I also want to move to uk. What all tests u have to give to move to uk and work as microbiologist there? Do we also need to clear plab? I am also interested to prepare for frcp. My email is

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