Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are new to OSCEs or wish to refresh your knowledge as an experience examiner, the information within this OSCE Examiner Portal is designed to guide you through the process.

If you have any questions that are not answered within these pages, please get in touch: osce@liverpool.ac.uk.

  • Do I need to bring anything with me?

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    Everything you need will be provided on the day, however in the interest of the environment we would request if possible you bring a pair of earphones to listen to your examiner briefing (disposable ones can be provided if necessary)

  • I know a candidate who will be taking an OSCE, can I still be an examiner?

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    Yes, we request that you let us know at the time of booking the name(s) of any students you may know on a personal level, be related to etc. and would ask that you do not volunteer to examine for their current year of study, you are welcome to examine for other year groups.

  • Why are examiners requested to arrive an hour before the exam start time

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    There is a lot to get through! With up to 84 examiners in attendance at each exam, we need sufficient time for you all to be briefed and become familiar with the station prior to the start of the exam.

  • I was asked to be a Quality Assurance Examiner – why?

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    Quality assurance is key in ensuring the maintenance of the quality of the exam and our QA process receives praise year on year from the external examiners.
    At each OSCE a selection of Examiners will be asked to observe a particular station ‘in action’ during the exam and document their observations, each circuit is an identical duplication so you will be able to observe your allocated station running in a number of different circuits.
    This is a unique opportunity to observe the standardisation across the circuits and to highlight areas that work well or could be improved.

  • What should I do if the simulated patient (SP) is not following their script?

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    If you feel the SP is not following the script;
    Check the script (a copy is available on your iPad)
    In the first instance discuss this with the SP.
    Alert a member of staff as soon as possible – in the meantime mark the candidate taking this into account.
    Please make sure you have discussed this with a member of staff before you leave the OSCE.

  • I am concerned about a candidate – what should I do?

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    If you have a concern about a candidate’s performance, professional behaviour, health or anything else:
    Please complete a cause for comment form – available in each station, these forms are reviewed by the team at the end of each exam.
    If this is something that needs immediate attention, at an appropriate time, please inform a member of staff.

  • What if a candidate finishes early or late?

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    The stations are designed to fit in to the 10 minute time frame but sometime candidates finish early or late, so what should you do?

    Finishing early: the rest of the time is theirs in that station. The silence can feel quite uncomfortable so you may wish to say “the rest of the time is yours we will sit in silence until the end of the station”.
    If you have to ask some questions at a specific time but the candidate finishes early do not ask the question until the time that you are requested to. This means that all candidates have the same time to answer.

    Finishing late: the candidates need to leave the station at the “Please move to outside you next station” announcement. The candidates should not get extra time compared to any other candidate.

    They must only be marked on what they have done to that point and that part of the assessment will be organisation and flow this includes time management.

    If candidates say” I would do this or that”, rather than completing the task this does not count as this type of assessment is a “shows how”.

  • What should I do when candidates are doing something that is not on the marking criteria?

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    All the stations have been extensively trialled, however sometimes we find that candidates do something that is not on the mark sheet.
    Please let and invigilator know as soon as you can, they will alert a staff member for further investigation.

  • In Year 4 there are 6 tutorial topics, but the students are only in placement for 4 or 2 weeks - how do I know which topics to cover?

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    Over the 6 weeks in general practice in Year 4 students will receive 6 tutorials. The tutorials can be covered in any order, as long as they are covered by the end of the placement. It is up to the student to keep a track of which topics have been covered and to make sure their GP Tutor on their second placement is aware of the remaining topics to be covered.

  • Is it possible to see how I scored compared with other examiners in the same station?

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    We can provide feedback on your marking upon request.
    Please note – we will be unable to provide this information to examiners during the busy assessment period as we are focusing on candidates results. We will however be happy to provide this once the assessment period has finished.

    For 2020 we will be trialling a new system for sending feedback to examiners. This will be to a small number of examiners whilst the system is in development with the view to being able to provide all examiners with personalised feedback on their marking in the future.