After thoughtful consideration, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has taken the difficult decision to postpone, cancel or review delivery of the majority of our training and assessment activity from Monday 16 March 2020 for the foreseeable future.
Our College has a leadership responsibility to support frontline patient care, and to ensure that all healthcare professionals are not taken away from this. We believe decisive action is important to provide some certainty to those wondering whether their events or exams are going to go ahead or be cancelled, so that they can plan and be prepared. And, we believe it is important that, as a College, we do everything we can to relieve the burden on the workforce at a very challenging time.
Educational delivery: courses and conferences
We have made the difficult decision to cease delivery of educational conferences and courses until further notice. We believe this decision is appropriate and responsible based on current modelling, however also recognise there is unpredictability as we look to the weeks and months ahead. We will continue to review the situation on a daily basis and will make a decision to reinstate activity at a future date if there is a significant change in circumstances.
Some events will be cancelled and some postponed to a future date. Our educational delivery team in the College will be working hard over the coming days and weeks to contact all those currently scheduled to deliver or attend our conferences and courses to provide specific information regarding each specific event.
Our online learning will continue to be available via the website, and we will share additional details of online content over the months ahead.
Surgical examinations and training
In close collaboration with the surgical colleges of the UK and Ireland, we have made the decision to postpone all assessment panels and examinations that require travel from Monday 16 March for the foreseeable future, which we currently expect to be to the end of the summer, although this situation may change. All examiners and candidates impacted by this decision will be contacted by our exams team.
A statement from the surgical colleges can be accessed here and includes information for those already booked on an exam, and what we are doing to ensure trainees are not disadvantaged.
We are currently in close discussion with the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and London regarding delivery of SCE and MRCP written and clinical exams. Currently, these discussions are still ongoing as we ensure we get the balance right, and work to identify if there are alternative means of delivery of some exams in the short term. While we appreciate there is uncertainty here, we want to make sure we have explored every option to come to the right decision and expect to have a final decision by Monday 16 March at the latest.
The Deans of the dental faculties are meeting on Wednesday next week to discuss delivery of written and clinical dental exams. An update will be circulated as soon as a decision has been made.
The healthcare workforce is in for some challenging times in the weeks and months ahead. As a College, we are committed to doing all that we can to support you. Teams in the College have already started work to develop content and identify opportunities to keep you informed and supported in these exceptional times. We will engage and share with you on an ongoing basis, and do encourage you to stay connected through our website, blog, email and social media channels.