ROLE-PLAYERS GUIDE TO THE OSCE - (Objective, Structured Clinical Examination)
The OSCE is a test of clinical skills in under and postgraduate training used nationally in
Medical Schools. They are formal and complex, meeting rigorous internal and external exam
criteria. They run simultaneously at a number of sites across the region. Every effort has to
be made to maximise efficiency and minimise variability.
The security of documents before, during and after OSCEs is of
paramount importance. The contents are highly confidential. Never discuss at any
unauthorised time/place and keep written materials safe.
BEFORE THE OSCE. Attendance at briefings is essential to ensure you are fully familiar with
the scenario AND that you and others with the same role convey the same messages; make
sure you know where you are going; how to get there (in good time!); the location of the
exam and booking-in time; check start and finish times for the whole session (given on your
venue notes distributed with scenario).
ON THE DAY. Allow time to park/make your way to the OSCE location and register with
organisers. Refreshments will be provided at your venue, drinks, snacks and/or meals as
appropriate. You will be shown to your room or bay: check your ‘Station No.’ on scenario.
Confirm with your examiner that you are fully briefed and, if asked to make adjustments,
explain that this would not be appropriate.
ANY HITCHES getting to the venue on the day. With good planning, problems should not
occur. But should anything unforeseen arise, ring the Exam Contact ASAP, using the number
on your timesheet and venue details.
EXAM CONDUCT. Each student has 7 minutes, defined by bells. Respond as per scenario
but avoid over-disclosure; you should allow the candidate to work to gather information.
Challenge any jargon, and ask the student to clarify if you do not understand anything. Be
ready to disengage as soon as the final bell sounds. At all times refrain from casual
conversation with student or examiner.
PROFESSIONALISM. All clinical exams mark for professionalism, and the role-player should
be ready to answer the question, ‘Would you be happy for this candidate to treat someone
about whom you care?’ You should answer on gut feeling, but be ready to substantiate your
opinion with evidence if called for.
PROBLEMS. Organisers will manage routine concerns. You should report anything more
serious to the Exam Lead at your venue during a break on the day.
AFTER THE EVENT. Please complete the electronic form sent following the exam, giving
feedback helpful to the Secretary or the Co-ordinator on any aspect of the event, the
paperwork, preparation, training, etc. Examiners will report on role-players’ performance to
Organisers, which is then fedback to roleplaynorth and to role-players as appropriate. Please
always shred used scenarios or return to roleplaynorth.
Revised August 2015