With remote invigilation, you take your exam on a computer using a special app and are supervised over the internet by an invigilator. Your invigilator guides you through some authentication and validation procedures – such as checking your ID and checking your environment. The invigilator then monitors you for the duration of the test using your webcam, microphone and screen-share. Everything will be recorded and may be reviewed by RCPI.
You can sit the exam at a place of your choosing (for example, a home or work environment), with a stable internet connection. It is your responsibility to ensure that the location is quiet, undisturbed and appropriate for taking a professional examination and that your internet connection will remain stable throughout the entire exam. You must be alone in the room for the duration of the exam.
To sit the exam, you must have a laptop or PC that is equipped with a webcam. Most laptops have a built-in webcam. If you are using a PC, the webcam must not be built into the monitor. You must also have a reliable internet connection. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are not suitable for this exam.
The online exam system is designed to work with low bandwidth internet connections. If your connection drops momentarily, you will be reconnected and will be able to resume your exam. Your remote supervisor will advise you on steps to improve your connection. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your internet connection is reliable enough for you to complete the exam. If in doubt, you should take steps ahead of the exam to improve your connection, or arrange to sit the exam in a location with a better internet connection.
Although you may be sitting an examination in your own home, the same requirements of professional conduct apply, as if you were taking the exam in a test centre. The invigilator may stop any candidate suspected of misconduct and issue a warning during the examination and if necessary, expel the candidate from the examination.
Failure to follow the instructions of examiners and invigilators may be grounds for a misconduct issue.
Examples of offences include:
- Moving out of sight of the invigilator without approval
- Unexpected external events such as a second person entering the room
- Use or possession of prohibited items such as books, notes, or electronic equipment
- Providing help to or receiving help from another candidate
- Writing down or attempting to capture any details of the exam questions
Candidates committing these offences or any other activity that may be deemed to constitute professional or academic misconduct will be reported to RCPI. If found to have engaged in misconduct, candidates may have their examination results declared invalid and their names reported to the relevant Medical Council.
As for any exam, applications for remotely invigilated exams are completed on the RCPI website. When applications are open, a link to the application form can be found in each exam hub.
As capacity may be limited for some exams, your place in the exam may not be guaranteed. Applications will be verified after the closing date. If there are more applicants than available places, priority will be given to RCPI trainees. It is recommended that you apply early to secure a place in the exam you wish to take.
One to two weeks before the exam, you will receive two emails from TestReach, RCPI's exam delivery provider. The first email will invite you to log in to the exam system, download the software you need to sit the exam, and complete some system checks. The second email will provide further exam details and ask you to book your exam time. It is vital that you complete this step no less than 72 hours prior to the exam start time or you will not be permitted to sit the exam.
Your exam time will be communicated to you approximately five days before the exam. To allow registration and security checks before you start the exam, start times will be staggered.
Please note that all exam times are given as local times, based on the time zone settings of your computer. Please ensure you check the details on the confirmation mail when you receive it.
Notepaper is not permitted for remotely invigilated exams, but an electronic notepad is available in the exam system. For some exams, an online calculator may also be provided, if it is required for the exam. You may have a drink with you, provided it is in a clear container.
You are allowed one brief bathroom break during each paper of an exam. The exam timer will not stop during this break. Please note that any suspicious behaviour during or after such a break will be flagged to RCPI for review.
If you have a disability or other exceptional circumstances that require special arrangements, please notify RCPI exams staff at the time of application for the exam. Reasonable adjustments, including extra time, may be approved where appropriate.