The UK Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has partnered with the Apollo Radiology International (ARI) Academy to create a new exam centre in India.
The move means radiologists in India and surrounding countries will soon be able to sit RCR Fellowship (FRCR) exams locally, reducing travel and expense for candidates and with the aim of expanding RCR exam capacity across the region.
An RCR press release states that, as RCR Fellowship is “an internationally recognised benchmark of excellence”, there is high demand for FRCR exams in India. The press release also notes that RCR Fellowship status makes it easier for overseas doctors to register with the General Medical Council.
Currently, many Indian candidates travel to the UK or to centres in Hong Kong and Singapore to access the exam.
The new venue, which is currently being adapted and equipped with exam stations, is based in the south Indian city of Hyderabad.
Initially, it will host the Final FRCR Part B exam, before rolling out the First FRCR and Final FRCR Part A elements. Capacity will be subject to logistics and scaled up as the centre becomes established. However, the ARI Academy hopes to hold sittings for up to 150 candidates in future.
The RCR and ARI Academy had hoped to host the first Hyderabad exams in spring 2021; however, timelines are now under ongoing review due to the knock on impact of COVID-19 restrictions and logistical challenges.
Welcoming news of the joint agreement to launch the exam centre, RCR Overseas Ambassador for India Venkat Sudigali says: “It is a great initiative from the RCR to establish overseas exams centre in India.
“This exciting development will be of great benefit to many radiologists in India who are keen to attempt the FRCR exam to add to their qualifications, and also for those who potentially want to work in the UK in future, to learn new skills, and gain experience in the NHS.”
The new exam venue builds on recent collaborative work between the RCR and ARI, who worked with education and training partners in 2019 to create a scheme providing three-year placements for Indian radiologists looking to develop their skills working in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Commenting on the Hyderabad exam venue, Sreenivasa Raju Kalidindi, ARI CEO and director of the ARI Academy, says: “It is a privilege to partner with the RCR in working towards a common vision of making FRCR exams more accessible and affordable to radiologists in India and other countries in this region.
“This initiative will set new benchmarks and empower large numbers of radiologists with the knowledge required to achieve higher standards in their practice.”
The RCR and ARI will release more information on the official launch of the centre and first exam bookings as soon as possible.