Membership CAI – OSCE and SOE Examinations

The Membership of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (MCAI) is an internationally recognised high stakes assessment of anaesthetists in training knowledge.The MCAI is a national test of knowledge and skills as laid out in the MCAI curriculum agreed with the Irish Medical Council. The examination is embedded in the curriculum and anaesthetists in training may not progress to SAT 3 without possession of this examination.

Key Dates

Trial Exam Dates Exam Times Exam application closing date
2 November 2021 Trial Membership CAI SOE Exam 09:00 – 12:00 11 October 2021
2 March 2022 Trial Membership CAI OSCE Exam 09:00 – 12:00 14 February 2022

Autumn examinations will proceed as per timetable below.

Application Opening Date Application Closing Date Exam Date Venue
06 Sep 2021  11 Oct 2021 09 Nov 2021 Online
17 Jan 2022 14 Feb 2022 09 Mar 2022 Online
06 Sep 2022 11 Oct 2022 15,16 Nov 22 CAI*

*Subject to pending decision on in-person clinical exam, expected in June 2022

Apply for Examination

Step 1:

Check if you are eligible to sit exam. You much be a registered medical practitioner, with a primary medical qualification acceptable to the Irish Medical Council, and have been employed as an anaesthetist for 12 months, prior to exam date.  Please read the full Examinations Regulations (pdf)

Step 2:

Download reference template for your Head of Department to sign.

Step 3:

Apply online from 17 January 2022

Prepare for Examination

Preparation Course The MCAI Course is designed to prepare candidates for the Membership OSCE/SOE examination.   It is consultant led and aims to replicate many aspects of the OSCE and SOE exam experience and includes practice SOEs, practice OSCE circuits and examiner feedback.   How to Apply to :  Download and complete Application Form (.doc)  This preparation course is open for applications shortly after applications open for the examination For more information contact after your exam application submission.

Reading Materials Here we have compiled a number of resources trainees have found useful for the MCAI. We hope this helps a little with your initial preparation for exams:

  • Principles of Physiology for the Anaesthetist. Peter Kam and Ian Power. CRC Press
  • Physics in Anaesthesia’. Ben Middleton.  Scion Publishing. **Strongly recommended**
  • Pharmacology for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care – Peck, Hill **Essential**
  • Basic Physics and Measurement – Kenny
  • Essentials of Anaesthetic Equipment – Al-Shaikh **Essential**
  • Respiratory Physiology – West
  • The Objective Structured Clinical Examination in Anaesthesia: Practice Papers for Teachers and Trainees – Mendonca, Balasubramanian
  • The Physiology VIVA- Kerry Brandis (Australian book, need to order online **Highly Recommended**
  • Dr Podcast Scripts for the Primary FRCA – Leslie, Johnson

Websites Question banks

Examinations Contact:  Ann-Marie Harte,

FAQ’s / Application Process

1.Your bank card details 2.Your digital passport-sized photo (jpg) 3. A signed Head of Department Declaration (pdf)

If you cannot have your head of department sign the letter please make sure your college tutor or your Human Resources department can verify that you have been employed as an anaesthetist for 6 months. The letter will also need to be officially stamped by your department.

No. You must be registered with the Irish Medical Council to work in Ireland. The CAI cannot help with this process. The IMC can be contacted at

You do not need to be in a training post. You must be employed as an anaesthetist for 6 months prior to your exam application to sit Membership part 1 and 12 months to sit part 2.