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

Autumn examinations will proceed as per timetable below.

N.B: The MCAI OSCE April 2024 Exam has a limited amount of spaces so please apply as soon as possible.

N.B. The opening date for applications for OSCE/SOE the preparation course is now changed to the 18th January.

Statement regarding new examination regulations

The CAI published new examination regulations in December 2022, we have allowed 1 years notice before these are implemented in full.


Therefore from December 2023 candidates applying for the;


MCAI MCQ – If a candidate passes the MCQ paper, it will be held valid for three years, after which time if the MCAI OSCE/SOE has not been passed, the MCQ must be re-taken.

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.  Examination Regulations

Step 2:

Download reference template for your Head of Department to sign.

Step 3:

Applications open from 8th January 2024 – Click here 

Prepare for Examination

Preparation Course. 

In preparation for the upcoming OSCE/SOE this April the college will be hosting a preparation course on the 8th March.

The applications will now be open at a later date of 18th January. Please contact if you want to apply.

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:  Eoin Lumsden,

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.