The College Of Anaesthetists

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MCAI Membership Examination

**Important Notice: From January 2017 Single Best Answer (SBAs) will be introduced to the MCAI examination on a phased basis.


Online Application for MCAI MCQ



Who is eligible for the Membership CAI MCQ?

Any medical practitioner with a primary medical qualification acceptable to the Irish Medical Council (IMC) will be eligible to sit the MCAI MCQ Examination.

For a list of acceptable qualifications please see here:


What is the structure of the exam?

The Membership  examination is made up of two parts

•Multiple Choice Question paper



The MCQ paper is made up of three 1 hour papers.



Clinical Measurement


The objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) will consist of 18 OSCE stations  (5 minutes each)

One of these stations will be a rest station and two stations are designed as pilot stations, therefore a candidate will be marked for 15 out of the 18 OSCE stations of which are not disclosed.


Structured oral exam (SOE) made of two 25 minute sections





Is there negative marking?

One mark is awarded for each correct answer. Negative marking is not used in the MCAI MCQ i.e. a mark will not be lost for an incorrect answer. A question booklet and an optical mark sheet will be provided to record your answers; Candidates who make ambiguous marks on their optically read sheet will not be given the benefit of the doubt.


How long is the result valid for?

A pass in the MCQ is valid for 3 years from the date of the successful examination towards the OSCE/SOE, after this time the MCQ must be retaken.


The successful candidate’s exam numbers are published on the College website within one week of the examination.

All candidates receive their results by post.


What are the eligibility criteria for the MCAI Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and the Structured Oral Examination (SOE)?

An individual is eligible to sit the MCAI OSCE/SOE who fulfils the following criteria:


1.    1.Is a medical practitioner with a primary medical qualification acceptable to the Irish Medical Council (IMC) will be eligible to sit the OSCE/SOE.

2.    2.Is registered with the Irish Medical Council or other national medical registration body.

3.    3.Has been employed as an anaesthetists for 12 months, prior to the date of the particular exam applied for.

4.    4.Has been successful in the MCAI MCQ.


If successful in the Membership exam can I work in Ireland?

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


If successful in the Membership exam can I join the CAI training programme?

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 Applications open in Autumn for posts in July. Please visit our website for information on how apply for the training programme.


Do I need to be in a training post to sit the Membership exam?

You do not need to be in a training post. You must be employed as an anaesthetist for 12 months prior to your exam application.


I have an exempting qualification (e.g. FCPS) for the Final FCAI, can I be awarded the MCAI?

No. The MCAI is awarded by examination only.


I passed the Primary or OQE examination; can I use MCAI after my name?

Anyone successful in the Primary/OQE FCAI from 1998 onward is eligible to apply for an  MCAI award. You must be conferred before you can use the post nominal MCAI.


When can I be conferred with MCAI?

The next college conferring will be in May 2016.  The award of the MCAI commenced in January 2013. It entitles recipients to use the post nominal MCAI, access to professional support and advice and ongoing developments of online journal access and module-based teaching programmes.





Applications may be sent via Postal mail or Courier.

Please Note applications will not be accepted via email or fax


Candidates wishing to sit the Membership/Fellowship examination should submit an application form below it to the examinations department, all applications, first time and repeat, must include:

1 passport-sized photograph stapled to an application form. 

Must be signed by Head of Department (HR department or Supervisor of your practice)

Include College Of Anaesthetists College ID which can be found on all college correspondance to you (please leave blank if you are not a college member) 


Candidates will receive a confirmation email once the application and payment has been processed. Invitation letters for visa and examination purposes will then be issued via postal mail.

Please allow processing time for applications, if you do have any concerns about your application you can contact our Examinations Officer.



  • Please ensure your application payment section is complete before submission, an application without payment in full will not get an exam place. We cannot accept cash.We can accept:

  • (i) Visa Debit Card
    (ii) Credit card (Visa or Mastercard)
    (iii) Sterling or Euro personal cheque (Sterling cheque amount should be equivalent to euro conversion rate, this will be determined by your Bank/Institution)
    (iv) Bank draft 
  • Please make cheque's out to: The College of Anaesthetists of Ireland.