SOX (Support on Exams)

In August 2021 HEE North East and North Cumbria launched the RCA/CSA SOX programme. This innovative programme was developed by two CSA Examiners within HEE North West. The programme was originally designed to support those on an extension to pass their CSA exam. The programme has had huge success. Now in light of the change in exams, we now offer SCA SOX. 

The programme is offered to all postgraduate doctors in training in this area with an SCA exam failure. The programme is supportive and works with both the trainer and the postgraduate doctor in training to maximise exam success.

A team of specially selected SOX Educators have been trained to suport the doctors accessing the programme. DiT can purchase the SCA package through 14Fish. 

The SOX programme works on the principle of the 5 main reasons why trainees pass the SCA. During the SOX tutorial the postgraduate doctors in training will receive personalised feedback in all five domains and be given a plan of what to work on. 

How does it work?

-The postgraduate doctor in training is contacted after an SCA exam failure and invited to the programme and to attend a SOX day. 

What happens on the SOX day?

-The postgraduate doctor in training attends a one-day course.

-The course gives an outline of the SOX programme and resources.

-The postgraduate doctor in training completes a questionnaire before they attend. They will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns about the exam with the facilitators on the day.

-The delegates all watch a video of a recorded consultation and map it against the SCA SOX templates. They then discuss their reflections in small groups with a facilitator.

-Following this they role play 4 cases in small groups with role players. Each delegate will have at least one opportunity to role play a case first. Feedback is given by their facilitator.

What happens after the SOX day?

-The postgraduate doctor in training is then matched with their SOX Educator. SOX Educators are experienced GP trainers, TPDs or regional SCA Examiners. They have all been trained in the SOX programme.

-The postgraduate doctor in training is then asked to share 3 recent consultations with their SOX Educator and Trainer.     

-The SCA SOX Educator then contacts the postgraduate doctor in training and trainer to arrange a mutually convenient time to hold the SOX tutorial.

-These tutorials have the most impact if they are conducted at least 3 months before a planned sitting to allow time for the postgraduate doctor in training to reflect and make the necessary changes.

What happens in the SOX tutorial?

The tutorial is designed to be supportive to both the trainer and the postgraduate doctor in training. The videos should be watched by the trainer, postgraduate doctor in training and SOX Educator before the tutorial and reflected on, using the 14Fish SOX RAG rating. This can be found in the online resources. The postgraduate doctor in training will have been introduced to this on their SOX day.

The SOX educator will have reviewed the postgraduate doctor in training's e-portfolio, the questionnaire and the videos before the tutorial. They tutorial is held with both the postgraduate doctor in training and trainer present. There will be discussions around any previous issues with the exam, preparation and the postgraduate doctor in training’s readiness to sit. The videos will be reviewed and discussed, particularly focusing around consultations skills and ‘Consulting like a GP’. The SOX Educator will complete a feedback form of the recommendations. This will be shared with the trainer and postgraduate doctor in training and then uploaded onto the Educator Notes section of the e-portfolio.

The feedback will give recommendations and clear advice on areas to work on with practical suggestions on how this can be done.


For more information or if you would like to be involved in the SOX programme, please contact or