Some Common Questions
If you have any questions that are not answered here then please feel free to get in touch by using the Contact Us page.
Which is best – a CSA day course or a mock / private session?
Since everyones’ needs are different when it comes to CSA preparation, we offer a variety of preparation choices.
The 1-day course is usually the most appropriate for the majority of trainees – held in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. You get maximum exposure to challenging role-play (28 in one day) and plenty of time through the day to pick-up, practice and perfect certain skills.
The mock exam is for individuals, held in Birmingham – designed for those who want to test themselves in the ‘pressure environment’ of back-to-back cases, as on the real day. Feedback is received at the end, giving less opportunity to ‘test’ new changes or skills as you go along.
Private sessions (face-to-face or online) are for individuals or groups, help in Birmingham. These offer a more tailored approach, working on a case-by-case basis or using bunches of 3-4 cases back-to-back.
Why your CSA course?
There are many CSA courses out there. Having done this exam myself, the aim is to provide as much value as possible in a single day. The focus is on maximum role-play, covering as challenging scenarios as possible, together with a small number of trainees, allows us to provide a focused, individualised environment.
The aim is simple – you walk away with much more confidence than when you walk in.
Why your AKT course?
There are many AKT courses out there. Having done this exam myself, the aim is to provide as much value as possible in a single day. The focus is on immersion. We want you to experience the pressure of doing a fully timed, pressurised ‘mock’ AKT surrounded by others.
In addition to this we focus on key areas of revision – those areas that are tricky to remember, broken down into easy-to-manage, simple steps.
How are you qualified to run these courses?
There are a few reasons:
1) I am a GP – I understand the nature of dealing with patients in General Practice.
2) I am a medical educator – I am also a VTS PD and GP appraiser. I was recently a PLAB 2 examiner for the GMC.
3) I have done this with many others like you – I have run over 250 CSA and AKT courses over the last 5 years, and helped over 2500 trainees with this exam.
4) I have done these exams myself – I understand the stress that the they cause, as well as understanding what it takes to pass.
When should I attend your CSA course?
We usually recommend 3-4 months before your CSA exam. We pack a lot into the day and you’ll go home with lots to practice. Whilst many trainees do attend closer to the exam and find it very useful, many leave saying they wish they’d attended earlier!
The earliest someone attended was 8 months before their exam – the latest was two days before! Luckily both gave excellent feedback!
Did you go on a course when you prepared for the CSA?
Yes, I went on two. It was at this point that I decided that I needed more in a CSA course. Everything that we do is based on what we wanted in a CSA course – what trainees ask for.
Can I claim my study leave back?
We can’t speak for all areas in the UK but this course is fully accredited for study leave in West Midlands. It is also claimable for trainees in North-West and KSS Deaneries. Many trainees in other schemes have also successfully claimed study leave allowance.
We provide certificates of attendance and receipts for those wishing to submit a claim.
Has there been any CSA examiner input?
In the process of gaining accreditation by West Midlands deanery, an RCGP CSA Examiner attended the course for quality checks. Some feedback: “Your cases are of similar standard to the CSA. Your feedback was very approproriate”.
What sort of feedback do you get from trainees?
We take anonymous feedback from trainees at the end of our courses. This is used to continue tailoring the course to meet the needs of trainees. A sample of feedback is available here.
How do I find out about future course dates?
We usually plan dates and venues 2-3 months in advance. Drop us a message or email us as we usually open up future courses for pre-booking.
How many other registrars will there be at the CSA course?
There will only ever be a maximum of 7 other trainees present. Our focus has always been on small numbers in order to ensure a high level of personal feedback, and focus on each trainee’s needs.
How many cases will I get to role-play in the CSA course?
A minimum of four is guaranteed as a doctor – there are often more than this however!
Is there any support after the courses?
Definitely. You will have open access for any questions or queries that you have. Often after a course further needs arise – you have this support right up to your exam day. Call, text, email – whichever suits.
Which venues do you use?
All of our venues are chosen for ease of travel, meeting our needs and resemblance of the CSA exam room setup / AKT exam station.
Will you be starting courses in any other cities?
We have steadily grown from one venue to now running in four cites in the UK. We are considering two new cities later this year but for now we are focusing on London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. Our first International course was held in Dubai.
Do we need to bring our own food?
Definitely not! We provide tea and coffee, snacks and lunch on the day. They are long days and we appreciate the importance of regular refreshments!
We always ask for individual dietary requirements prior to each course – vegetarian, halal, allergies etc.
Will I need to bring anything?
In essence, no. We provide everything from equipment to stationary. You just need to bring yourselves!
Is there a cancellation / date swap policy?
We have a clear policy for cancellation – see this at the bottom of this page.