Radiation Oncology Phase 2 Examinations

The Phase 2 Examination includes written papers and viva voce components to assess candidates’ knowledge of radiation therapy, clinical oncology and pathology and their ability to analyse, interpret and apply this, and intrinsic role competencies, to the assessment and management of patients with cancer.

To be eligible to apply for the Phase 2 Examination from 2023, trainees must be in Phase 2 of training, be a financial, radiation oncology, student member of the RANZCR, be in an accredited radiation oncology training position and have completed:

  •  A minimum of 24 months full-time equivalent (FTE) of accredited training in Phase 2 with all associated Clinical Supervisor Appraisals, Director of Training Reviews and Trainee Assessment of Training Sites submitted.
  • SMART workshop. Refer to Section 5 – Structured Learning Experiences.
  • Completed Phase 2 Practical Oncology Experiences (POE), including submission of the completed POE Session Summary Forms. Refer to Section 5 – Structured Learning Experiences.
  • All Phase 2 Work-Based Assessments. Refer to Section 4 – Work-based Assessment.
  • A Multisource Feedback within Phase 2. Refer to Section 7 – Monitoring and Review.

All trainees must have rotated to another training site, other than their home training site, for a minimum of 12 months FTE (in total) prior to sitting the Phase 2 Examination.

The Phase 2 Examination is divided into two domains:

  1. Radiation Therapy and Clinical Oncology
  2. Pathology

Each domain area consist of two components written papers and viva voce (oral) examination.

A successful pass in the Phase 2 Examination requires the candidate to pass both components and domains.

Written Papers

Three written papers, aligned to the Radiation Oncology Learning Outcomes, including:

  • Radiation Therapy 1 – 5 short answer/ short essay questions to be completed in 2.5 hours
  • Radiation Therapy 2 – 5 short answer/ short essay questions to be completed in 2.5 hours
  • Clinical Oncology – 6 short answer/ short essay questions to be completed in 3 hours

Viva Voce Examination

The viva voce examination for Radiation Therapy and Clinical Oncology domains includes:

  • Planning examination - one long of 9 minutes duration and six short questions of 3 minutes duration each (with clinical prompt images)
  • Clinical (prompt and patient) cases – 8 clinical cases of 6 minutes each (with clinical prompt images)

Planning viva

The planning component is designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of treatment planning equipment. It also assesses their ability to evaluate treatment planning information and to justify the reasons for selecting the most appropriate treatment plan for an individual case.

Clinical cases

The clinical cases are designed to assess the candidate’s ability to:

  • Conduct an appropriate semi-directed examination of a patient and elicit clinical signs.
  • Evaluate clinical information, including appropriate investigations.
  • Analyse, interpret, synthesise and integrate theoretical and clinical knowledge and apply this to clinical cases.
  • Demonstrate professionalism and effective communication when interacting with patients.

Clinical cases will require the candidate to demonstrate knowledge and skills in relation to:

  • Particular cancer topic areas and its evidence base in relation to the topic areas.
  • Treatment techniques for specific cancers
  • General and oncological management of specific cases
  • Chemotherapy and drug treatment options relating to specific cases
  • Palliative treatment of patients in relation to particular cancers

Written Paper

The Pathology written paper which is aligned to the Radiation Oncology Learning Outcomes, comprises of 6 short answer/short essay questions to be completed in 3 hours.

Viva Voce Examination

The viva voce examination for Pathology consists of 6 questions of 5 minutes each (with clinical prompts and specimen images).

The Pathology viva is designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge of clinical Pathology as it relates to the practice of Radiation Oncology.

The Pathology viva is designed to assess a range of competencies including the ability to:

  • Describe the macroscopic appearance of specimens
  • Analyse, interpret, synthesise and integrate theoretical and clinically relevant pathology knowledge

Candidates are asked a series of questions in relation to the prompt (e.g. a photograph of a pathology specimen). These might be related to the case in question specifically, or to the condition more generally. These may also include presentation of further case related material or scenario-based questions.

In order to pass the Phase 2 Examination overall, a candidate must pass both subject areas:

  • Radiation Therapy and Clinical Oncology
  • Pathology

A candidate must sit for both subject areas of the examination on their first attempt.

In order to pass Radiation Therapy and Clinical Oncology subject area overall, the candidate must pass the written examination and the viva voce examination in Radiation Therapy and Clinical Oncology in the same series.

In order to pass Pathology subject area overall, the candidate must pass the written examination and the viva voce examination in Pathology in the same series.

If a candidate sits for both subject areas in an Examination series, but fails one subject area, they may carry the pass as a credit to the subsequent Examination series. They will only need to attempt the subject area they failed. If they fail the subject area for a second time, they will need to re-sit both subject areas at their next attempt to obtain a pass overall.

A credit for a subject area, only applies the examination series immediately following.

A candidate may attempt the Phase 2 Examination up to a maximum of 3 times, regardless of whether the candidate sits one or both subject areas.

Please note, the Phase 2 Examination Course is not a mandatory training requirement.

The Phase 2 Examination Course is conducted by presenters and facilitators including College Phase 2 examiners.

The aims of the Phase 2 Examination Course are to provide:

  • Strategies to optimise performance in examinations.
  • Specific guidance on exam preparation and technique for both written and viva components.
  • Opportunities for candidates to ask questions regarding the Phase 2 Examination.

Kay Scott Prize

The Kaye Scott Prize is awarded to a candidate whose performance is regarded as outstanding in the Phase 2 Examination.

This prize is named in honour of the late Dr Kaye Scott, who played a vital role in the life of our College for many years in roles such as President, Warden of the Membership and Chair of various Education Committees.

The winner receives a cash prize equivalent to the cost of their examination fee and complimentary early bird registration for the RANZCR Annual Scientific Meeting for the following year for presentation of their prize.

The prize is awarded to a trainee who is on their first attempt.

For more information, and terms and conditions, refer to the Examination Prizes on the College website.