Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Fellowship by Examination – requirements and guidelines

Fellowship by Examination 2019

  • Portfolio* submission date: Wednesday the 4th of September 2019
  • Date of examination: Week commencing Monday the 9th of September 2019
  • Examination fee: €500
  • Notice of examination results: To be confirmed

To apply for Fellowship please create an e-portfolio account by going to https://rcsi.cpdnow.netselect Register and enter the following activation code AF250227CA. Once on the site go to Applications in the left hand menu and select the Fellowship by Examination option.

For more information, email or telephone +353 (1) 402 2202.


1. Entry criteria

Applicants for Fellowship must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be a registered nurse/midwife with a minimum of five years nursing experience
  • Possess a Masters level qualification in nursing or midwifery or other relevant and related Masters qualification

2. Application procedure

The candidate, in applying for Fellowship must submit the following:

  • Completed online application form, as above.
  • Portfolio of personal and professional activities
  • One up-to-date brief curriculum vitae
  • Appropriate fee

3. Fee Payment

Payment of fees can be made by any of the following methods:

Via secure electronic payment here

Cheque: made payable to 'The Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery', RCSI. On the back of the cheque, please reference 'Fellowship Fees' and include your first name initial and your surname.

Bank Transfer: Faculty of Nursing Bank Account, Allied Irish Bank, 1-4 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2; Account No: 25686330, Sort Code: 93-11-52, IBAN: IE91 AIBK 9311 5225 686330, SWIFT Code: AIBKIE2D. Please use reference 'Fellow - your first name initial and surname' 

4. Examination procedures and requirements


Candidates will be required to present a portfolio of professional activities and achievements. The portfolio should demonstrate growth at a personal and professional level and the achievement of excellence in nursing. The candidate will also be required to undertake a viva-voce examination.

A Fellowship Committee comprising of Fellows of the Faculty, will review all applications and portfolios and determine the applicants to proceed to examination. Candidates who are not recommended to progress to examination will be advised where their portfolio requires strengthening and resubmission.

The candidate must include a declaration signed by him/herself confirming that the information contained in the portfolio is an accurate account and reflection of the candidates professional development.

The Examination office will provide the candidate with at least one month’s notice of the date and time of the viva-voce, which will be held in the college. Two examiners will undertake the viva-voce. The duration of the viva-voce will be 40 minutes approximately.

5. Portfolio requirements

Academic and professional activities may be included in the portfolio that support the following concepts*

  • Autonomy in nursing/midwifery
  • Professional and clinical leadership
  • Expert practitioner in area of nursing/midwifery
  • Researcher

The candidate should provide an analysis of each of the four concepts in a context of their own individual area of nursing/midwifery practice. The candidate must describe in career experiences, which demonstrate achievements related to each of the four concepts. Where appropriate all in career experiences should be authenticated, supported and signed by an appropriate individual. It may be the case that that the candidate will provide different sources of evidence of achievement. For example; for the core concept ‘researcher’ the candidate may provide an abstract of their dissertation and request his/her supervisor to provide a statement of support.

At all times the candidate must reflect on their own career and achievements to date.

The portfolio evidence may be developed using:

  • Research dissertation
  • Research projects
  • Published writings
  • Conference or other presentations given
  • Commissioned work
  • Media work
  • Policy development activities
  • Committee work
  • Any other work as deemed relevant to the core concepts.

The evidence, should be applied in demonstrating each of the four concepts. Avoid attaching excessive appendices to the portfolio and only use most recent examples. Each section should begin with a short introduction and summary.

Remember a portfolio generally reflects professional development over time. We are not in a position to photocopy portfolios after they have been submitted and portfolios cannot be returned.

6. Assessment

The assessment will involve the portfolio and viva-voce and the portfolio will provide the basis for the assessment, which will focus on the four core concepts.

  • Autonomy in nursing/midwifery
  • Professional and clinical leadership
  • Expert practitioner in area of nursing/midwifery
  • Researcher

The candidates own career experiences and achievements will be a particular focus during the assessment process.

A pass in the assessment will be awarded to candidates who satisfy the requirements for the award of Fellowship and in particular demonstrate:

  • Competence to exercise higher levels of judgement, discretion and decision making in their own area of nursing/midwifery.
  • Provide evidence of continuing professional development related to their own area of nursing/midwifery. Following approval by the Board of the Faculty & Nursing/Midwifery the candidate will be notified of the result. Successful candidates will also be notified of arrangements for graduation.

7. Repeat assessment

Candidates when notified of an unsuccessful attempt at an assessment, will also be notified of arrangements for re-application. A maximum of one re-application is permitted for the award of Fellowship.

8. Appeals

A candidate wishing to appeal a result should apply in writing to the Examination Office in RCSI.

* Reference: Framework for the establishment of Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and Advanced Midwife Practitioner. National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery.