last updated:15/02/2016 @ 12:07 pm
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AFOM Regulations

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of London was established “to develop and maintain the good practice of occupational medicine with a view to providing for the protection of people at work by ensuring the highest professional standards of competence and ethical integrity”. The Faculty admits Associates and Members.

Associateship of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (AFOM) is intended for registered medical practitioners who are committed to the full-time or part-time practice of occupational medicine, and confers formal recognition of competence. It is a level of competence recognised by assessment by the Faculty and its syllabus is detailed under the Regulations.

Associateship is available to medical practitioners outwith UK Specialist Training who can demonstrate an equivalent level of competence, as outlined in these regulations.


A1. Candidates for the award of Associateship are required EITHER:

(a) to have full registration with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom


(b) to possess a medical qualification acceptable to the Director of Assessment of the Faculty. These candidates must produce their original registration certificates, or diplomas of qualification, and official translation of their diplomas if not in English.

A2. Candidates are also required:

(a) to have passed the Diploma in Occupational Medicine


(b) to have at least 1 year of full-time experience (or the equivalent pro-rata) in occupational medicine and 2 years full-time experience in other specialties. The examination entry form must be accompanied by evidence of the candidate’s experience in occupational medicine, together with a statement of support by a Member or Fellows of the Faculty, that they believe the candidate has acquired sufficient skills and knowledge to sit the examination.

A3. The Faculty’s SAC will be the arbiter of acceptable experience under regulation A2.

Among other things, the SAC will normally seek evidence of (i) a sufficient breadth, as well as a sufficient duration of experience in occupational medicine (across a range of settings and employment sectors, and covering a range of occupational health problems of a kind encountered in specialist training or practice); and (ii) structured employment involving the support and, ideally, the formal supervision of a senior occupational physician of consultant status.


A4. The examination will comprise the following sections:

1. Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Paper AFOM Regulations Page 9

2. Modified Essay Question (Structured Short Answer) (MEQ) Paper.

3. Observed Structured Practical Examination (OSPE).

which must all be passed at the same sitting.

A5. The examination for Associateship (AFOM) will normally be held over two days. The MCQ and MEQ papers (same as Part 2 MFOM) will be held on the first day at one or more centres. The OSPE (same as Part 2 MFOM) will be held on the second day and may be at one or more centres.

A6. Details of the three components of the examination, and guidance, may be found in the Part 2 MFOM examination regulations, which are published separately (see link below).

It is recommended that in preparation for the examination for Associateship (AFOM) candidates undertake an appropriate academic course.

Details of the examination components can be found within the Part 2 MFOM Regulations.


A7. The syllabus for the examination for Associateship (AFOM) will be based on the core competencies in the current GMC-approved training curriculum for higher specialist training in Occupational Medicine in the UK.

A8. Questions may be asked on any part of the syllabus.

Details of the current specialist training curriculum and core competences can be found within Section 2.2 of the Faculty’s Specialist Training Curriculum for Occupational Medicine.


A9. Candidates who have successfully completed the requirements specified in A4 will be awarded the Associateship of the Faculty on payment of a fee. Associates may use the postnominals AFOM. This qualification is not registerable with the General Medical Council.


Before attempting the examination for Associateship (AFOM), candidates must have two years full time experience in other specialties, after completion of Foundation Training.

For candidates who have undertaken their medical training in the UK, such experience is likely to have been gained during Specialist Training years 1 and 2 or General Practice Training, the aim being to enable a doctor to obtain a broad medical experience before embarking upon specialist training. The time is spent in a series of specialty registrar posts accepted for the purpose. General Practice Vocational Training in the UK (GPVT) will also meet this requirement.

The experience gained should be wide and varied. The following list of specialties providing suitable experience is illustrative and not necessarily comprehensive.

  • General Practice
  • General Medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Diabetes & Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Nephrology
  • Thoracic medicine
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Clinical Immunology & Allergy
  • Dermatology
  • Genito-urinary Medicine
  • Medical Oncology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Neurology Rheumatology
  • Accident & Emergency
  • General Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Urology
  • Psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation

If in doubt, applicants can inquire about the suitability of their experience; the Faculty’s SAC will be the final arbiter of admissibility.