FAQs

Are there any qualifications that exempt me from taking the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination?

No, the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK ended the policy of exemption in 2010, therefore it is now a requirement to take the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination.

How do I withdraw from an examination?

Candidates must submit a withdrawal request form online (or a letter or email will be accepted) to their administrative office as soon as possible, providing their name, RCP code number and date of birth.

Candidates who withdraw before the advertised closing date will be given a 90% refund of the exam fee, with 10% of the fee deducted as an administration charge.

Candidates who withdraw after the closing date will only be entitled to a 90% refund in exceptional circumstances providing documentary evidence can be provided to support their request; any outstanding fees must be resolved in order to sit future MRCP(UK) examinations.

For further information please refer to section 7 of the MRCP(UK) Regulations/section 5.11 of the SCE Regulations for full details on our withdrawal process.

How will I know if the college has received my application?

When your online application is complete you will be sent an email acknowledging this. If you do not receive an acknowledgement email please check your online account for details of any outstanding items. These may include payment of the examination fee or submission of an attested copy of your primary medical qualification. If your application is incomplete, you will receive an email explaining what you need to do to complete the application.

If you are unable to apply online we recommend that all paper application forms are sent by courier. Please check with your courier for details of the delivery date of your item. If you have received confirmation from the courier company/post office that your paper application has been received by the College please allow 3 working days from the date of delivery for the application to be processed.

I have been informed that my application is incomplete – will I still have a place in the exam?

If an application is incomplete in any way, the candidate’s college of entry will notify the candidate via Email and advise what action needs to be taken and by what deadline. If a response is not received by the given deadline the candidate risks having their application rejected. Exam places can only be allocated once applications are complete.

I have completed my online application and entered my payment details but I have not received confirmation that my payment has gone through, what should I do?

Please contact MRCP(UK) Central Office – you will be asked to provide your RCP code and should have your credit/debit card to hand. The administrator will then check the payment system and either update your record if the payment has gone through, or manually process payment over the phone if it has not gone through.

I was granted an exemption prior to 2010, what does this mean for my 7-year eligibility period?

Any candidate who was granted an exemption from Part 1 prior to 2010 may continue to attempt Part 2 Written and PACES (in any order) until they complete the MRCP(UK) Diploma or their period of eligibility to sit the examinations expires. (A candidate’s 7-year eligibility period starts from the date the exempting qualification was awarded).

Is it possible to transfer to a different exam centre?

MRCP(UK) and SCE candidates who wish to transfer to a different examination centre must send their request in writing to their administrative office, outlining the reasons for the request. Please note that all such requests are subject to centre and space availability, and that we cannot guarantee that a transfer request will be granted. For the Part 1 and Part 2 written examinations the final deadline to submit a transfer request is the same as the application closing date for the relevant examination.

Candidates who wish to transfer their PACES centres may submit their request at any time before the date of the examination. Candidates should note however, that due to high demand available spaces in all PACES centres will be extremely limited.

Is my examination fee tax deductible?

Examination fees have been tested in the courts over the years and it had been understood that such expenses were not tax deductible. However following a decision in the case of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Commissioners V Dr Piu Banerjee ([2010] EWCA Civ. 843) this position may have changed.

If you are a UK trainee employed on a training contract you may eligible for tax relief on MRCP(UK) examination fees paid since 2010. For more information please see the HMRC website.

If you believe you are eligible to claim, please seek advice from your own personal tax adviser. HMRC will require proof of payment for examination fees paid (eg credit card or bank statement).

Please note that MRCP(UK) is unable to provide advice about your personal tax affairs.

Is there a reading list for the MRCP(UK) examinations?

There is no reading list available for MRCP(UK) examinations. Candidates should prepare for the examinations by gaining clinical experience in hospital posts involving the care of emergency medical patients, whether adults or children, and by studying up-to-date postgraduate clinical textbooks and current medical journals.

For more information on preparation for the examination, advice on registration, clinical attachment, availability and suitability of courses and careers guidance please contact NHS Careers.

My payment was unsuccessful – what options are available to me?

In the first instance candidates should contact their bank – there may be insufficient funds available or a security check that the bank needs to perform before funds can be released.  Once this enquiry has been made candidates should contact their administrative office/college of entry to reattempt payment over the phone.

Payment can be made via any of the following methods:

  • Credit/debit card (does not have be the card holder, but must have authorisation to use the card) by telephone
  • Credit/debit card by completing and returning our card payment form
  • Bank draft*
  • Cheque*
  • Cash payment
  • Via MRCP(UK) online account (this option is currently only available to PACES candidates)

* Bank drafts and cheques must be drawn on a UK bank

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Written exams

Can I submit original certificates with my application?

No. Certificates must be certified/attested copies rather than the original. MRCP(UK) cannot guarantee the return of original certificates to applicants.

How do I submit my Primary Medical Qualification?

First time applicants for the Part 1 Examination are required to submit, by email, an attested copy of their Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ). The original stamp on a copy of the PMQ is required, as is a date stamp that is no greater than 12 months old. Candidates cannot submit original Primary Medical Qualifications.

Photocopies of certificates and/or official translations (in English)* will be accepted only if they have been prepared and authenticated by one of the following:
• the issuing University or Medical School
• a British Consulate or British Council outside the UK
• the British Embassy
• the British High Commission
• the candidate’s own Embassy
• the High Commission in the UK
• a member of the Gardai in the Irish Republic
• Government Ministries of Health
• a notary public
• a Fellow or Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians or a Chair of the Examining Board of the awarding body (verification of the Fellow or Member will be sought to ensure that they are affiliated with the issuing University/Medical School and the authenticated copy should be submitted with the authenticator’s full name, their Royal Colleges of Physicians code and an accompanying official stamp or letter from that Fellow, Member or Chair)

* Candidates must submit an authenticated translation if their primary medical degree certificate is not in English. A fresh ink stamp must be used to authenticate the copy or translation of the primary medical qualification.

The Colleges reserve the right to request to see the original documents if there is any doubt as to the authenticity of the submitted copies of documents.

Full details regarding how to submit your qualification via email can be found in the Part 1 section of the website

I have been asked to submit an affidavit. What is this?

If you wish to change your name with MRCP(UK) from that which appears on your Primary Medical Qualification we may ask you to submit an affidavit. This document is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made under an oath or affirmation. It is usually witnessed by a notary public or commissioner of oaths in order to verifiy its authenticity.

I require a Part 1 result verification letter. How can I get one?

We do not provide verification letters after passing Part 1 only. Candidates only receive verification letters once they have passed all three parts of the MRCP(UK) examination. Candidates can use their results letter as proof they have passed the Part 1 exam.

What are the entry requirements for the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination?

Candidates may apply to sit the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination provided they graduated at least 12 months in advance of the examination date. All doctors must have had at least 12 months' experience in medical employment, i.e. have completed Foundation Year 1 or equivalent. This 12 months experience is calculated up to the date of the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination and not the application closing date. The relevant experience may be gained from any hospital in the world.

PACES

Can I choose my examination centre and date?

Candidates are currently unable to choose a PACES centre to sit their exam; they will be allocated an exam date and centre at random following acceptance of their application. MRCP(UK) Central Office will continue to develop the online application system with the aim of introducing a self-allocation system in the near future. Please check the PACES news section of the website regularly for updates.

Does the first come, first served rule still apply for international PACES centres?

No.  Candidates can apply at any time during an application period and be considered for a space (subject to normal eligibility requirements).  There is no advantage to applying early in an application period.

How are international PACES places allocated?

Some spaces in some centres are reserved for local trainees only.  We work with local organisers to identify those local trainees.  All remaining spaces are allocated by random lottery, chosen from all of those who apply to sit at each centre.  We will try to prioritise those who are near the end of their eligibility periods, however we cannot guarantee that every candidate will get a space on this basis.
 

How can I get further feedback from my examination?

To request scanned copies of your marksheets please email the relevant college through which you sat your examination.

How do I appeal my exam result?

Appeals can only be considered on the grounds of procedural irregularity or extenuating circumstances, such as illness (where withdrawal before the examination took place was not reasonably possible). Appeals will not be considered on the grounds of a candidate feeling they have not received sufficient marks, not understanding examination regulations or disagreeing with examiner judgement.

For further information on appeals you can consult the MRCP(UK) Examination Appeals Regulations.

 

How many international PACES centres can I apply for during an application period?

Candidates can apply to sit PACES in up to 4 different centres.  This can be indicated on the online application form and candidates will be considered for a space in each centre in order of preference.  If a candidate is unsuccessful in getting a space in their first choice centre, they will go in to the pot for their second choice and so on.  Please note that whilst this offers an opportunity to apply to more centres, it does not increase a candidate’s chances of getting a space in each centre.  Candidates must also be prepared to travel to any of their chosen centres.
 

I am trying to apply for PACES online but I can’t due to a technical issue, what should I do?

Please fully complete a paper application form and send a scanned copy to your chosen college of entry, stating that you have experienced some technical issues.  Your College of entry may email you to ask some specific questions about the issue you experienced, with a view to trying to resolve any recurring technical problems.

I have attempted PACES, but my results are not scheduled to be released until after the opening of the next diet. What should I do?

Candidates are recommended to prepare and submit an application to the next diet of PACES even if they have not yet received the result of their previous attempt. If a candidate subsequently passes PACES in a previous attempt, their current PACES application will be automatically removed and they will receive a 100% refund of any fees paid for the unused exam attempt.

I will not know the result of my current PACES attempt before I must apply for the next one. Can I still apply?

Yes.  Candidates may apply for a future diet of PACES in any location (subject to normal eligibility requirements) if they have an outstanding result from a current attempt, or if they have not yet sat their current attempt.  Any candidate who has applied and paid for a future attempt and is successful in their current attempt will be automatically withdrawn from their future attempt and receive a 100% refund.  Any candidate who is unsuccessful in their current attempt but has paid for a future attempt will remain registered for the future attempt.
 

I would like to take PACES in a particular international centre, but I do not know whether I am eligible. What should I do?

Eligibility for all international centres is explained in the PACES exam centres section.

 

Is there a dress code for the PACES examination?

Dress and appearance are an important aspect of professionalism. You should dress in a smart and conservative manner. Your fingernails should be short and clean. You are usually required to wear a short-sleeved shirt or blouse, with no neck-tie, false nails, wrist-watch or wrist jewellery (a plain wedding ring may be acceptable) at examination centres in the UK. Candidates attending centres in the UK must come prepared to meet these criteria - failure to comply will mean that you cannot sit the exam, and in these circumstances you will not be eligible for a refund. Centres outside the UK have not imposed dress requirements at the present time, but where such policies are introduced, candidates will be expected to comply with them.

What happens if my stage 2 eligibility period finishes in the middle of a PACES main assessment period?

In order to be eligible to apply for PACES, the entire main assessment period for PACES will need to fall within a candidate’s 7 year stage 2 eligibility. If your stage 2 eligibility period ends during a PACES assessment period, the preceding diet will be the last diet you can apply for.

What if there are dates that I can't attend within the PACES assessment period?

Requests for specific dates can only be guaranteed when made on medical or compassionate grounds, supported by comprehensive documentary evidence . Candidates enter the PACES examination on the understanding that they could be allocated to any date within the main assessment period. Candidates who enter the examination in the knowledge that they may have work or personal commitments during the assessment period do so at their own risk.
Please note that any candidates who are booking clinical courses in preparation for the PACES Examination are strongly advised not to seek to book a course that falls within the main assessment period for the PACES Examination.

When should I expect to make a payment?

MRCP(UK) Central Office will advise all successful candidates when to complete payment of the examination fee. Instructions will be given within 2 weeks of the application period closing date, therefore it is not necessary to post cheques or bank drafts prior to the application closing date. 
 
Candidates paying via card will be able to use the 'pay now option' which will become active in their MRCP(UK) online account once their application is confirmed as successful.
 

When will I know the outcome of my application?

Candidates will be notified on the outcome of their application within 2 weeks from the application period closing date. MRCP(UK) Central Office aims to have a response to all candidates before the UK application period opens.
 

Where can I find out about courses for the PACES Examination?

MRCP(UK) Central Office does not endorse courses for the PACES exam. There are however many organisations that organise courses, details of which can be found via the internet.

Why did I not get a place in an international centre? Will I receive priority treatment in the future?

We are aware that demand for PACES places is growing year on year and we are continually working to grow capacity internationally.

It is not possible to guarantee a place to sit the exam due to the differences in arrangements across local organisers. Candidates whose application has been rejected should be aware priority treatment or special consideration will not be given to any subsequent applications made. Candidates are not permitted to transfer applications or fees between diets. Candidates must submit a new application form and the correct fee for every diet to which they apply.

Specialty Certificate

Are refreshments available at the centres?

No, refreshments are not always available. You are advised to take your own snacks and water. These cannot be taken into the exam room but must be kept in a locker which you can access during the exam.

Are there restrictions to how many different Specialty Certificate Examinations I may take?

No, there are no restrictions, you may enter and sit for as many Specialty Certificate Examinations as you wish. Please note that from January 2014 candidates will only be permitted a maximum of six attempts at each SCE examination in line with the General Medical Council’s Limit on Attempts policy. Please see the Limit on Attempts webpage for further information.

At what level am I able to take the Specialty Certificate Examination?

There are no restrictions on taking the SCEs, however UK trainees would usually take it during their penultimate year of higher specialist training and overseas candidates are advised to take the SCE at a similar or later point in their training/career.

Please see your Specialty page for further information.

How is the fee set?

The process for setting exam fees starts in the previous July (eg. July 2012 for fees running from January to December 2013). All the economic and political factors are taken into consideration at the July MRCP(UK) Management Board. Over the past few years it has been agreed that increases should be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July which is published in August. There follows a period of consultation with trainees and our partners in the SCEs, the specialist societies. The fees are then formally set at the September MRCP(UK) Management Board and published in October.

For more information on the financial aspects of the SCEs please view the financial FAQs:

SCE financial FAQs

How often does each Specialty Certificate Examination take place?

Each Specialty Certificate Examination currently takes place once a year. Please see your Specialty page and the exams dates section for more details about when the SCE in your specialty will be held.

How soon after applying to sit the SCE in an international centre overseas will I receive confirmation of my exam venue?

Pearson VUE will confirm details of the test location directly to candidates via email at least three weeks before the exam date. Please note that, in the unlikely event that Pearson VUE are unable to deliver an SCE in the specific location requested, candidates will be offered an alternative location.

Pearson VUE cannot locate my file when I try to book my test centre, why is this?

Pearson VUE operates booking windows for all of the SCEs, and these typically open one month after the registration period for applications opens. If you attempt to book your test centre before the booking window opens then you will receive this message. Once the booking window opens candidates will receive an email detailing how to book their test centre.

Please note the above applies to UK candidates only. International candidates will have bookings made on their behalf and do not need to make any booking personally.

Pearson VUE doesn’t recognise my RCP Code. What should I do?

Pearson VUE recognises your RCP Code in a slightly different format than that which you are used to. If you have a 5-digit RCP Code, prefix it with RCP00. A candidate with the RCP Code 12345 would thus quote “RCP0012345” to Pearson VUE. If you have a 6-digit RCP Code, prefix it with RCP0. A candidate with the RCP Code 123456 would thus quote “RCP0123456” to Pearson VUE. If they still don’t recognise your RCP Code, contact us.

What happens if I am late for my exam?

All candidates must arrive for the exam 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. If you arrive late you will not be allowed into the venue and will be unable to sit the exam. This means that you will not be entitled to a refund of the examination fee.

What is computer-based testing?

Computer-based testing is a method of presenting tests where the responses are electronically recorded, usually via a computer or a computerised electronic device. The computer replaces paper and candidates answer by using a mouse or keyboard. The results are also electronically stored and assessed.