MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES) Frequently Asked Questions
Please complete an application form and submit it to the relevant address, together with the correct fee in the correct format, during an application period.
We can only accept applications within the PACES application period of the diet for which a candidate is applying. Please note that the number of clinical spaces available for each PACES Examination is limited and candidates are advised to submit their applications early in the examination application period in order to avoid any disappointment.
For information on the PACES application periods, please consult the UK Exam Dates or Overseas Exam Dates section of the website.
No. All candidates must submit the most recent version of any given application form, as provided on this website. Old versions of the form will not be accepted and will be returned.
Notice of withdrawal must be given in writing to your College of entry (or local organiser and Central Office if sitting at an overseas centre). The date of your withdrawal will be taken as the day that notification is received by the PACES Office. Letters and emails notifying of withdrawal will be accepted.
Candidates who withdraw before the application closing date published on the website will be refunded their Examination fee minus a 10% administration fee. Any candidate withdrawing after the closing date will forfeit the full Examination fee.
Candidates who are not able to attend their examination for any reason are asked to notify their College of Entry as soon as possible.
Candidates scheduled to take PACES in the UK who cannot attend their scheduled examination need to contact the Colleges by email. Contact details for each College can be found in the Contact Us section of the website.
If an application is incomplete in any way, the MRCP(UK) Central Office will contact the candidate to inform them what is missing and provide a deadline by which the missing information must be received. If information is not received by this deadline the candidate risks having their application rejected. Exam places can only be allocated once applications are complete and will be based on the availability of spaces at that time.
I have not received confirmation of my result from my previous exam and the application period for the next exam is nearly over. What should I do?
Candidates who have not received confirmed results, and who wish to apply to sit the following exam, should submit an application form and fee in the normal manner. The application should be labelled “PROVISIONAL”. These applications will be processed until the payment stage, but no payment will be taken until the result of the candidate has been confirmed. If the candidate is found to have passed the exam, the fee will be returned to the candidate. If the candidate has been unsuccessful, the application will be processed as normal.
I have sent my application form to Central Office, but haven’t been told whether it has been received or not. What should I do?
If you have given an up-to-date email address on your application form you will initially receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application. If they have not received an email confirming receipt of your application, it has not yet been received by the PACES Office. We recommend that you check the Junk or Spam folder of your email inbox in search of the confirmation email before contacting Central Office.
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 has passed PACES, their application will be removed from consideration from any forthcoming PACES examinations and their fee returned to them. Candidates should be aware that this arrangement only applies to candidates applying to sit in the UK and that it is not possible for this arrangement to be extended to candidates applying to sit PACES at an overseas centre. Candidates applying to sit at an overseas centre cannot apply until they have recevied the result of any previous PACES examination attempt.
Every time a candidate applies to sit the exam they must discuss their application with and obtain support from their current or most recent educational supervisor or supervising consultant (referred to on the application as the Proposer). Candidates must write their Proposer's details in the relevant section of the application form. Verification of this support may be sought through direct communication between the MRCP(UK) Central Office and the Proposer.
This is to ensure that each candidate has discussed their proposed application with their educational supervisor or supervising consultant in detail and that he/she feels the candidate has the experience and acquired the level of knowledge to have a reasonable chance of success.
For the purpose of application to the exam, a candidate’s Proposer does not have to hold MRCP(UK) or FRCP(UK). However, once a candidate completes all three parts of the exam, they must submit a Form of Faith that is completed and signed by a Proposer who holds FRCP(UK) or who has held MRCP(UK) for at least 8 years.
Please note that the Form of Faith is now available for candidates to download from the Results Section.
It is compulsory for candidates to have their Form of Faith supported by a Proposer who holds FRCP(UK) or who has held MRCP(UK) for at least 8 years, and candidates should be aware of this when applying for the examinations. If a candidate experiences exceptional difficulties finding a suitable Proposer they should contact the MRCP(UK) Central Office who will advise them further.
Log in to your My MRCP(UK) account on the MRCP(UK) website. Go to the Upcoming Exams page – Select the ‘Apply’ button next to the examination you wish to apply for – If you are eligible to apply for the examination you will prompted to update your current address and contact details before continuing to complete the online application – If the ‘Apply’ button is not active the application period is not yet open and applications are not being accepted for that examination.
How do I create an online account?
Instructions on how to apply can be found on the Online Exam Services page. It is very important that candidates follow these instructions carefully to ensure that they set up their account correctly. Candidates with incorrectly set up accounts may not be able to apply for examinations online.
I would still like to choose my college of entry – is this possible if I apply online?
Yes, candidates will be prompted to choose their college of entry as part of the online application process.
If I apply for PACES online, how will I know if my application has been received?
Candidates who submit online applications will receive an automatic notification to confirm that their application has been sent to their college of entry. Following this the college receiving the application will send a further email to candidates, advising that their application has been received by that college.
Instructions will be given in these communications if any further action is required by the candidate.
Can I choose my examination centre and date?
Candidates will not be able to choose a centre in the initial version of the online application system for PACES – candidates should be aware that they will be allocated an exam date and centre by their College of entry, following acceptance of their application. This is due to the complexity of the allocation process for PACES, which is not currently as simple as that for the Part 1 and Part 2 Written examinations.
MRCP(UK) Central Office will be continuing to develop the online application system for PACES in order to further improve the experience for candidates. It is planned for an online self-allocation system for PACES to be introduced in the future. Candidates are advised to regularly check the PACES news section of the MRCP(UK) website, where any future updates to the application process will be publicised.
I would like to apply to sit PACES at an international centre – why can’t I apply online?
Due to the various different administrative arrangements we have internationally we must first research technical solutions to accommodate these arrangements, before offering online applications for international centres.
MRCP(UK) Central Office does understand the need to support international candidates and research is ongoing with a view to being able to introduce an online application option for international centres during 2014.
Candidates can pay by credit or debit card, cheque or cash when applying for an examination online. Candidates will be asked when they apply to select their intended method of payment and should follow instructions in order to complete the payment.
The online application system will be available from 00:01 h (one minute past midnight) on the advertised application period opening date and will become inactive at 23:59 h (one minute before midnight) on the advertised closing date. Application period opening and closing dates are available on the UK Exam Dates and Overseas Exam Dates* pages.
Candidates are advised to allow at least 20 minutes for completing an online application.
*Online applications are not yet available for international centres – for more information please refer to the relevant FAQ.
Yes – candidates can download the paper application form from the PACES application
page and should submit it in the usual way.
Candidates applying by paper are advised to use some form of recorded/special delivery or courier service to send in their application and to retain proof of postage. Please note that proof of postage cannot be accepted as proof of delivery.
The same application period will apply to paper applications as online. Applications received after the advertised closing date cannot be accepted.
Application to Overseas Centres:
What should I do if I want to sit PACES in a centre overseas?
Candidates wishing to sit the PACES Examination in centres overseas need to contact the organiser in the country in which they wish to sit. A list of these is in the Overseas Exam Centres section. Please consult the calendar on the website for dates of the exams. Information is also available from the Central Office in London. Please note that applications for certain centres must be sent direct to the MRCP(UK) Central Office. These centres are stated on the Overseas Exam Centres page.
I want to ensure I have the best possible chance of getting a space in an Overseas PACES Centre. What should I do?
Overseas PACES centres are very popular, often receiving far more applications than they have spaces. This can lead to disappointment for many applicants. We recommend that candidates ensure their completed application form and correct fee reach the relevant office as near to the opening date for applications as possible. For a list of the addresses to which candidates should submit their applications, candidates should consult the Overseas Exam Centres section.
I did not get a place at an overseas centre in the previous PACES diet. Will I receive priority treatment in the future?
We recognise that overseas PACES centres are very popular, often filling up on the opening day of application and disappointing many applicants. This does not entitle candidates whose application was unsuccessful to priority treatment or special consideration in any future diets.
I did not get a place in an overseas centre in the previous PACES diet. Can I transfer my application to a subsequent diet?
Candidates are not permitted to transfer applications or fees between diets. Candidates must submit a fresh application form and the correct fee for every diet to which they apply.
I would like to take PACES in a particular overseas centre, but I do not know whether I am eligible. What should I do?
Candidates who are unsure as to their eligibility to apply to a particular centre should consult the Overseas Exam Centres section and refer to the Applications Accepted From column in the table. Please note that the list of countries refers to candidates who are either nationals of or residents of those countries. For example, a doctor of Indian nationality working in the UAE would be permitted to apply to sit PACES in the Chennai centre.
As of 2009, candidates are required to have passed the Part 1 Written examination within the last seven years in order to meet the eligibility requirements for the PACES examination.
It is recommended that candidates will normally have completed a 2 year Foundation programme and commenced Core Medical Training (or an equivalent period of training) before attempting the PACES examination. Within these two years not less than 4 months should be spent in posts involving the continuing care of emergency medical patients.
Consult the Stage 2 Eligibility Period Calculation Table.
Candidates who have received any correspondence from Central Office regarding an extension to their eligibility period should adhere to information provided in any such correspondence - this will supersede the information presented in the stage 2 eligibility period calculation table.
Usually, extensions cannot be given beyond a candidate’s 7-year eligibility period. However, if exceptional circumstances prevent a candidate from sitting the exam they should contact the MRCP(UK) Central Office in writing, detailing their situation and providing documentary evidence where applicable. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Upon passing their Part 1 Written Examination, candidates will be permitted seven years from the date of the Part 1 Examination at which they were successful, in which to pass the remaining parts of the MRCP(UK).
Candidates are permitted unlimited attempts at both Part 2 Written and PACES within their seven years since passing the Part 1 Examination. Please note that a candidate may only make one attempt per examination diet.
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 level of experience should I have to enter the PACES Examination?
It is advised that trainees are unlikely to be able to apply their clinical knowledge or demonstrate their clinical skills across the broad range of clinical cases, and thus be successful in the MRCP(UK) PACES examination, before a total of two years’ experience, including at least four months in medical specialties or medical sub-specialties, following the award of their primary medical degree. We therefore recommend that candidates will normally have completed a two-year Foundation programme and started Core Medical Training (or an equivalent period of training) before attempting the PACES examination. Within these two years, not less than four months should be spent in posts involving the continuing care of emergency medical patients. This experience in the UK should as a minimum be at Foundation Year One and Two level (or equivalent) and in Core Medical Training (or equivalent), but may be gained in any hospital throughout the world.
The Colleges' Examinations Offices do not have a list of accredited or recognised centres for training and work experience. There is therefore no requirement that candidates train or work at approved hospitals for the MRCP(UK) examination. Candidates may wish to check with the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) that their experience meets the requirements for progression in their career after having completed the MRCP(UK) Examinations.
Experience / training is accepted from countries outside the United Kingdom provided that it meets the PACES Examination regulations requirements.
Candidates wishing to find out about preparatory courses for the PACES examinations are advised to visit the NHS Careers website.
Infection-control policies vary from centre to centre.
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, if such policies are introduced, candidates must comply with them.
What ID can I bring to the exam?
As per the MRCP(UK) Regulations no candidate will be allowed into an MRCP(UK) Examination without appropriate ID from 1 January 2013.
The aim of enforcing this is to ensure that a candidate attending the exam is who they say they are – thus preventing identity fraud at the exam.
Primary acceptable ID:
- Current valid passport (containing photograph and signature)
- Full or provisional photo-card driving licence
- EEA Member State identity photo-card
- National identity photo-card for non- EEA foreign nationals
- Identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
Secondary acceptable ID (Please note two forms of secondary ID will need to be shown together eg. NHS card with a debit card. At least one of these MUST CONTAIN a photograph):
- Valid credit or debit card
- NHS card
- Paper driving licence
- Valid student card with picture
* These documents must be accompanied by an official stamp or letter from the issuing organisation in order to qualify as an acceptable form of ID. Self-made photo copies will not be accepted alone.
Additional forms of ID will be considered providing all candidates contact us well in advance of an examination. If you have any queries surrounding the validity of your ID please email us at IDqueries@mrcpuk.org.
For more information on the policy please see section 11.2.4 of the MRCP(UK) Regulations.
When is a candidate categorised as not having appropriate ID?
A candidate is considered as not having appropriate ID when they don’t bring in any ID or it’s not on the list of acceptable ID listed above.
When and Where:
Candidates are informed of the time and date of their PACES Examination at least four weeks before the first advertised date of the PACES Examination period. Candidates should be prepared to take PACES on any date within the advertised period and should note that dates may be liable to change at short notice.
While efforts are made to find candidates a centre that is not too far from their correspondence address, we cannot guarantee this. Candidates sitting PACES in the UK should be prepared to travel to any centre within the United Kingdom for their Examination.
If you have given an up-to-date email address on your application form you will initially receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application on the day that your application is received and registered by the relevant administrative office. Acceptance will still be subject to meeting the eligibility requirements but we will contact you directly if there are any problems with your application resulting in an incomplete marker being added. If there are no problems with your application the next contact you will have from us is confirmation of your entry details.
Candidates taking the PACES Examination in a centre outside the UK are advised to consult the Overseas Exam Centres page of our website, and contact the relevant person for confirmation that their application has been accepted. Alternatively, if you have applied to a centre that is dealt with directly by the MRCP(UK) Central Office you will receive an acknowledgement email as soon as your application has been processed and your place in the exam is confirmed. Please note that you may not receive this until after the advertised closing date.
We cannot consider any requests for specific dates, except for 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.
Yes. The results of all candidates are available online through their My MRCP(UK) accounts approximately 10 working days after the examination date for candidates sitting in UK and approximately 15 working days for candidates sitting outside the UK (as advertised on the Results page).
Result letters will be posted within 15 days of the web release of results. Results cannot in any circumstances be given over the telephone or by fax or email, nor can they be collected from the Colleges. A list will not be published in the Colleges.
Candidates can keep up-to-date with the latest news on their results release date by visiting the PACES Latest News section of our website.