COVID-19

The current outbreak of COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation and so we have created this information hub to support examination candidates, trainees, trainers and consultants who need to maintain and record their continuing professional development.

Below you will find links to the latest guidance, advice and resources in the areas of MRCP(UK) examinations, training and CPD.  We will continue to update and develop these pages to support you as the situation develops.

Exams updates

23.11.20: Written exam weekly update

23.11.20: PACES exam weekly update

16.11.20: Written exams weekly update

16.11.20: PACES exam weekly update

10.11.20: UK PACES cancelled centres

09.11.20: PACES exams weekly update

09.11.20: Written exams weekly update

02.11.20: PACES exams weekly update

02.11.20: Written exams weekly update

26.10.20: PACES exams weekly update

26.10.20: Written exams weekly update

19.10.20: PACES exams weekly update

19.10.20: Written exams weekly update

12.10.20: PACES exams weekly update

12.10.20: Written exams weekly update

30.09.20: Additional November date announced for MRCP(UK) Part 1 written examinations for UK candidates

16.09.20: New COVID-19 guidelines for UK PACES in 2020

16.09.20: Part 1 online exam

04.08.20: Recommencing MRCP(UK) Part 2

17.07.20: Applying for UK PACES 2020/3

17.06.20: MRCP(UK) clinical and written examinations to restart this Autumn

05.06.20: 2020/3 MRCP(UK) Part 1 - updated application dates

04.06.20: Delays issuing MRCP(UK Diplomas

01.06.20 SCE dates from September now confirmed

22.06.20: Extension of eligibility period during COVID-19 restrictions

25.03.20: Transfer and refund information for cancelled exams

Training and trainee progression

Trainees’ welfare is very important to us and we hope that the following information provides clarity at an uncertain time and will allow trainees to plan for the coming months.

18.05.20: Podcast: Training progression during COVID-19

23.04.20: Guidance on Core Medical Trainees acting up as a Medical Registrar

20.03.20: Help for trainees at the front line

26.03.20: Advanced Life Support (ALS) certification and working in acute medicine

16.03.20: Recognition of trainee progression in 2020

ARCP guidance 

The following documents provide guidance for the ARCP process.

ARCP decision aid for JRCPTB specialties during the COVID-19 pandemic

ARCP outcomes for CMT, ACCS-AM and BBT trainees who are expecting to finish this programme in August 2020

ARCPs during COVID-19 Pandemic: Specific specialty advice for Medical Specialties

Continuing professional development

Some of you will be in the unfortunate position of having had your CPD activity cancelled or postponed due to the developing COVID-19 situation as we reach the end of the 2019/20 CPD year. In addition, the situation for the next CPD year, 2020/21, is now looking uncertain. 

With regard to the usual CPD rules, we should like to emphasise the following: 

  • The Federation annual credit requirements (50 overall with 25 external) are recommendations only. The GMC as the regulator does not require a fixed number of CPD credits. 
  • Within the Federation guidelines if there is a shortfall in one year this can normally be addressed in other years as long as the 5 year recommendations are met (250 over the 5 years, half external) 

In the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we propose varying these requirements. We are waiving all numerical CPD credit targets. We will support a flexible approach to CPD requirements for the remainder of the current CPD year and, in addition, for the next CPD year. Of greater importance than the number of credits obtained will be that Physicians show evidence of engagement with the CPD process and with reflection. This will of course be judged by appraisers, but we hope that appraisers will very much take this statement into account when assessing CPD. 

No requirement to ‘make up’ credits 

There will not be a requirement to ‘make up’ credits relating to the time of the pandemic in future years. 

Personal credits 

The diary allows physicians to record as many personal credits as they wish and the overall total is included on the annual CPD certificate but only 10 personal credits can count towards the usual recommended total of 50. As stated above the requirement for 50 credits has been waived for the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 diary years, but for technical IT reasons it is difficult to arrange a temporary change to reflect this in the CPD system as the ‘rule’ is embedded in the system in a number of ways. However, we are requesting that appraisers acknowledge the extent and value of both personal CPD and distance learning during the 2 CPD years in question. 

Work in progress 

We have a number of other initiatives designed to help colleagues during this difficult time. These include the following: 

  • We are adding an additional statement to the annual CPD certificates alerting appraisers to our advice during the pandemic and advising them that physicians may make more use of distance learning and personal CPD during this time. 
  • We are working to increase availability and approval of various forms of distance learning including streamed events, webinars and more e-learning options. 

We will endeavour to fast-track COVID-19 applications for approval. 

Royal Colleges of Physicians COVID-19 information hubs