Hosting – running a PACES centre
Hosting involves setting up an examination centre at your local hospital to run PACES. As host you will oversee the organisation of the examination and be responsible for securing a venue, recruiting patients, finding administrative support and writing Station 5 scenarios.
Hosting is a very important role and a hugely rewarding experience and it is vital that enough centres are recruited to ensure sufficient candidate spaces are provided for trainees to complete the MRCP(UK) Diploma.
Read about the benefits of hosting PACES from one of our hosts, Dr Jeremy Stern, Consultant Neurologist at Frimley Park Hospital:
"Hosting, like many of our other roles, is a team building exercise. It is professionally very satisfying and justifies the commitment required. Apart from the opportunity to provide places for trainees and future specialists it is an essential way to become more involved in PACES and support MRCP(UK). Hosting adds to the education portfolio in the hospital and attracts interest from local colleagues. Several of our colleagues became new examiners which is a benefit for the local CMTs in their own exam preparations."
Resources required to host PACES
- agreement from relevant trust officials to provide space and time to host the exam
- a minimum of one MRCP(UK) PACES examiner on site to act as the official ‘host’ or lead examiner. Clinicians who are not examiners can be involved in the organisation of the exam but the official examiner needs to be recognised as the lead as they will have completed necessary training and signed up to relevant exam codes.
- availability of an administrator(s) to assist with exam organisation.
Staff and facilities required:
- sufficient number of patients to run three cycles of the examination per day for two days; (Stations 2 and 4 are based on scenarios that can be performed by actors)
- relevant equipment
- sufficient space.
The total cost of the examination will be covered by your affiliate college. Expenses that are expected to be incurred include the following:
- centre venue hire
- cost of nursing staff
- administration costs
- patient gifts.
How do I find out about setting up a new centre?
If you are interested in hosting please contact your affiliated college to express your interest and they will happily discuss dates and provide all the support you need.
The colleges provide material to help exam organisers deliver PACES. All this is available to download.
- The PACES Examiners' Guide Omnibus provides detailed instructions on running the exam information on exam regulations.
- The PACES host guidelines are a quick guide focused on exam day setup and administration.
During each exam cycle, candidate scores must be recorded on the electronic Candidate Performance Summary (eCPS) and then emailed to the relevant College. Please see the Guide to using the eCPS for instructions.
Documents for use ahead of exam day
|PACES timetables||Example timetables for two- and three-cycle days|
|Timings at each Station||Timings for examiners at each Station|
|Guidelines for Station 5 scenarios||A practical guide to writing and vetting Station 5 scenarios|
|Station 5 template form||A template for Station 5 scenarios|
|Patient leaflet for Stations 1 and 3||To be distributed to patient volunteers in advance of the exam|
|Patient leaflet for Stations 2 and 4||To be distributed to patient volunteers in advance of the exam|
|Patient leaflet for Station 5||To be distributed to patient volunteers in advance of the exam|
|Signs: exams in progress||Exam day signage|
|Signs: MRCP(UK) direction signs and arrows||Exam day signage|
|Signs: MRCP(UK) station signs||Exam day signage|
Documents for use on the day
|Clock/timer instructions||Instructions for the Jessop Triple Timer Clock and the Quantum 3 Timer Clock|
|Discussion sheet||Used to highlight candidates who require written counselling|
|Centre audit form||Completed by Host and Chair examiner at each centre|
|Centre incident form||To be completed by the Chair at the end of each examining day|
|Verbal roughness||Definition of verbal roughness in the PACES exam|
|Calibration sheets||Used by examiners to agree the scoring for each case|
|Scenario Assessment Form - Station 2||To be completed by examiners on Station 2|
|Scenario Assessment Form - Station 4||To be completed by examiners on Station 4|
|Scenario Assessment Form - Station 5||To be completed by examiners on Station 5|
|International host guide||Guide to help hosts organise PACES|
|Chair of Examiners Report||Completed by the Chair of Examiners at each centre|
|Confidentiality agreement station content||To be signed by all examiners and individuals involved with organising the examination at the centre|
|Confidentiality agreement results||To be signed by all examiners and individuals involved with organising the examination at the centre|