Question writers

Become a Question Writer

MRCP(UK) is always looking to recruit additional question writers to the specialty question groups (SQGs) to meet the demand for questions for the Part 1 and Part 2 written examinations, and  the question writing groups (QWGs) to meet the demand for questions for the 11 Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs).

Each SQG comprises up to 12 members and each QWG comprises up to 25 members of the relevant specialty. SQG and QWG members are responsible for writing new questions which are discussed at two-day peer review meetings. SQGs are held twice yearly, in May and November (involving all specialties), and QWGs are held once a year, usually in Spring. The meetings are held at Warwick University in Coventry.

Benefits

Meetings are a valuable opportunity for physicians to compare and update their knowledge of the latest diagnostic methods and treatments, enabling them to pass on learning points to trainees and colleagues locally. The meetings offer excellent networking opportunities, providing interaction with physicians from across the UK. Members are entitled to claim external CPD credits for attendance. Current and previous question writers are often recruited to examination boards and standard setting groups because of the additional expertise they bring.

Eligibility

If you meet the following criteria you are eligible to apply:

  • Member or Fellow of one of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom (or another UK medical Royal College)
  • GMC registered and in good standing
  • actively engaged in the training of junior doctors (or within the last two years)
  • up-to-date with employer’s equality and diversity training, and appraisal process/ CPD and with relevant National Guidelines
  • consultant or specialty trainee (who has passed the relevant SCE for QWG vacancies) practising in some aspect of clinical medicine, either with a sub-specialty or area of interest relevant to a specific SQG, or in Acute/Emergency Medicine or any of the 11 SCE specialties
16 SQGs write questions for the MRCP(UK) Part 1 and Part 2 written examinations: 11 QWGs write questions for the Specialty Certificate Examinations:
Cardiology Acute medicine
Clinical haematology Dermatology
Medical oncology and palliative medicine Endocrinology and diabetes
Clinical pharmacology, therapeutics and toxicology Gastroenterology
Clinical science (molecular medicine, genetics, anatomy, physiology, immunology and statistics) Geriatric medicine
Dermatology Medical oncology
Endocrinology and metabolic medicine Nephrology
Gastroenterology Neurology
Geriatric medicine Palliative medicine
Infectious diseases, venereology and tropical medicine Respiratory medicine
Nephrology Rheumatology
Neurology  
Ophthalmology  
Psychiatry  
Respiratory medicine  
Rheumatology  

 

Responsibilities of an SQG or QWG member

As a question writer you will:

  • generate questions for the MRCP(UK) Written Examinations or the Specialty Certificate Examinations as directed by the appropriate Examining Board
  • ensure that the academic objectives in terms of question writing and producing assessment materials for the examination are met
  • assist in any review of the question writing process to ensure that sufficient questions of quality are produced for the examination
  • keep abreast of developments in the world of medical education and medical practice ensuring that the assessment material remains up to date and relevant to the curriculum and meets the standards required by the General Medical Council (GMC).


Appointments are normally for five years, subject to satisfactory performance during a probationary year. Question writers must draft the required number of questions (including selected topics that are identified in a commissioning letter in advance) and be available to attend the once or twice-yearly meetings. Question writers who do not submit questions and attend meetings regularly will be asked to step down.

For more details please download the Duties and Responsibilities document.

Training and support

If your application is successful you will be expected to attend a one-day training session in London, after which you will be invited to attend your first SQG or QWG meeting in Warwick.

All personal expenses to cover the costs of attending SQG or QWG meetings will be met by MRCP(UK) in line with the Federation expenses policy.

How to apply

Please email a copy of your brief CV and a covering letter outlining your suitability to either:

Applications will be considered by Dr Derek Waller, Associate Medical Director for Written Examinations.