Question writers

Become a Question Writer

Writing ‘Best of 5’ questions in your specialty is a great way to become involved in MRCP(UK) examinations. We have an annual question writing meeting for both MRCP(UK) Part 1 and Part 2 written examinations, and  a separate annual meeting for the 11 Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs). Each meeting is held over 2 days, in an excellent conference centre at Warwick University in Coventry. Our current question writers value working with colleagues and the quality of the CPD gained during the meetings. We also have a relaxed dinner at the end of the first day. Question writers include trainees who have passed the relevant examination and both junior and senior consultants in the specialty. 

For MRCP(UK) Parts 1 and 2, each Specialty Question Group (SQG) has up to 12 members and each SCE Question writing group (QWG) has up to 25 members. SQG and QWG members draft new questions in their specialty, which are then discussed at the two-day peer review meetings. SQGs are held in November, and QWGs in March/April. 

Benefits

The meetings offer excellent networking opportunities, providing interaction with physicians from across the UK. Members can 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 with a License to Practice 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  

 

Training and support

If your application is successful you will be invited to attend a one-day training session at the RCP London, after which you can attend your first SQG or QWG meeting. 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 within the UK.

Responsibilities of an SQG or QWG member

As a question writer you will:

  • draft 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 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
  • ensure 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-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.

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.