Are my examination fees and JRCPTB enrolment fees tax deductible?

MRCP(UK) examinations

If you are employed on a UK training contract as either a Core or Specialty Trainee you may be eligible for tax relief on MRCP(UK) and SCE examination fees paid within the last four tax years, providing you paid the examination fee yourself. A number of UK trainees have informed us that they have successfully claimed tax relief. For more information please see the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website.

Further information on how to apply for tax relief:

Guidance on how to claim relief for fees can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Background information on claiming expenses where education is part of the duties of the employment can be found on the HMRC website.

To claim tax relief, trainees have told us that you can either:

  • complete a form P87: Tax relief for expenses of employment, available to download from the HMRC website;
  • complete a self-assessment tax return and include details on the employment page (if you are already in self-assessment or the expenses amount to more than £2,500);
  • write a letter to HMRC stating that:
    • you are employed under a training contract (provide a letter from your Deanery/ LETB or your employment contract to support this);
    • you took (specify) mandatory examination/s run by MRCP(UK) to meet the requirements of your training programme and believe that the cost of the examination/s is now tax deductible;
    • reference the case of Revenue & Customs Commissioners v Dr Piu Banerjee ([2010] EWCA Civ 843); and HMRC guidance EIM32546 which states that: ‘Failure to…obtain the qualification will mean that he cannot proceed to the next stage of his chosen profession’.

HMRC will require proof of payment for examination fees paid (eg credit card or bank statement).

Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) enrolment fees

HMRC agreed that with effect from 10 May 2013 mandatory trainee registration fees are tax deductible. Tax relief can therefore be claimed on all enrolment fees paid to JRCPTB on or after this date.  JRCPTB enrolment fees paid before this date are not eligible for tax relief.

The JRCPTB does not provide receipts for the payment of enrolment fees. Trainees should receive confirmation of payment when they complete their enrolment online. This should be sufficient confirmation (receipt) that you have paid your training fees or you can use the PayPal confirmation authorisation codes as a means of evidence of your payment.

Please note that MRCP(UK) and JRCPTB are unable to provide advice about your personal tax affairs. If you believe you are eligible to claim, please seek advice from your own personal tax adviser.

Are there any qualifications that exempt me from taking the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination?

No, the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK ended the policy of exemption in 2010, therefore it is now a requirement to take the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination.

How do I appeal my exam result?

Appeals can only be considered on the grounds of procedural irregularity or extenuating circumstances, such as illness (where withdrawal before the examination took place was not reasonably possible). Appeals will not be considered on the grounds of a candidate feeling they have not received sufficient marks, not understanding examination regulations or disagreeing with examiner judgement.

For further information on appeals you can consult the MRCP(UK) Examination Appeals Regulations. There is an appeals section with guidance on the process  - find out more:


How do I withdraw from an examination?

Candidates must submit a withdrawal request form online (or a letter or email will be accepted) to their administrative office as soon as possible, providing their name, RCP code number and date of birth.

Candidates who withdraw before the advertised closing date will be given a 90% refund of the exam fee, with 10% of the fee deducted as an administration charge.

Candidates who withdraw after the closing date will only be entitled to a 90% refund in exceptional circumstances providing documentary evidence can be supplied to support their request; any outstanding fees must be resolved in order to sit future MRCP(UK) examinations.

For further information please refer to section 3.10 of the MRCP(UK) Regulations/section 2.17 of the SCE Regulations for full details on our withdrawal process.

How will I know if MRCP(UK) has received my application?

When your online application is complete you will be sent an email acknowledging this. If you do not receive an acknowledgement email please check your online account for details of any outstanding items. These may include payment of the examination fee or submission of an attested copy of your primary medical qualification. If your application is incomplete, you will receive an email explaining what you need to do to complete the application.

If you are unable to apply online we recommend that all paper application forms are sent by courier. Please check with your courier for details of the delivery date of your item. If you have received confirmation from the courier company/post office that your paper application has been received by the relevant administration office please allow 10 working days from the date of delivery for the application to be processed.

I have been informed that my application is incomplete – will I still have a place in the exam?

If an application is incomplete in any way, the candidate will be notified via email as to what action needs to be taken and by what deadline. If a response is not received by the given deadline the candidate risks having their application rejected.

I have completed my online application and entered my payment details but I have not received confirmation that my payment has gone through, what should I do?

Please contact the relevant administrative office by phone – you will be asked to provide your RCP code and should have your credit/debit card to hand. The administrator will then check the payment system and either update your record if the payment has gone through, or manually process payment over the telephone if it has not gone through.

Please note that in order to comply with UK law we cannot accept credit/debit card details sent in emails/via the contact form on this website, either in the body text or as attachments.  If you do send card details in this manner it is entirely at your own risk. Card details received in emails or as attachments will be immediately deleted and payments will not be actioned. Card payment can only be made online via the application system or by telephone.

I was granted an exemption prior to 2010, what does this mean for my 7-year eligibility period?

Any candidate who was granted an exemption from Part 1 prior to 2010 may continue to attempt Part 2 Written and PACES (in any order) until they complete the MRCP(UK) Diploma or their period of eligibility to sit the examinations expires. (A candidate’s 7-year eligibility period starts from the date the exempting qualification was awarded).

Is it possible to transfer to a different examination centre?

MRCP(UK) and SCE candidates who wish to transfer to a different examination centre must send their request in writing to their administrative office, outlining the reasons for the request. Please note that all such requests are subject to centre and space availability, and that we cannot guarantee that a transfer request will be granted. For the Part 1 and Part 2 written examinations the final deadline to submit a transfer request is the same as the application closing date for the relevant examination.

Candidates who wish to transfer their PACES centres may submit their request at any time before the date of the examination. Candidates should note however, that due to high demand available spaces in all PACES centres will be extremely limited.

Is there a reading list for the MRCP(UK) examinations?

There is no reading list available for MRCP(UK) examinations. Candidates should prepare for the examinations by gaining clinical experience in hospital posts involving the care of emergency medical patients, whether adults or children, and by studying up-to-date postgraduate clinical textbooks and current medical journals.

For more information on preparation for the examination, advice on registration, clinical attachment, availability and suitability of courses and careers guidance please contact NHS Careers.


Written exams

Can I submit original certificates with my application?

No. Certificates must be certified/attested copies rather than the original. MRCP(UK) cannot guarantee the return of original certificates to applicants.

How do I submit my Primary Medical Qualification?

First time applicants for the Part 1 examination are required to submit, by email via pmq@mrcpuk.org, an attested copy of their Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ). The original stamp on a copy of the PMQ is required. You should not submit original Primary Medical Qualifications. Photocopies of certificates and/or official translations (in English)* will be accepted only if they have been prepared and authenticated by one of the following:

  • the issuing University or Medical School
  • a British Consulate or British Council outside the UK
  • the British Embassy
  • the British High Commission
  • the candidate’s own Embassy
  • the High Commission in the UK
  • a member of the Gardai in the Irish Republic
  • Government Ministries of Health
  • a notary public
  • a Fellow or Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians or a Chair of the Examining Board of the awarding body (verification of the Fellow or Member will be sought to ensure that they are affiliated with the issuing University/Medical School and the authenticated copy should be submitted with the authenticator’s full name, their Royal Colleges of Physicians code and an accompanying official stamp or letter from that Fellow, Member or Chair)

* You must submit an authenticated translation of your primary medical qualification is not in English. A fresh ink stamp must be used to authenticate the copy or translation.

The Colleges reserve the right to request to see the original documents if there is any doubt as to the authenticity of the submitted copies of documents.

Full details regarding how to submit your qualification via email can be found in the Part 1 section of the website.

I have been asked to submit an affidavit. What is this?

If you wish to change your name with MRCP(UK) from that which appears on your Primary Medical Qualification we may ask you to submit an affidavit. This document is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made under an oath or affirmation. It is usually witnessed by a notary public or commissioner of oaths in order to verifiy its authenticity.

I require a Part 1 result verification letter. How can I get one?

We do not provide verification letters after passing Part 1 only. Candidates only receive verification letters once they have passed all three parts of the MRCP(UK) examination. Candidates can use their results letter as proof they have passed the Part 1 examination.

What are the entry requirements for the MRCP(UK) Part 1 Examination?

Candidates may apply to sit the MRCP(UK) Part 1 examination provided they graduated at least 12 months in advance of the examination date. All doctors must have had at least 12 months' experience in medical employment, i.e. have completed Foundation Year 1 or equivalent. This 12 months experience is calculated up to the date of the MRCP(UK) Part 1 examination and not the application closing date. The relevant experience may be gained from any hospital in the world.

Will the pass mark change?

The pass mark will remain at 454.  Part 2 written examinations results are calculated using a process called equating. Equating is a statistical procedure used to adjust scores to account for the varying level of difficulty of test forms or diets. MRCP(UK) uses equating to ensure that candidates receive comparable results for comparable performance in different diets of the examination. Any change in difficulty will be accounted for within the equating process.

The specialty certificate examinations have 100 questions of a similar level of complexity per 3 hour paper.


Can I choose my examination centre and date?

Candidates are currently unable to choose a PACES centre to sit their exam; they will be allocated an exam date and centre at random following acceptance of their application. MRCP(UK) Central Office will continue to develop the online application system with the aim of introducing a self-allocation system in the near future. Please check the PACES news section of the website regularly for updates.

Does the first come, first served rule still apply for international PACES centres?

No.  Candidates can apply at any time during an application period and be considered for a space (subject to normal eligibility requirements).  There is no advantage to applying early in an application period.

How are international PACES places allocated?

Some spaces in some centres are reserved for local trainees only.  We work with local organisers to identify those local trainees.  All remaining spaces will be allocated by the eligibility criteria. We will try to prioritise those who are near the end of their eligibility periods, however we cannot guarantee that every candidate will get a space on this basis.

How can I get further feedback from my examination?

To request scanned copies of your marksheets please email the relevant college through which you sat your examination.

How many international PACES centres can I apply for during an application period?

You can apply to sit PACES in up to four different centres. This can be indicated on the online application form and you will be considered for a space in one of the centres. Whilst this offers an opportunity to apply to more centres, it does not increase your chances of getting a space in each centre. You must also be prepared to travel to any of your chosen centres.

I am having problems completing my Form of Faith

It is advisable to print a copy of the form, complete it, scan and email it through to the relevant Form of Faith inbox.

I am trying to apply for PACES online but I can’t due to a technical issue, what should I do?

Please fully complete a paper application form and send a scanned copy to your chosen college of entry, stating that you have experienced some technical issues.  Your College of entry may email you to ask some specific questions about the issue you experienced, with a view to trying to resolve any recurring technical problems.

I have been placed on a waiting list for the diet I applied for, what happens now?

If you have been placed on a waiting list by the three colleges, this waiting list is only applicable for the respective diet you have applied for and will not roll over into future diets. When the subsequent application window of PACES opens, this will mean your space on that current waiting list will now become null as we were unable to accommodate you a seat in the diet you applied for. A new waiting list will form per diet, and applications will only be considered for that specific diet aligned with the centres running during that particular time period.

You must submit a new application in order to be considered for the future diet, and any fees you paid for a previous diet will be refunded by your college of entry as a result of not gaining a space. Please get in touch with your college of entry if you are experiencing any error messages in applying for the new diet.

We can not transfer applications to future diets, nor can we transfer funds to future diets, as these must be refunded.

I will not know the result of my current PACES attempt before I must apply for the next one. Can I still apply?

Yes. You may apply for a future diet of PACES in certain location (subject to normal eligibility requirements) if you have an outstanding result from a current attempt, or if you have not yet sat your current attempt. If you have applied and paid for a future exam and are successful in your current attempt, you will be automatically withdrawn and receive a 100% refund. If you are unsuccessful in your current exam but have paid for a future attempt, you will remain registered.

As only selected centres will be accepting provisional applications, we advise you to check the centre locations page for further information.

I would like to take PACES in a particular international centre, but I do not know whether I am eligible. What should I do?

Eligibility for all international centres is explained in the PACES exam centres section.


Is there a dress code for the PACES examination?

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 where such policies are introduced, candidates will be expected to comply with them.

What happens if my stage 2 eligibility period finishes in the middle of a PACES main assessment period?

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 if there are dates that I can't attend within the PACES assessment period?

Requests for specific dates can only be guaranteed when made 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.

What is the level of English that is expected for PACES? Will I be communicating to patients in English?

All PACES exams are conducted in English, and we recommend your English language ability should be equivalent to IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Level 7.5 in each module.

If patients do not speak English, there will be a surrogate giving history on a patient’s behalf, and all surrogates used will speak English.

When should I expect to make a payment?

We will advise you when to complete payment of the examination fee. Instructions will be given within two weeks of the application period closing date. 

If you are paying by card will be able to use the 'pay now option' which will become active in your MyMRCP(UK) online account once your application is confirmed as successful.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

Candidates will be notified on the outcome of their application within 2 weeks from the application period closing date. MRCP(UK) Central Office aims to have a response to all candidates before the UK application period opens.

Where can I find out about courses for the PACES Examination?

MRCP(UK) Central Office does not endorse courses for the PACES exam. There are however many organisations that organise courses, details of which can be found via the internet.

Why did I not get a place in an international centre? Will I receive priority treatment in the future?

We are aware that demand for PACES places is growing year on year and we are continually working to grow capacity internationally.

It is not possible to guarantee a place to sit the exam due to the differences in arrangements across local organisers. Candidates whose application has been rejected should be aware priority treatment or special consideration will not be given to any subsequent applications made. Candidates are not permitted to transfer applications or fees between diets. Candidates must submit a new application form and the correct fee for every diet to which they apply.

Specialty Certificate

At what level am I able to take the Specialty Certificate Examination?

There are no restrictions on taking the SCEs, however UK trainees would usually take it during their penultimate year of higher specialist training and international candidates are advised to take the SCE at a similar or later point in their training/career. You must hold a M.D or MBBS degree before attempting a SCE exam. You do not need to have sat any MRCP(UK) examinations prior to taking an SCE.

Please see your Specialty page for further information.

How do I obtain my postnominal for success in my SCE?

In order to be eligible for the postnominal, all the following conditions need to be met:

  • Hold MRCP(UK) or a CCT in a GMC approved specialty
  • Complete the SCE
  • Complete training through an approved medical training programme in the UK in the same specialty as the SCE

If any of these conditions are not met, applicants will not be eligible for the postnominal. Once recommended for specialist registration through the CCT or Combined Programme CESR(CP) route, applicants will be granted the right to use the postnominal of the SCE.

The use of your post nominal will not be confirmed by JRCPTB upon completion of training. For more information on the SCE please click here.

How is the fee set?

The process for setting examination fees starts in the previous July (eg. July 2012 for fees running from January to December 2013). All the economic and political factors are taken into consideration at the July MRCP(UK) Management Board. Over the past few years it has been agreed that increases should be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July which is published in August. There follows a period of consultation with trainees and our partners in the SCEs, the specialist societies. The fees are then formally set at the September MRCP(UK) Management Board and published in October.

For more information on the financial aspects of the SCEs please view the financial FAQs:

SCE financial FAQs

How often does each Specialty Certificate Examination take place?

Each Specialty Certificate Examination currently takes place once a year. Please see your Specialty page and the exams dates section for more details about when the SCE in your specialty will be held.

How soon after applying to sit the SCE in an international centre will I receive confirmation of my exam venue?

If you are sitting at centres outside the UK, Pearson VUE will source and book the seats on your behalf. You will only receive the details of the test centre once your booking has been confirmed, which should be at least three weeks before the exam. In the unlikely event that Pearson VUE are unable to deliver an SCE in the specific location requested, you will be offered an alternative location or a full refund of their examination fee.

I have missed the application period by a few days, can I still apply?

We don’t accept late applications for any reason once the registration period has closed. Please see section 2.6 of the Specialty Certificate Examination Regulations.

Pearson VUE cannot locate my file when I try to book my test centre, why is this?

Pearson VUE operates booking windows for all of the SCEs, and these typically open one month after the registration period for applications opens. If you attempt to book your test centre before the booking window opens then you will receive this message. Once the booking window opens candidates will receive an email detailing how to book their test centre.

Please note the above applies to UK candidates only. International candidates will have bookings made on their behalf and do not need to make any booking personally.

Pearson VUE doesn’t recognise my RCP Code. What should I do?

Pearson VUE recognises your RCP Code in a slightly different format than that which you are used to. If you have a 5-digit RCP Code, prefix it with RCP00. A candidate with the RCP Code 12345 would thus quote “RCP0012345” to Pearson VUE. If you have a 6-digit RCP Code, prefix it with RCP0. A candidate with the RCP Code 123456 would thus quote “RCP0123456” to Pearson VUE. If they still don’t recognise your RCP Code, contact us.

What happens if I am late for my examination?

All candidates must arrive for the examination 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. If you arrive late you will not be allowed into the venue and will be unable to sit the examination. This means that you will not be entitled to a refund of the examination fee.

What is the format of SCE exams?

SCEs are a computer-based exam that consists of two papers. You will sit Paper 1 in the morning and Paper 2 in the afternoon. Each paper will be 3 hours long and consist of 100 questions which will all be multiple choice, best of 5. There will be one-hour break between the papers.