The MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills - PACES) is designed to test the clinical knowledge and skills of trainee doctors who hope to enter higher specialist training (ST3). The exam sets rigorous standards to ensure that trainees are competent across a range of skills and ready to provide a high standard of care to patients. 

Managing demand for spaces in the MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES)

MRCP(UK) is working hard to increase the number of spaces in the PACES examination, however, it is not always possible to meet demand and offer places to all candidates who apply. MRCP(UK) recognises that this can be frustrating for candidates who do not secure a place.

In order to both protect the quality of PACES delivery and set realistic expectations for international candidates MRCP(UK) has decided to publish information about what it is doing to manage the demand for places from candidates in the UK and internationally.

International places
Since 2012 MRCP(UK) has increased the number of international places for PACES by 23%, through providing more examination days in existing centres, and by opening new centres in India, Myanmar, Sudan, Brunei and Qatar. In addition, further expansion is planned throughout 2015/16, which includes a strategy to target areas of highest demand. MRCP(UK) is committed to continuing to increase opportunities for international candidates over the next few years.

Number of places in the UK
MRCP(UK) has agreed to publish the number of places to be provided in the UK. In 2014 MRCP(UK) will undertake to provide no less than 3330 examination places in the UK.  These places will be run all over the UK, throughout the year. MRCP(UK) will continue to strive to deliver more than the published number of places.

Prioritisation criteria for candidates sitting the examination in the UK
In the event of the number of candidates applying for the exam exceeding the places available MRCP(UK) has agreed that candidates in UK training will be prioritised. This may mean that a small number of candidates who are not in UK training will not be allocated a space. Every effort will be made to provide as many places as possible. If the number of applicants in UK training exceeds the number of places available, then those who expect to apply for ST3 posts within the next year will be prioritised.