PACES Fast Track FAQs

MRCP(UK) PACES Fast Track FAQs - October 2016

What is PACES Fast Track?

During the January to March 2017 PACES assessment period, MRCP(UK) is running the PACES Fast Track scheme  which offers trainees applying for ST3 posts an additional attempt at the PACES examination. This is one of the initiatives MRCP(UK) has taken to aid trainees’ career progression and support run-through training. This will allow some candidates who are unsuccessful in their initial PACES attempt in January to March to sit PACES a second time within the same assessment period.

Candidates who would like this opportunity should apply for PACES in the usual way and also submit a separate application for PACES Fast Track. There will be limited places and it is possible that not all Fast Track applicants can be accommodated.

The PACES Fast Track 2017 scheme is only available to candidates applying for an ST3 post in Spring 2017.

ELIGIBILITY

Who can apply for Fast Track?

Fast Track applications will only be accepted from candidates who meet the following criteria:

A) Candidates who are currently working in a CT2 post in the UK.

B) Candidates not in a CT2 post who can provide confirmation (for example from their Educational Supervisor) that they are actively planning and in a position to apply for an ST3 training post in the UK in Spring 2017.

ALL candidates must have passed or applied for the MRCP(UK) Part 2 Written Examination at the time you sit your first attempt of PACES in the January to March assessment period.

Candidates must ALSO submit a separate application for PACES in the January to March assessment period as outlined on the PACES application page.

Candidates who are on their sixth attempt at PACES in the January to March 2017 assessment period will not be eligible to take up a fast track place. (see Limit on Attempts. Can I apply?)

Candidates who hold FY1/FY2/CT1 posts are not eligible to apply for Fast Track. (see I am in FY1/FY2/CT1 can I apply?)

I am not currently in a CT2 post. Can I apply for Fast Track?

Yes, if you are actively planning and in a position to apply for an ST3 training post in the UK in Spring 2017. You will be asked to give details of this in your Fast Track application, and will also be required to provide confirmation (e.g. from your Educational Supervisor) that you are actively planning and in a position to apply for an ST3 training post in the UK in Spring 2017.

This confirmation must be sent by post or email to the PACES Fast Track office within the Fast Track application period. There is no template for the confirmation. Please note that Fast Track applications will be considered incomplete until the supporting information has been received. The postal and email addresses for Fast Track will be given on the website and application form.

I have not passed the Part 2 Written Examination. Can I apply for Fast Track?

Yes – it is not necessary to have passed or applied for Part 2 Written at the time of applying for Fast Track. However, you must have passed or applied for the Part 2 Written exam at the time you sit your first attempt of PACES in the January to March assessment period. If you have not passed or applied for Part 2 Written by this point you will no longer be eligible for a Fast Track place. Applications open on Monday 2nd January 2017 for the Part 2 Written exam taking place in March 2017.

I don’t have my results for my last PACES attempt and have submitted a provisional PACES application for the January to March assessment period. Can I apply for Fast Track?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility requirements outlined above. Please indicate on your Fast Track application that you are making a provisional application for the January to March assessment period.

I am in FY1/FY2/CT1. Can I apply?

No. Trainees in FY1, FY2 or CT1 are not eligible for entry into ST3 and as a result will not be eligible for a Fast Track place.

Limit on Attempts.  Can I apply?

If you are on your sixth attempt at PACES in the January to March assessment period you will not be eligible to take up a Fast Track place as there will be insufficient time for you to complete your additional training between the two PACES attempts, please see limit on attempts.

If you are on your fifth attempt at PACES in the January to March assessment period and your Fast Track place will be your sixth attempt, then you will be eligible to apply for a Fast Track place.

APPLICATIONS

How do I apply for Fast Track?

Fast Track applications must be made online via the SurveyMonkey  link.  The link address will be publicised on the Fast Track page of the MRCP(UK) website closer to the time. The link will go live at 2pm on Monday 14 November and close at 2pm on Monday 21 November.

Please note that the Fast Track application period is shorter than the main PACES application period.

Do I need to submit an application for the PACES January to April assessment period?

Yes, you must submit a separate online application for PACES in the normal way.  A request for a Fast Track place will only be accepted from those candidates who have also submitted a PACES application for the January to March assessment period as outlined on the PACES application page.   Fast Track applications will be considered incomplete until a separate PACES application has been made.

 All communication regarding your PACES application should be done through your College of Entry, as the Fast Track office deals only with Fast Track applications.

What information will I be required to submit when I apply for Fast Track?

The information required for the PACES Fast Track application will be similar to a PACES application but you may be required to provide additional confirmation of eligibility in relation to ST3. No payment details will be requested at this time; the full exam fee (£657) will be payable when the Fast Track place is activated (see How do I activate my Fast Track place?)

When can I apply for PACES Fast Track?

Fast Track applications should be made online between 2pm on Monday 14 November  and close  at 2pm on Monday 21 November.  The link to the application form will appear on the Fast Track page of the MRCP(UK) website.

Please note that the Fast Track application period is shorter than the main PACES application period. We regret that late applications cannot be accepted.

Applications will be considered incomplete until a separate PACES application has been made and any supporting information (for candidates in category B) has been received.

How do I know my application has been received?

Applicants will see an automatic confirmation after they have submitted their electronic application. They will also receive an acknowledgement email from the PACES Fast Track office within three working days.

Will all Fast Track applicants receive a Fast Track place?

There will be limited Fast Track places and it is possible that not all applicants can be accommodated. In the event that the number of applications for Fast Track exceeds the number of places available, candidates will be prioritised as follows:

1) Candidates in category A above (working in a CT2 post in the UK).

2) Candidates in category B above, who have had no more than two previous attempts at PACES (including their first attempt in the January to April PACES assessment period).*

3) Other candidates in category B who have had more than two previous attempts at PACES (including their first attempt in the January to April PACES assessment period).*

*This is based on evidence that candidates are more likely to pass their Fast Track attempt if they have had only one or two previous PACES attempts.

Eligible applicants will be placed in one of two groups – those who will receive a provisional offer of a Fast Track place should they need one; and those placed on a waiting list. Some places may be available to those on the waiting list depending on uptake from the first group.

When will I hear if I have a Fast Track place?

All Fast Track applicants will be notified by email by mid-December 2016 as to whether they have been awarded a provisional place, have been placed on the waiting list or have been unsuccessful. Final allocation of Fast Track places (i.e. centre and date) will be made once places are confirmed in 2017.

WHEN AND WHERE

When will the Fast Track exams take place?

The Fast Track places will be available during the second half of the January to March assessment period. Candidates applying for a Fast Track place should avoid requesting a late date for their initial PACES attempt. PLEASE DO NOT request an early date in your PACES application unless you have a specific reason which is unrelated to Fast Track. We will ensure that all candidates with a provisional Fast Track place are given an early PACES attempt. Please refer to PACES FAQ – In each period of the PACES Examination - what if there are dates that I can't do?

Where will the Fast Track exams take place?

As with PACES, several centres across the UK will be used for Fast Track places. You must be prepared to travel anywhere in the UK.

How soon after my first attempt will the Fast Track places be allocated?

Fast Track places will be allocated in the second half of the January to March assessment period. Once a candidate has activated their Fast Track place they will be sent an admission email containing information on their Fast Track examination venue, date and time. We will endeavour to provide this information at least two to three weeks before the Fast Track exam date.

When do I pay for a Fast Track place?

The exam fee for Fast Track is the same as for PACES - £657.  No payment details will be requested at time of application. Candidates will be asked to supply credit/debit card details by telephone when activating their Fast Track place in 2017. Payment will not be processed until a Fast Track place has been allocated.

TAKING UP A FAST TRACK PLACE

How do I activate my Fast Track place?

It is the responsibility of each candidate to confirm that they would like to activate a provisional Fast Track place. Candidates can activate their Fast Track place following receipt of their results of their initial PACES exam. Full instructions will be provided in the Fast Track information email that will be sent out to all relevant candidates in December. These details will also be available on the Fast Track page of the MRCP(UK) website.

I was recommended for counselling in my first PACES attempt in the January to April assessment period. Can I still take up my Fast Track place?

No. If your performance in your first attempt is such that MRCP(UK) feels that you require counselling before resitting then you will not be able to take up a Fast Track place.

I passed PACES but was told it was likely I could have a Fast Track place. Can I pass the place on to my friend?

No – places are non-transferrable.

I was absent from my first PACES attempt in the January to March assessment period. Can I still take up my Fast Track place?

No. Any candidate who withdraws or is absent from their first PACES exam in the January to March assessment period will no longer be eligible for Fast Track.

If I am on the waiting list, how likely am I to get a Fast Track place?

Fast Track numbers are limited and it is possible that demand will outstrip places. Some places may become available to some candidates on the waiting list. More information will be provided to the relevant applicants in December. Please note that if your initial PACES attempt is towards the end of the January to March assessment period it is very unlikely you would be offered a Fast Track place as your results will not be released in time.

I did not apply for Fast Track but I am an eligible candidate. Can I make a late application?

In the unlikely event of extra places becoming available the application window may re-open for eligible candidates for a very short time in February.  This will be communicated via the MRCP(UK) website.  Please note that if your initial PACES attempt is towards the end of the January to March assessment period it is very unlikely you would be offered a Fast Track place as your results will not be released in time.

Withdrawal from Fast Track

If you are allocated a Fast Track place and activate this place and make payment and then subsequently withdraw from Fast Track, please note that the usual withdrawal and refund regulations will apply and the date of activation will be considered the closing date.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS

All enquiries regarding Fast Track should ONLY be made to the PACES Fast Track office on 0131 247 3633/3663 or by email to PACESFastTrack@rcpe.ac.uk. Please do NOT contact the PACES departments at the Colleges as the PACES Fast Track office will be dealing with ALL enquiries regarding Fast Track.