Specialty Certificate Examinations

Our globally recognised Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs) offer physicians a postgraduate qualification which demonstrates to prospective employers achievement of a standard required of UK specialist trainees.

If you would like more information on when and how to apply as well as tips on revision and preparation, register your details here.

The purpose of the Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs) is to:

  • ensure that certified specialists have sufficient knowledge of their specialty to practice safely and competently as consultants
  • complement workplace-based assessments
  • provide a rigorous national assessment to establish public confidence
  • offer a challenge similar to sub-specialty certification examination in North America

For information on how you can further your career with the SCEs please see:

Specialty Certificate Examinations - Qualifications to broaden your horizons

Place of Specialty Certificate Examinations in training

A Specialty Certificate Examination is now a compulsory component of assessment for Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) for all UK trainees whose specialist training began in or after August 2007 and is in one of the following specialties:

  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Oncology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Rheumatology

There are no eligibility requirements for international candidates.

For UK trainees who started CCT training to the new AIM curriculum on or after 1 August 2009, the SCE in Acute Medicine will be the mandatory knowledge-based assessment.

The SCEs meet requirements for knowledge-based assessments that are a part of the curricula submitted to the General Medical Council (GMC) by the Specialist Advisory Committees (SACs). UK trainees who have completed MRCP(UK) would normally take the SCE during higher specialist training, and should have made at least one attempt by the time of their penultimate year assessment. The SCE is a prerequisite for attainment of the CCT.

SCE pass mark review

MRCP(UK) has gained permission from the General Medical Council (GMC) to change the way the pass mark is calculated for the Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs).

Until now, the pass mark has been decided with reference to the performance of all candidates worldwide. However, recent changes to the eligibility requirements have reduced the pass mark and increased the pass rate (particularly for UK trainees) in a number of specialties, enabling candidates with less knowledge to pass. If this trend had been allowed to continue, there was a danger that the SCEs could have become progressively easier to pass, and candidates could feasibly gain specialist registration without sufficient knowledge for safe independent practice. To prevent this from happening, the pass mark for each SCE will in future take account of the performance of UK trainees only.

This change took effect for all SCEs in 2014.

Contact us

For further information regarding the SCEs please contact us.