PACES weekly update: 9 November

9 Nov 2020

This has been a challenging week with the news that two of our centres have been forced to cancel at short notice. Whilst many of our centres have been able to run, local restrictions out with our control, have unfortunately been imposed on some of our centres preventing them from running the exam. We recognise the distress this causes candidates who have spent many months preparing physically and mentally for their PACES exams.

At MRCP(UK) we appreciate that trainees have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes having their rotations cancelled to the detriment of their training and to now find that their assessments have also been cancelled is a double blow.

Please be assured that we recognise the frustration and anxiety caused by cancellations. Since May, a group of 30 people including senior examiners, Policy teams and trainee reps have been meeting weekly to reinstate PACES exams in a safe and reliable format and to review the running of the exam once restarted. We will continue to do everything in our power to try and ensure places become available as soon as possible.

The Presidents of the 3 Royal Colleges are committed in their support of candidates and high-level representations have been made to the centres which have cancelled in an effort to ensure that they will run at some stage in the future. In addition we are going back to those centres which successfully hosted exams in the last 2 months to ask if they could take on extra examining activity to support UK trainees requiring MRCP(UK).

The three colleges are planning the recruitment of centres for 2021 and we will be looking at the prioritisation criteria for applications which are scheduled to open later this month. Any candidate who has had their exam cancelled at short notice will fall into our top priority group for a place in early 2021.

We apologise for the inconvenience, the stress and anxiety caused by short notice cancellations and will continue to exhaust all possibilities of running as many exam places as possible.

There will be a PACES Twitter Q&A session on Tuesday 10 November 2020 at 3pm. Click here to follow us.

We are always keen to receive your feedback. If you have specific queries relating to your exam day, please contact the exams office at your College of entry here.