Examinations

The College offers two types of examinations: the Membership Examination (MRCPCH) and the Diploma in Child Health (DCH).

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MRCPCH examination 

Membership of the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health is achieved by passing a series of examinations. MRCPCH examinations are usually taken during the period of basic specialist training, which normally lasts two to three years, and is the normal entry requirement for Core Specialist Training in paediatrics.  

The MRCPCH consists of three theory examinations and one clinical examination:

  1. Foundation of Practice (FOP) - theory
  2. Theory and Science (TAS) - theory
  3. Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) - theory
  4. MRCPCH Clinical

Each of the three theory examinations can be taken in any order and are non sequential. There are usually three sittings of each examination per year. All three theory examinations must be passed before candidates can sit the MRCPCH Clinical examination. 

In general, we expect all trainees entering ST3 to have passed at least two of the three theory exams.  Trainees should have completed and passed all parts of the examination including the Clinical Examination before entering ST4, level 2 training as a paediatric registrar

We recommend you read our introduction to the role and importance of the MRCPCH - MRCPCH. Assessment of Essential Paediatric Skills. A guide for Newcomers (PDF, 17 Pages, 3147 KB).

More about theory examinations

More about MRCPCH Clinical examination

Diploma in Child Health (DCH) examination

The DCH is designed to give recognition of competence in the care of children to General Practitioner vocational trainees, staff grades in paediatrics and trainees in specialties allied to paediatrics.

The DCH Examination consists of two parts:

  • Foundation of Practice (FOP) - theory
  • DCH Clinical

The FOP examination must be passed before candidates can sit the DCH Clinical examination. 

More about DCH Clinical examination

2015 calendar

2015 examinations calendar (PDF, 1 page, 212 KB) - lists all MRCPCH and DCH theory examinations (UK and overseas) and clinical examinations (UK only) scheduled in 2015

More about dates and fees for MRCPCH Clinical examinations

Policies and regulations

The College examinations operate within policies and regulations to which examination candidates, examiners and invigilators must adhere.

More about policies and regulations

Pass rates

We publish the overall pass rates for all examinations, broken down by UK and overseas.

More about pass rates

Quality and standards

RCPCH examinations are held in the UK, Republic of Ireland and many countries internationally. A number of countries ally their standards to those of the UK and Republic of Ireland by using the MRCPCH as part of their own paediatric training programme.

The College is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards for its examinations. The MRCPCH Clinical is modelled to accurately assess the competencies of paediatric trainees and to conform to the highest standards of assessment and medical education.

In order to maintain this position, the College rigorously quality assures all of its processes and actively engages in research and ongoing development work to ensure the pre-eminence of the MRCPCH.

The Examinations team deal with about 7,000 attempts per year for MRCPCH Foundation of Practice and MRCPCH Theory and Science; about 2,100 candidates attempt the MRCPCH Applied Knowledge in Practice. There are over 1,500 candidates for MRCPCH Clinical and about 500 candidates for the DCH.

More about quality and standards

Registration for training (UK and Republic of Ireland trainees)

All paediatric specialty trainees who are in General Medical Council (GMC) approved training posts are required to be registered for training with the RCPCH, as set out in A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK and Republic of Ireland, or the 'Gold Guide'.

The RCPCH has a duty to review the progress of trainees and support where required, and to ensure that eligible trainees can be recommended to the GMC for the consideration of award of Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or Certifiate of Eligibility to the Specialist Register (CESR) at the end of their specialty training.

Registered trainees have access to RCPCH assessment toolseducational supervision and member services.

Register for training

Contact

For more information, please contact the Examinations team on examinations.enquiries@rcpch.ac.uk