Assessment and examinations

The College helps to support the delivery of workplace based assessments and offers two types of examinations. Information about assessment support and examinations can be found in this section of the website.

On this page:


Assessment overview

The College help to support the delivery of workplace based assessments. From September 2013 there will be a number of changes to these assessments and the College will be running a one-year national pilot. Keep up to date with the latest information and the guidance and support being offered by the College. 

Briefing Note 1  (Word, 2 pages, 85KB)

Briefing Note 2 (Word, 2 pages, 87KB)

Briefing Note 3 (Word, 2 pages, 92KB)

Briefing Note 4  (PDF, 2 pages, 60KB)

RCPCH Guidance for ARCPs 2014  (PDF, 4 pages, 644 KB)

FAQ's 2013 (Word, 3 pages, 77KB)

Guidance and support

Assessment Pilot Strategy(PDF, 34 pages, 343KB)

Table of Assessments(PDF, 1 page, 117KB)  

Timeline document

Reflection Guidance for Paediatricians (PDF, 8 pages,1.47MB) This document is initially aimed at consultant paediatricans involved in Continuing Professional Development, but is still very helpful to trainees looking to understand the value of reflective practice.

Who may conduct Workplace Based Assessments?

In encouraging a more flexible use of workplace based assessments, we are keen not to limit assessors to consultants. However, consultants have an important role in supervision and assessment and we expect them to be involved in carrying out a large proportion of SLEs and AoPS.  

SLEs - Consultants are often the most appropriate people to do these assessments, and it is expected that at least 12 /year (the bare minimum number of SLEs) will be conducted by consultants. However, we would encourage trainees to record any event from which learning points arise and feedback may be given by any suitable colleague.

Find out more on each assessment by visiting the relevant page:

CbD (this includes Safeguarding CbD)






MRCPCH and DCH Examinations overview

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

MRCPCH pass rates can be viewed online.

The examinations currently consist of the Foundation of Practise (FOP), Theory and Science (TAS)and Applied Knowledge in Practise (AKP) written papers and the Clinical Examination. The FOP and TAS written examinations are normally held on and can be sat on the same day. Both papers are two and a half hours in length. The AKP written examination is one examination split across two papers. Both papers are sat on the same day and both are two and a half hours in length. The final element of the MRCPCH examinations is the MRCPCH Clinical Examination. The MRCPCH Clinical Examination is a practical examination that is split across 10 clinical stations. Ordinary Membership of the College is achieved by successfully completing all examination elements of the MRCPCH. Trainees are expected to complete the Membership Examinations before the end of ST3 and before beginning Level 2 training.

Presently the natural progression for trainees through the Membership Examinations is that all written exam components must be passed before the MRCPCH Clinical can be sat. Written papers can, however, be sat in any order. There are three sittings of each type of membership examination a year.

Before applying for any written examination please read and download MRCPCH Written Examination Changes 2013.

The MRCPCH consists of four sections:

  1. MRCPCH Foundation of Practice
  2. MRCPCH Theory and Science
  3. MRCPCH Part 2 - Applied Knowledge in Practice
  4.  MRCPCH Clinical

The Diploma in Child Health (DCH) is designed to give recognition of competence in the care of children to General Practitioner vocational trainees, Staff Grades in paediatrics and other specialists allied to paediatrics. 

The DCH Examination consists of the MRCPCH Foundation of Practise (FOP) written examination and a specially designed DCH Clinical Examination. The FOP written examination must be passed before candidates can sit the DCH Clinical Examination.  

Full details on the examinations.


Tax relief for trainees


The Finance team at RCPCH provides the following information (PDF, 13.8KB) and template letter to trainees (PDF, 32KB) with regards to claiming tax relief on their examination fees.

The Examinations Team are attempting to process requested exam receipts as quickly as possible. There has been a significant number of requests and we are currently dealing with a backlog. We ask that if you are able to use other forms of evidence of payment for any examinations that you have taken since 2010 that you consider this option when submitting any claims. Due to the number of requests it could take as long as one month from request of receipt to processing and delivery.

MRCPCH and DCH examinations fees from the first exam diet of 2010 to date are listed here

Exam timetable(PDF, 66KB)

Training Fees (inc START)

Trainees should also note the following with regards to claiming tax relief on training fees including START:
'S343(1) ITEPA [Income Tax (Earnings & Pensions) Act 2003] allows for the subscription fee paid to RCPCH by trainees to be deductible for the purposes of Income Tax. HMRC previously took the view that while the part of the membership fee relating to “Subscription” was covered by this concession the part relating to the START Assessment was not. The regulations have now been amended [ITEP Order 2013] to allow that the whole fee, including the proportion relating to START assessment as an allowable deduction from tax.' Trainees should note that only training fees paid on or after 10/05/2013 qualify for relief.

The College cannot advise you about your personal tax affairs, nor can we provide you with advice or assistance in making claims for tax relief on fees or subscriptions which you have paid, nor are we able to enter into any communication on an individual basis with you on this subject.