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. 

As of September 2013 there are a number of changes to these assessments, and the College is running a one-year national pilot. Keep up to date with the latest information and the guidance and support being offered by the College. 

RCPCH Guidance for ARCPs (Annaul Review of Competence Progression) 2014  (PDF, 4 pages, 644 KB)

FAQs 2013 (Word, 3 pages, 77KB)

Guidance and support

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

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

Effective Feedback  (PDF, 3 pages, 110KB)

Reflection Guidance for Paediatricians (PDF, 8 pages,1.47MB) - 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 supervised learning events (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:


Examinations overview

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

Membership Examinations (MRCPCH)

The MRCPCH consists of four sections:

  1. MRCPCH Foundation of Practice (FOP)
  2. MRCPCH Theory and Science (TAS) - FOP and TAS written examinations are normally held on and can be sat on the same day; both papers are 2-1/2 hours
  3. MRCPCH Part 2 - Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) - one written examination split across two papers, which are sat on the day day and 2-1/2 hours
  4. MRCPCH Clinical - 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

MRCPCH pass rates can be viewed online.

Diploma in Child Health (DCH)

The 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


Examination candiates can claim 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.

For MRCPCH and DCH examinations fees from the first exam diet of 2010 to date, see exam timetable (PDF, 66KB)

Training fees (including 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.