The College offers two types of examinations - the Membership Examination (MRCPCH) and the Diploma in Child Health (DCH) - hosted in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and many countries internationally. Some countries use the MRCPCH as part of their paediatric training programmes.
Keep up to date with important updates to examinations.
On this page:
- About MRCPCH examination
- About DCH examination
- Dates and fees - 2015
- Policies and regulations
- Pass rates
- Quality and standards
- Registration for training (UK and ROI trainees)
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 are the normal entry requirement for Core Specialist Training in paediatrics.
The MRCPCH comprises:
- Foundation of Practice (FOP) theory
- Theory and Science (TAS) theory
- Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) theory
- 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 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. We expect trainees entering ST4 (level 2) to have completed and passed all parts of the MRCPCH including the clinical examination.
Each year, about 7,000 candidates attempt the FOP and TAS exams, about 2,100 the AKP, and more than 1,500 the MRCPCH clinical.
We recommend you read our introduction to the role and importance of the MRCPCH -
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 comprises two parts:
- Foundation of Practice (FOP) - theory
- DCH Clinical
The FOP must be passed before candidates can sit the DCH clinical exam.
About 500 candidates do the DCH clinical exam each year.
We operate within policies and regulations, applicable to examination candidates, examiners and invigilators.
We publish the overall pass rates for all examinations, broken down by UK and overseas.
The College is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards for its examinations. The MRCPCH is modelled to accurately assess the competencies of paediatric trainees and to conform to the highest standards of assessment and medical education.
To ensure the pre-eminence of the MRCPCH, the College rigorously quality assures all of its processes and actively engages in research and ongoing development work.
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 College has a duty to review the progress of trainees and provide support where required, and to ensure that eligible trainees can be recommended to the GMC for the consideration of Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or Certifiate of Eligibility to the Specialist Register (CESR) at the end of their specialty training.