The MRCPCH examination is for the diploma of Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and is usually taken during the period of basic specialist training, which normally lasts two to three years.
For all UK and overseas trainees applying for our examinations please read the Newcomer's Guide 2012.
From 2013 the MRCPCH Examinations will be changing, as a result of a comprehensive review. Along with the launch of new syllabi, the written examination papers will be known as Foundation of Practice, Theory and Science and Applied Knowledge in Practice; these have formerly been the Part 1a, Part 1b and Part 2 respectively. In addition, trainees will be able to take the written papers in their order of preference and simultaneously if they wish, but the MRCPCH Clinical Examination will still only be able to be taken once all written elements have been successfully passed.
Before applying for any written examination please read and download MRCPCH Written Examination Changes 2013 here and read our ‘Important Advanced warning of change to Regulations in 2014’
The MRCPCH consists of four sections:
- MRCPCH Foundation of Practice
- MRCPCH Theory and Science
- MRCPCH Applied Knowledge in Practice
- MRCPCH Clinical
The MRCPCH is the normal entry requirement for Core Specialist Training in paediatrics. Each examination is taken in sequence, with success in one leading to a timed registration period of entry into the next examination. Successfully completing the MRCPCH Clinical allows for entry to membership of the College. There are usually three sittings of each examination per year.
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
- trainees in specialties allied to paediatrics.
The DCH clinical examination is held twice a year.
Further information for UK trainees
All paediatric specialty trainees who are in GMC-approved training posts are required to be registered with the RCPCH as set out in the Gold Guide (A Reference Guide for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK). This is because the College has a duty to review the progress of trainees and support where required, and also to ensure that eligible trainees can be recommended to the GMC for the consideration of award of CCT or CESR at the end of their specialty training.
Once you have registered with the College, trainees will be given access to ePortfolio and ASSET (Online Assessments), essential training tools:
General examination information
We are currently dealing with approximately 7,000 attempts per year for the MRCPCH Part 1 Examinations, and approximately 2,100 candidates attempt the MRCPCH Part 2. There are over 1,500 candidates for the MRCPCH Clinical and approximately 500 candidates for the DCH.
College examinations are taken overseas as well as in the United Kingdom. A number of overseas countries ally their standards to those of the UK 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 has been substantially remodelled to more 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 Education and Training Division rigorously quality assures all of its processes and actively engages in research and ongoing development work to ensure the pre-eminence of the MRCPCH.
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