Theory exam - frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the RCPCH theory examinations - the Foundation of Practice, Theory and Science, and Applied Knowledge in Practice.

Eligibility

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Applying for the exam

 
 

Sitting the exam

Withdrawals

Results

Other

Eligibility

Q: What are the theory examinations be known as?

A:

  • MRCPCH Foundation of Practice (used to be MRCPCH Part 1a)
  • MRCPCH Theory and Science (used to be MRCPCH Part 1b) 
  • MRCPCH Applied Knowledge in Practice (used to be MRCPCH Part 2) 

Q: Other than the change in names for theory exams are there any other differences?

A: No, the structure and content of the examinations have not changed. 

Q: What will this mean to my previous results/ exam sittings?

A: Any exams previously sat will be converted into the new format.

Q: What are the entrance requirements for theory examinations?

A: Candidates must have a primary medical degree in order to apply for the MRCPCH Foundation of Practice and MRCPCH Theory and Science of Practice exams.

As of May 2013 candidates can apply for the theory exams in any order as long as they have a primary medical degree.

Applying for the exam

Q: How do I register?

A: Please read Theory Examinations Online Application Guidenote for Candidates 

It is important to highlight that the process of registration involves generating an RCPCH online account. Exam candidates will be able to login to this account and update their personal details at any time once their account is generated. Please provide as much detail as possible when submitting your information and please take time to complete an equal opportunities form. Further details of this process can be found here.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Please read Theory Examinations Online Application FAQ

Q: What proof of qualification do I submit when applying in UK & the Republic of Ireland, Malta and India? 

A: Candidates applying to sit an exam with the College for the first time, who are not fully GMC registered, will need to scan and upload either the original or an attested copy of their Primary Medical Degree qualification when registering to apply for an examination.

Candidates who have previously applied for a theory examination with the College can proceed directly to the online application form. Candidates who have passed the examination for membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland pre-January 2010, Paediatric Option must scan their original Irish pass letter and original primary medical qualification.

Q: What proof of qualification do I need to submit when applying for the exam in an overseas centre?

A: Candidates applying to sit an exam with the College for the first time, who are not fully GMC registered, will need to send an attested copy of their primary medical certificate.  An copy can be attested by the issuing university or notary/solicitor.

Candidates who have previously applied for a theory examination with the College need only submit an application. Candidates who have passed the examination for membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland pre-January 2010, Paediatric Option must send their original Irish pass letter and original primary medical qualification.

Q: How can I request for additional requirements / reasonable adjustments?

A: The additional requirements section on the online application form is only to be completed when candidates request adjustments to their examinations due to the following:

Medical conditions

Any medical conditions/impairments that may require disabled access facilities, extra time allowance, extra items/materials to be arranged/confirmed with the test centre prior to the exam date.

It will be helpful if candidates can provide information/evidence supporting whether the condition is short or long term in order that arrangements can be made for future exams with the RCPCH.

Some medical conditions may not necessarily require adjustments, e.g pregnancy. However, it is still important that we are made aware in case of an emergency.

Learning difficulties

The Examinations Team request that suitable evidence is provided in the form of a report from an approved assessor. This assessment needs to have been undertaken, and provided, in English and be obtained after the age of 16. The submitted document will ideally be the most recent assessment/report available. All relevant reports/other key additional evidence must be provided before we can grant adjustments for your examination.

You may have previously submitted supporting documents with regards to your reasonable adjustment request. However, we may ask, based on specific requests for adjustment, that a more current report is submitted in order that we can provide you with the most suitable adjustment.

How to request

Please ensure that your report/evidence:

  • includes recommendations for examination
  • includes issuer’s contact details
  • is the most current record/report available.

*IMPORTANT* If content does not specifically relate to exam adjustment requests please leave Additional Requirements section of the online application form empty  

We ask that you submit an assessment report/other relevant evidence by post to the following address:

Examinations Administrator
<Exam Name>
RCPCH
5-11 Theobalds Road
LONDON WC1X 8SH

Scanned reports can also be emailed to examination.enquiries@rcpch.ac.uk. Please ensure to clearly identify the name and date of the examination within the email subject header before sending. 

Detailed requests for adjustment to examinations along with the relevant report/assessment evidence must be submitted to the Examinations Team no later than 7 weeks prior to the examination date applied for. Although all efforts will be made to accomodate requests supported by evidence late submission may reduce the likelihood of reasonable adjustment being granted for the exam.

Once your report is received the recommendations will be reviewed. Should it be possible to provide the requested adjustment/s arrangements will be made and the relevant exam centre will be informed.

Usually admission documents for candidates requiring reasonable adjustments are sent later than the standard date, this is due to the fact that more time may be required to process in some cases.

Q: Is there a minimum standard of English language proficiency required to pass the exam and if so what is it?

A: It is expected that applicants would be required to hold the minimum standards of English Language as outlined by the General Medical Council to pass this exam. Please see the GMC website for further details.

Q: What are the exempting qualifications?

A: To be exempt from MRCPCH Foundation of Practice and/or MRCPCH Theory and Science of Practice you will need to have a valid MRCPI Part 1 qualification from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland; Paediatric option only. 

If you have sat and passed the Diploma in Child Health from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow (theory component) you will qualify for exemption from the MRCPCH Foundation of Practice exam only.

For both of these qualifications they must have been obtained before 1 January 2010. Candidates who receive their qualification after this date will not be exempt. Evidence of passing these exams will need to be provided and submitted to the Examinations Team, Theory Exam Section before exemption can be granted.

Q: What are the current theory examination dates and fees for the UK and Overseas?

A: For all theory examination dates and fees in the UK and Overseas please see Examination dates, fees and results information

Q: How can I pay?

A: If you are applying to sit in a UK & Rep of Ireland, India or Malta centre you must pay by credit or debit card via the online applications system. We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard. We accept the following debit cards: Switch. Solo and Visa Electron. We do not accept: Amex or Laser.

Please note should you pay via credit card it is not possible to later change this to a debit card payment. Any candidate wishing to withdraw and reapply using a different payment method will not be issued a refund.

If you are applying to sit the exam in any other overseas centres (excluding India and Malta) you may pay by bankers draft.

Q: Where can I can I find the theory exams syllabi and specimen papers / sample papers?

A: For information of the examination structure, syllabi and specimen papers for all theory examinations please see Exam structure, syllabi and specimen papers.

Q: What if I have changed my name?

A: Candidates who have changed their name by marriage, deed poll or citizenship of another country must submit original documentary proof if they wish to apply under their new name. This also applies to candidates whose degree certificate contains initials or abbreviations, e.g. Dr Mohd Hassan or Dr M Mahmoud Hassan.

Q: Can I change centres?

A: No, candidates can no longer change centres once their application has been submitted.

Q: What if I have changed my address?

A: If you have an online RCPCH account, you are able to change your own address and contact details.

  • Sign in
  • Select Account at the top of the screen
  • Select Update My Details - you can change your Work details or Home address

 

If you do not have an online account, please fax or write to the Examinations Team with the details below at the earliest. Please include your full name, your six-digit RCPCH code number, which exam you are sitting, your new address and sign the letter or fax.

Address:
Royal College Paediatrics and Child Health
Candidate Liaison Section - Examinations Team
5-11 Theobalds Road
London
WC1X 8SH

Fax: 0044 (0)20 7092 6193

Q: Who should I email regarding any questions I have about online applications?

A: Please email exams.applications@rcpch.ac.uk

*Please note that when submitting an enquiry to the Examinations Team please state the nature of the enquiry in the subject field and ensure that you add your RCPCH number in your email.

*Please note that if you re-send the same enquiry multiple times this will not only result in a delay in your response but will also cause further delay to the responses of all other candidates. The RCPCH Exams Team receives hundreds of enquiries each week. If your response is not dealt with within 5 working days please contact the Exams Team directly by phone.

Sitting the exam

Q: When will the admission documents/hall tickets be sent out?

A: Please note that all theory examination admission documents are now only sent electronically to candidates registered default email address. They will be in the form of an email attachment that candidates will need to print and keep in a secure place. 

Please ensure that you check your inbox and your junk mail for this email.  If you experience problems opening the attachment, please ensure you have downloaded the most up to date version of Adobe Reader.  Admission documents will be emailed four weeks before the examination for all candidates; hard copies of admission documents will no longer be sent. 

Q: What identification can I take to the exam?

A: You will need to bring one of the following forms of ID:

  • valid passport with photogragh and signature
  • expired passport with photo and signature - no more than 6 months expired
  • valid driving liscese with photograph and signature
  • national identity card with photograph and signature

Only original documents are accepted. Photographs, scanned copies, photocopies and digital copies will not be accepted and if you present your ID via these forms you will not be permitted to sit the exam.

You will not be permitted to take the exam without the correct ID strictly under any circumstances.  If for any reason you are refused entry due to this reason, you are also not eligible for any refund of the exam fees.

Withdrawals

Q: I want to withdraw from the examination, what do I do?

A: Withdrawals must be in writing. Withdrawals after the closing date may be entitled to a refund depending upon the circumstances (eg medical, bereavement, etc). Evidence must be supplied if requesting a refund (eg medical certificate). Candidates must apply within one month of the examination to have their attempt discounted and/or a refund. These requests go to the Examinations Board for approval - they are not automatic.

Visa difficulties do not currently warrant an automatic refund this is at the discretion of the Examinations Manager. If you need to apply for a Visa please apply for the exam at beginning of the application period and state clearly that you need a letter for your visa application.

Q: Can I transfer my fee or postpone to the next examination?

A: No. Candidates need to withdraw from the exam and request a refund.

Results

Q: When can I view my results online?

A: Results for RCPCH examinations are now available for candidates to view via the secure section of this website six weeks after the day of the exam. 

If you do not have an online account please go to  create an account

Please note that no pass list will be published. 

Q: When are hard copies of the results sent?

A: Please note that hard copies will no longer be sent.  All theory examination results letters are now only being sent electronically to their registered default email address to replace paper copies.  Hard copies of result letters will no longer be sent. 

The Examinations Team regret that they are not able to issue results in person, by fax or telephone.  Please do not contact us during this time as we receive a great number of calls and this will delay us from processing results.  The College cannot give out results over the phone. 

Q: I wish to request for a remark against my result. What is the process for remarks against the declared result?

A: If you wish to request for a remark you must do it within 4 weeks of the exam result being sent out. Remark requests received after this deadline will not be considered.
 
Submissions to remark should consist of:

  • A written letter requesting for remark. The letter must be typewritten, including your full name, which exam you are requesting to be remarked and RCPCH code number.
  • A cheque for the correct remark fee (currently £105) made payable to the 'Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health' or supply your credit/debit card details. Request received without the correct fee will not be considered.

Requests should be sent to: 

Examination Team
Theory Exam Remark Request
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
5-11 Theobalds Road
London WC1X 8SH

Outcome of remark: Candidates will normally be informed of the outcome of their remark within 15 working days from the day request was received. This may take longer depending on individual cases. Result of remarks will be sent by post only. Candidates should note that this decision is final and marks the end of the process - no further correspondence will be considered.
 
Please do not telephone the College during this time; College staff are not able to inform candidates of the result of their remark. In rare cases, successful candidates will have their remark fee returned or refunded to them with their outcome letter.

Q: Do I have to wait for the results of the theory exams before applying for the MRCPCH Clinical?

A: All candidates wishing to apply for the Clinical exam will need to have received a confirmed pass in all MRCPCH theory examinations before submitting an MRCPCH Clinical application.

Q:  Can I apply for all the theory examinations at the same time?

Yes. Please apply during the specified application periods.

Q: Who do I contact for further information?

A: Please contact: examination.enquiries@rcpch.ac.uk

*Please note that when submitting an enquiry to the Examinations Team please state the nature of the enquiry in the subject field and ensure that you add your RCPCH number in your email.

*Please note that if you re-send the same enquiry multiple times this will not only result in a delay in your response but will also cause further delay to the responses of all other candidates. The RCPCH Exams Team receives hundreds of enquiries each week. If your response is not dealt with within 5 working days please contact the Exams Team directly by phone.

Other

Q: What do I do if a planned strike action or adverse weather conditions are due to take place on the day of my exam? 

 A: It is candidates’ responsibility to make appropriate alternative travel plans to attend their examinations. If there are planned strike actions on the day of examination that will affect travel, alternative plans may include: 

  • Arranging overnight accommodation the night before your exam
  • Allowing plenty of extra time for travel to examination venue on the day of your exam

Strike actions that affected travel are not an acceptable reason for missing an examination. Candidates will not be admitted if they arrive more than 30 minutes after the start of the examination.

Due to the possibility of sudden adverse weather conditions hitting an area where an exam is being held it is entirely possible that the resulting disruption to travel may impact on candidates being able to attend an exam or arrive on time. All candidates should again regularly check the weather and travel news for further information and plan their journey to the test centre accordingly. If candidates are unable to attend or arrive after the first 30 minutes of the exam then they should contact the RCPCH Exams Team to discuss this.

You will need to inform the College as soon as possible if you want to withdraw from your examination.  Candidates will not receive any refunds if withdrawals are based on planned strike action that affected their travel to the examination venue. 

Q: When could an examination be cancelled?

A: The examination may be cancelled due to force majeure, including any of the following: 

  • Act of God, governmental act, war, fire, flood, explosion, civil commotion, armed hostilities, act of terrorism, revolution:
  • Blockade, embargo, lock-out, sit-in, industrial or trade dispute:
  • Adverse weather or disease;
  • Act or intervention of any competent judicial or regulatory authority;
  • Any other event (including without limitation any act or omission of any third party) beyond our reasonable control that could not be reasonably planned or avoided. 

Q: Can you recommend any text books or revision materials for any of the RCPCH exams?

A: Please see